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Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

July 26, 2016

 Southwest Zone Fishing

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Surf perch fishing continues to be good off the sand spit at the mouth of the Rogue River.
  • Summer steelhead fishing has been good on the upper Rogue. Spring Chinook are also available and trout fishing should be good. Angling for all Chinook above Dodge Bridge will be closed beginning Aug 1.
  • The Rogue river above lost creek reservoir provides an excellent escape from the valley heat and offers excellent fishing and camping opportunities, with 2,375 trout stocked weekly from memorial day through labor day.
  • Though spring Chinook angling has ended on the North Umpqua, summer steelhead angling has been fantastic, particularly around Rock Creek.
  • Fishing for trout is very good at Lost Creek Reservoir for trollers and bank anglers.
  • Diamond Lake trout fishing has been good.
  • Warmwater fishing is showing improvement at many areas.
  • Bottom-fishing as well as surf perch fishing has been good at Winchester Bay.
  • Bass fishing in Tenmile Lakes and on the Coquille River have been heating up the past couple of weeks.

 Please check online regulations for the most up-to-date information.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

2016 trout stocking schedules

For detailed information about when and where hatchery trout are going to be released, please refer to the 2016 ODFW Trout Stocking Schedules page.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports - the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, bullheads

Fishing for warmwater gamefish should be good, with the best fishing occurring early and late in the day. The lake is 59 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Fishing is good for rainbow trout, spring Chinook salmon, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Trout anglers will want to try trolling, with a good bet being a wedding ring/bait combination. Fishing with bait from shore in the upper reservoir should also produce. Smallmouth bass fishing is good on small and regular Senkos fished off the points and boulder areas. The lake is 68 percent full. The Hart-Tish, Copper, and French Gulch boat ramps are available.

APPLEGATE RIVER: steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is open for trout angling. Two hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead in streams and must be tagged. Flow out of Applegate Reservoir was 326 cfs and 56 degrees Fahrenheit on July 26.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Trout fishing is slow. Vegetation growth is making it tough to find a good spot to fish the pond. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

Ben Irving Reservoir
Ben Irving Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie

Ben Irving has been stocked with 4,000 legal trout this year, and there are still opportunities to catch rainbow trout from previous year’s stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill should be productive. The use of soft-plastics and swimbaits around structure should warrant positive results.


Anglers willing to venture into some of the bigger tributaries are finding some nice cutthroat. Before heading out, anglers should pick up a Forest Service map either in Gold Beach or Brookings.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked with approximately 8,500 legal plus and 100 “pounder” size rainbow trout in 2016. Fishing for bass and bluegill should be productive. Dropping soft plastics in clear areas among weeds should yield positive results.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout, warmwater fish

There are trout available for kids in the Millicoma Pond at the Millicoma Interpretive Center and fishing is excellent. Millicoma Pond is set aside for kids fishing only and is a great chance for them to hook into fish. Please call before traveling to Millicoma Pond to make sure the gates are open. The phone number is (541)267-2557.

Fishing for largemouth bass is best in mornings and late evenings. Bass will be found in a little deeper water associated with cover, like weedlines or other structure. Bluegill fishing is picking up with many fish found in or near shallow water. Plastic worms, shallow crankbaits, topwater lures, and spinner baits are good to use for bass. Bluegills will bite on worms, small jigs, or flies.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, rockfish

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

Anglers have been catching a few rockfish along the jetties and submerged rock piles. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of one cabezon per day is allowed as of July 1.

Crabbing has been decent for those crabbing from a boat with the best crabbing near high tide. There has been a mixture of hard shell and soft shell crab in the catch. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Recreational harvest of bay clams remains open along the entire Oregon coast. Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay. Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from the north jetty of the Siuslaw River south to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, smallmouth bass, shad

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, except the use of bait is allowed on the South Fork Coquille.

Fishing for smallmouth bass has been good in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille. Jigs, crawdad crankbaits, and nightcrawlers will all work to catch smallmouth bass.

Crabbing has been decent for boat crabbers across from Bandon in the lower Coquille. Crabbing will continue to improve in the next few months. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.


