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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
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Willamette Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

October 7, 2014

 Willamette Zone Fishing

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • ODFW will host a free family fishing event at Mt. Hood Pond in Gresham on Saturday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ODFW staff and volunteers will be available to loan out gear and provide assistance.
  • Coho are now moving over Willamette Falls and are being caught in the Tualatin, Molalla, Santiam and other tributaries.
  • Coho fishing is good to excellent in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, where the bag limit has been raised to three fish per day.
  • Tagged trout, including some with $50 prize tags, have been released into Henry Hagg Lake as part of a study to evaluate the trout stocking program. Information collected from tags can be submitted online at the tag-reporting page.
  • The following locations will be stocked with trout this week: St. Louis Ponds, Mt. Hood Pond, Dorena Reservoir.
rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on-line on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Check out the new trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked this week with a total of 1,110 fish, including 110 larger trout. These fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the Canal.

The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield.

BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

BETHANY POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead

This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

BIG LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Here is a high-lake fishing opportunity you can drive to! This lake is located at the top of Santiam Pass (same exit as the Hoodoo Ski Resort) off US. 20 and is equipped with restrooms, picnic and camping areas, and a boat ramp. The lake is popular with water skiers and recreational boaters, but receives very little fishing pressure. Trolling lures along the shallow-to-deep drop off can be effective. Brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout are stocked and catches up to 16-inches have been reported.

BLUE LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill

This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

rainbow trout on a stringer
Rainbow Trout on a stringer
-Photo by Bob Swingle-

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30. Steelhead are only available below the reservoir.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30, although bass and holdover trout may still be available. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This scenic river flows for approximately 30 miles into Detroit Reservoir. It is open from April 26 to Oct. 31. Along with cutthroat trout this river has been stocked fairly regularly this season with legal rainbows, up to the last scheduled stocking made on July 28. Because the water runs cold throughout the year there are usually good numbers of fish throughout the summer.

Forest Road 46 runs along most of its length so access is very good despite some steep and brushy sections. Daily limit is five trout over 8 inches, no limit on brook trout and the use of bait is allowed. The river is closed to salmon fishing but remains open for trout harvest until Oct. 31.

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Canby Pond is a 1-acre pond located on the south end of Canby in Canby City Park. The park is south of Hwy 99E and adjacent to the Molalla River. Angling restricted to youth age 17 and under or holders of one of the Disabled Anglers permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir was stocked in late July for the last time this season. The reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: Coho, summer steelhead

The Clackamas was barely affected by the rain this past weekend but hopefully that will change this week with steadier rain in the forecast. As of Monday the river was still running low, clear and cold. Fishing effort has been somewhat low except down by the mouth, and it’s mostly a bank and float fishery.

Coho and summer steelhead are the primary targets and can be found throughout the river. Coho will bite if targeted when they are moving; concentrate on riffles, pocket water, or holding areas adjacent to long stretches of fast water. Unlike most years when getting coho to bite in the Clackamas was a real struggle, this year the biters are in and catch is good.

Summers should be concentrated mainly in the reach from Carver up to McIver Park where acclimation ponds are found and recycled fish are available. Anglers fishing around McIver Park are still picking up a few decent summers. The spring Chinook fishery is over for the year.

The clear water and low flows make it very challenging this time of year and it’s become mostly a hardware fishery with spoons or spinners producing results. Fresh coho will fall to eggs fished under a bobber or behind a diver. Bank anglers working around Cazadero and above Faraday are also landing a few fish. Anglers should make note that an angling deadline is clearly marked up near Rivermill Dam and the fishway; it is illegal to fish or even cast above this deadline.

Monday hydrological data shows flows still low at 842 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 10.77 ft., and the water temperature steady at 54° F.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was stocked in late August for the last time this season. Naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort. 

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked for the season in early-April but warmwater fish continue to be available.

To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove Pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers terrific bird-watching opportunities, with bald eagles, various ducks, red-winged blackbirds, and other migratory songbirds frequently observed in spring.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was last stocked for the season in mid-April. The Reservoir will be stocked again in mid-October. Holdover trout and warmwater species are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling all year.

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory updating information about eating fish caught