Diamond Lake
Diamond Lake
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

As part of the new regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 trout/day.

Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) or Diamond Lake Resort for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

Fishing has been good. Most anglers have had success using Powerbait or trolling small lures. Diamond Lake was stocked with around 300,000 fingerling rainbow trout in early June, and there are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with Tiger Trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced Tui Chub. Tiger Trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately unharmed.

Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates.

ELK RIVER: Cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river but access is very limited in the lower river.

EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie

Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good. Look for these species around the flooded willows and other structure along the shore early and late in the day. Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 64 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Due to construction, public fishing access has been switched to the southern-most pond at the Jackson County Expo, which can be accessed from gate 1.5. Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie should be fair, but trout should be pretty slow.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake was last stocked on July 8. Fishing conditions have been good at Fish Lake with good water clarity of 8-10 feet, however there may be an algae bloom starting Reports from the past weekend indicated trout fishing was still good. With its higher elevation and cooler temperatures, Fish Lake is a good destination.

The lake is 63 percent full. Anglers are encouraged to report catches and send photos of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Warmer water and increased vegetation growth has slowed trout fishing. Best times to fish is early morning or late evening. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. This lake can be very windy. Anglers should check the weather before heading out.

Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years and there have been reports of them being caught in good numbers on the lake. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long.

Camron caught this huge bass first 30 minutes of fishing! -Photo by Art Pila-

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with about 8,000 legal size trout and 50 trophy trout over five pounds each this year.

Fishing for bass and other panfish with the use of bait and artificial lures such as swimbaits around structure should give positive results. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Increased vegetation growth this time of year makes fishing a little tougher, but anglers are reporting good success. Anglers with boats that can fish the deeper weed lines are doing the best. This is the time of year to keep an eye on the weather and fish when conditions are good.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS & Umpqua High Lakes: trout

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

Hemlock Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 legal size plus rainbow trout so far in 2016, and Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 legal size plus rainbow trout as well. In addition, there are still opportunities to catch holdover rainbow trout that were stocked in previous years. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.


Fishing for trout the last week has been fair at Howard Prairie. Legal-sized trout have been stocked to complement trout stocked last year and a good number of 15-20 inch holdovers.

Visibility in the lake is down due to increased algae in the lake and trollers reported very slow fishing. Fishing from shore was more productive with anglers using A threaded nightcrawler under a bobber and powerbait fished off the bottom from shore. With better visibility, trolling with a wedding ring/bait combination and sliding sinker are a tried and true method on this lake.

A fairly heavy insect hatch was observed this past Sunday morning according to a few anglers. The Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass should also be good in the mornings and evenings. The lake is now 59 percent full. The surface temperature has been 67-68 degrees by noon.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout

Hyatt Lake has been stocked with legal-sized and trophy-sized rainbow trout, and fishing for these stocked trout has been good. Trolling, casting lures and still fishing with bait should all produce trout. Fishing for largemouth bass has been slow. The reservoir is 57 percent full.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout angling. Since only hatchery trout may be retained, and hatchery trout are not likely to be to be found in the Illinois River at this time of year, fishing will be primarily catch-and-release for the native cutthroat trout.
LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked with 5,000 legal trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing should continue to be productive for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for black crappie has been very good at Selmac this year, with some good-sized crappie being caught. Good techniques include crappie jigs, worms, and flies retrieved slowly behind a casting bubble (fished a couple of feet below the surface). Bass fishing is also good. Only one bass may be harvested per day at Lake Selmac. Remember that many warmwater species can be found close to shore near structure, and it is possible to cast out too far to catch fish.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes, and the lake has been stocked with 3,000 rainbow trout so far in 2016. There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo with many anglers having luck trolling in deeper areas of the reservoir or casting spinners from shore. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day and 1 over 20 inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 legal size rainbow trout this year. The lake should offer decent fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. Anglers should use slow presentations with lures or bait for best results as water temperatures increase.

Fishing at Lost Creek
Fishing at Lost Creek
-Photo by Dan VanDyke-

Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing has been great at Lost Creek. Water temperatures heated up this past week but trout are still being caught. Trollers have caught fish along the dam, along the shoreline to the right of the marina, and upstream of the Hwy. 62 bridge rolling with a wedding ring. Bank anglers are catching fish near the Takelma ramp and near the marina and spillway using Powerbait or threading a nightcrawler below a bobber. Fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass should be good. The lake is 74 percent full, and the lake surface temperature was 70oF on Monday, July 11.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Medco Pond has been stocked with rainbow trout, which should still offer good fishing. Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill should be good as well.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab, surf perch, salmon, halibut

Recreational harvest of crab is open along the entire Oregon Coast. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Razor clamming is closed south of the north jetty of the Siuslaw River.

Recreational ocean salmon fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open for all salmon except wild coho salmon. Anglers are allowed two salmon per day with a minimum size for Chinook at 24 inches or larger. The selective coho (fin-clipped) season opened on June 25 with a quota of 26,000 coho. Fishing for salmon in the ocean has been very slow. As of July 17, 96 percent of the selective coho quota remains.

Tuna fishing continues to be good when the winds calm enough to allow the boats to get out. Anglers have been catching tuna about 20-30 miles west of Coos Bay.

The Nearshore Halibut season is open seven days a week from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. As of July 10, 64 percent of the nearshore quota remains.

Fishing for bottom fish is now closed outside of a line approximating the 20-fathom curve.

Fishing for black rockfish has been good from Coos Bay south to Bandon. Fishing for ling cod has been decent. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Anglers may harvest one cabezon per day.

To help anglers identify common species and comply with the regulations, ODFW has produced several sheets of ID Tips for blue vs. black rockfish and for China, copper and quillback rockfish, as well as a handout titled “What Can I Keep, and How Many?”

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I has been stocked with 4,500 legal size trout this year. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers where access is available.

Some of the trout may have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.
REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Angling for bass and other warmwater gamefish should be good.


Rogue River, lower: steelhead, spring Chinook, surf perch

Anglers trolling the Rogue Bay have been picking up Chinook on a regular basis. Chinook numbers in the bay will continue to rise all month as this is the beginning of the fall Chinook run. Rain last weekend greatly improved water conditions in the lower river.

Anglers should do fairly well on summer steelhead and even some chinook until river temperatures get back into the 70’s. Surf perch fishing continues to be good. The easiest place to catch a few is off the sand spit at the mouth of the Rogue River.

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

rogue river
Rogue River
-ODFW Photo-

Summer steelhead are available. Some late spring Chinook are still trickling through the area, and early fall Chinook should be moving right behind them through the Grants Pass area. Between Fishers Ferry and Dodge Bridge spring Chinook have been being caught. As of July 1, anglers are able to keep both hatchery and wild Chinook per zone regulations downstream from Dodge Bridge.

The Rogue River is open to trout angling. Only hatchery trout can be retained. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead in streams and must be tagged as part of the daily salmon/steelhead catch as per zone regulations.

The flow at Grants Pass as of Tuesday morning was 1560 cfs, the water temperature was fluctuating between 64 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

This weekend will be the last weekend that anglers can fish for Chinook above Dodge Bridge. Beginning August 1, all Chinook angling is closed from Cole Rivers Hatchery downstream to Dodge Bridge, as per zone regulations. Anglers are still able to retain wild and hatchery Chinook downstream of Dodge Bridge.

On July 14, excess hatchery fish were recycled back into the fishery at Dodge Bridge boat access. A total of 12 spring Chinook were released. This brings the season total to 232 hatchery fish recycled back into the fishery for another chance to be caught by anglers. Anglers are catching spring Chinook by drifting or back-bouncing bait or drift-bobbers, or backtrolling quickfish.

Anglers have been doing well on early run summer Steelhead. This fishery should improve significantly over the next few weeks. Anglers can keep two hatchery steelhead per day.

Trout fishing has been good. Anglers can keep five hatchery rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

As of July 20 a total of 1838 spring Chinook have been collected at Cole Rivers, with 106 new arrivals for the week. A total of 786 early run summer Steelhead have also entered the hatchery, with 146 new fish entering for that week. The flow at Gold Ray was 1710 cfs and the water temperature was fluctuating between 60 and 66 degrees daily. The average release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1,609 cfs at 54oF on July 26.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The premier summer trout fishery in the Rogue watershed is the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-sized rainbow trout each week in the Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Trout are stocked at most of the campgrounds and bridge crossings between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek.

This area offers good trout fishing, easy access, beautiful scenery, numerous Forest Service campgrounds, and cooler temperatures making this a great destination throughout the week and weekends. Spinners tipped with nightcrawler, or fished by themselves work great up here. It is also a good place for the novice fly angler to try their luck at nymph fishing under an indicator.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, trout

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures above tidewater. Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in tidewater. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is 2 per 24 hour period. Trout is catch-and-release up to Sisters Creek.


TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass, yellow perch

Tenmile Lake
Tenmile Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

Trout fishing has been slow in Tenmile Lakes due to warm water. Trout anglers should fish in the deep water and fishing is usually best in the mornings.
Largemouth bass fishing has been good over the past month. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using spinner baits, jigs, or rubber worms. Top water lures have been effective in the early mornings or evenings.

Fishing for yellow perch has been slow in Tenmile Lakes. Anglers fishing along the edge of the weedlines are having the best success. Worms fished near the lake bottom work very well for catching yellow perch.

The water level in the lakes is very low so boat anglers should use caution.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.


Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, has been stocked with 1,500 legal size plus rainbow trout so far in 2016. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-sized trout from previous stockings in those waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 33 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring Chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – June 30. From July 1– Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/ steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

Smallmouth bass angling should offer excellent harvest opportunities with warmer water temperatures.

The 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg,” handout which is available online or at the office, identifies several good places for salmon and steelhead fishing.

Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the mainstem; open for retention in the tributaries.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

Chinook fishing closed on June 30.

Summer steelhead angling has been excellent, especially in the Swiftwater area. Hatchery steelhead are being harvested in good numbers, but please remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly angling only with a single barbless fly. Per the new regulation on page 31, 32 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – June 30, two wild Chinook per day can be harvested. Ten wild Chinook may be harvested in the North during this time frame in aggregate with wild Chinook harvested in the Main.

Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snagging gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam


Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the South Umpqua and tributaries. Bass fishing should be good with warmer water temperatures.

Willow Lake
Willow Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead

Reports from anglers indicate that fishing was good this past weekend. Fishing for bass and panfish should also be good. Fishing for trout should be good. With the lake warming up, fishing will likely be best early and late in the day. Anglers are encouraged to keep small stunted yellow perch.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottom fish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.


Cutthroat are spread throughout the river, but the best access is the Oregon State Park property located on the North side of the estuary, or upriver off of Forest Service property.

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  Southwest Zone Hunting

Howling Wolf


Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.


Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Coos County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Cougar - Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.


Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Elk - A few controlled elk hunts are set to open August 1st.

Black Bear – General bear season opens August 1st. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Berry crops are coming in earlier this year. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of these food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades.

Cougar – The cougar season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.


Wildlife pre-scouting

Now is the time for archers and rifle hunters to begin their annual pre-scouting trips to the woods, August 27 is not far away. Hunters should be spending this the next two months locating the elk and deer herds. Much of the animals found now will be in that general locations come opening season. Game cameras have become a vital tool for hunters. High elevations are the place to look. Besides, it’s a great time to be in the woods to avoid most of the heat found in the valleys.

Bears: Fall black bear season is right around the corner starting August 1st, now is a great time to start some preseason scouting as well as practice your calling skills. Hunters can expect another good year. The Applegate unit has historically had some of the highest harvest in the state so focus your efforts there. Huckleberry patches at high elevations seem to be off to a slow start, however once they do come in look for bears feeding in early morning and late evening. Find out where bears are most likely going to be come hunting season by glassing in early mornings and late evenings to spot bears in openings around Southern Oregon. Fawn calls can also be a useful tool when trying to harvest a bear.

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events. Remember to place your parking permit on the dash of your vehicle.

The Denman Wildlife Area youth pheasant hunt is the weekend of September 17-18 and this is an excellent opportunity for youth 17 years and younger to have a memorable hunt. Registration is opening soon, there will only be 90 spots available each day so don’t wait to reserve the day of your choice.

-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more.

Western Gray Squirrel is currently open for the part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140 where the season remains open year round with no bag limit. Squirrels can be found in oak or mixed conifer stands. This is a great animal to hunt for first time hunters.

Coyotes are abundant in our area. Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands. Hunter can find coyotes around meadows and brush piles where mice and rabbits are found. Predator calls are very useful when used in conjunction to known prey base.

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 Southwest Zone Wildlife Viewing


Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Marine Mammals

Seal and sea lion abundance in coastal waters around Coos County is high at this time of year, especially south of Coos Bay. At Simpson Reef, a heavily used haul out exists. From the lookout, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals. Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches. If you think an animal you find is in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.


Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge reports the highest concentrations of shorebirds on the west coast at times. Bandon Marsh Unit of the refuge is the place where these high concentrations are visible. Those interested in seeing these birds should visit the viewing platform located along Riverside Dr. on the outskirts on the city of Bandon.


A black-footed albatross was spotted off of the Charleston docks recently by the western-most jetty. They are the most common albatross off the Oregon Coast, foraging off the coast year-round, but are only occasionally seen so close to shore. Their primary breeding grounds are in the along the Hawaiian island chain. The black-footed albatross can have a wingspan up to 7 ft and are known for their ability to soar long distances across the ocean. The oldest known bird was over 40 years old.

Many sea birds like pigeon guillemots and common murres can be found close to shore along the Oregon coast, right now, because they nest in this area. Since surf tends to be smaller this time of year now is a good time to look for them. Just in case, check surf conditions before you get into places where large waves can be hazardous. Also, even if surf conditions are forecasted to be small always keep an eye on the waves when you are near the ocean and know where your escape route will be if large waves come.

Another interesting bird species to see when you are near the rocky intertidal zone is the black oyster-catcher. These birds are dark brown or black with bright red bills and pink feet. They live their entire lives in or around the splash zone on rocks along the coast. They are non-migratory, so while they are here at anytime during the year they are easiest to observe when surf conditions are small. Since they even nest near the splash zone and are extremely protective of their nests they are often seen chasing other birds that get too close to their territory. 7/5/2016


Western Painted Turtle
Western Painted Turtle
-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-

Reptiles –Lizards and snakes will be taking advantage of morning and evening sun and southern exposed rock formations (and roads) to warm themselves. Turtles will be seen basking on logs and banks of local ponds, streams and reservoirs.

Turtles – It’s the time of year for female turtles to leave their water body and head to their upland nesting areas to lay their eggs, usually within 1 mile of the water. When driving on roads next to rivers and streams keep an eye out for turtles crossing the road to avoid injuring the turtles. If you do find turtles crossing the road, safely remove them to the side they were moving towards.

Osprey - Ospreys are also known as fish hawks and can be seen flying above rivers or lakes looking for fish in the water. This time of the year look for male ospreys diving into the water capturing fish, and taking the captured fish back to the female on the nest.

Turkey Vultures - Vultures can be seen soaring high in the sky looking for food or on the ground utilizing expired animals. Also, look for them early mornings perched in a tree sunning themselves with their wings spread warming up.

Purple Martin – Purple Martins have arrived so look for them around Plat I Reservoir, Cooper Creek Reservoir and Ten Mile Lake. Purple Martin is our largest swallow in North America and is uncommon & mainly found in Western Oregon communally nesting usually near a large water body.

Hummingbirds –Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food utilizing 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

Deer –Fawns found hiding in the grass are not abandoned by their mothers or orphaned. Please don’t remove them, as their mothers will return after foraging, usually under the cover of darkness. Please control domestic dogs around deer this time of year. Many fawns are injured or killed each year when found by dogs.

Common Nighthawk –The nighthawk is a darkish colored bird 9.5 inch long with long pointed wings and white wing patches. Nighthawks are commonly observed flying high in the evening sky catching insects on the wing emitting a nasal peent call. This migratory bird is one of the last birds to migrate to North America for nesting. It can be seen and heard in Western Oregon from cities and towns to woodlands and forests.

Killdeer – Most of the local shorebirds are nesting at this time. Shorebirds include oystercatchers, plovers, turnstones, sandpipers and phalaropes. One of the most common shorebirds and plovers in our area is the killdeer. The killdeer is a brown, white and black medium sized shore bird 10.5 inch long with two black neck bands and orange on the upper tail and lower back plus a long tail. Killdeer are commonly seen in pastures, fields, meadows, airports and soccer fields often far from water emitting a killdeer call when startled. This migratory bird has variable nests but commonly makes an unlined depression nest in the gravel. Killdeer are famous for feigning injury near its nest to distract intruders.

Gamebirds – The young chicks of California quail, blue and ruffed grouse, wild turkey and pheasants are now being seen throughout the county. Coveys of California quail are common on the Umpqua Valley floor usually associated with blackberry cover and water. Many blue and ruffed grouse and their young are found in mid to high elevation forested areas in our local mountains. Wild turkeys and their poults are very common throughout the Umpqua Valley usually on private lands in oak savannah habitat. Most pheasants are found in central Douglas County associated with pastures and ranches.

Bats – With the current hot weather, gather around the air conditioner during the day. When it starts to cool down in the evening, get outside and enjoy the acrobatic flying of bats as they hunt the night skies for insects. Look for bats at dawn and dusk. Watch street lights and water bodies, where insects concentrate, bats may show up to eat up to 1000 insects per hour.

Elk Cow and Calf
A Roosevelt elk cow and her calf
- Photo by Chuck Wiegmann -


Baby Season

Spring is the season for most wildlife to have young. Now is a great time to visit the outdoors to look for wildlife with their young. You may see a cow elk and her calf, a doe deer and her fawn, a mother raccoon and her young, a pair of geese and their goslings or a mother kill deer and her chicks. It is very important to keep your distances and not to disturb mothers with their young. Check out our web page about young wildlife.

Turkeys and grouse

Young turkeys and grouse are now being seen throughout the area. Hens are often seen near roadways in low elevation for turkeys and higher timber areas for grouse. Look carefully when around the adults for movement or grass moving which indicates young.

Upper and Lower Table Rocks rise 800 feet above the valley floor. Habitat types range from oak savanna and chaparral to woodland. On the summit a diversity of wildflowers and wildlife can be found along the trails. Spring can provide some of the best viewing times.

Denman Wildlife Area

Take one of two trails off Touvelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. This is the time of year when the wildlife area greens up with variety of flowers and wildlife. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the newly built horse trail (2.5 mile) that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek. The trail to the south that runs along the forth pond dike is our interpretive trail, come in to the office and pick up and interpretive trail guide. You will learn of some of the history of the wildlife area and the different environment unique to our area. A wide variety of wildlife can be found along this 1 ½ mile trail.

A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, ADA-accessible pathway. Two additional fishing dikes have been created to provide more fishing access. It is on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW Rogue Watershed Field Office in Central Point.

Purple Martin
Purple Martin female
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-

There have been recent sightings of the Common Nighthawk and American Kestrel on the wildlife area and to the west near Table Rock and Kirtland Ponds.

Purple Martin

There have been sightings of Purple Martins the past few weeks west of the Denman Wildlife area near Kirtland Ponds. There also has been a recent sighting on the east shore of Emigrant Lake.

For more information about the wildlife area, visit ODFW’s Web site.

On the Coast

Shorebirds are currently migrating north and can be observed on area beaches and the Rogue Bay. Ospreys are actively fishing in the Rogue estuary and also nesting on the Lower Rogue. Several nests are observable from the Jerry Flat Road along the Rogue River.

Harbor seals can be observed in estuaries throughout the South Coast. Look for sandy haul out sites. Remember, spring is when seals have their pups they are often left on their own most of the day so please observe these animals from a distance. If you find pups on the beach, leave them where you found them—mother knows where they are.

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails.

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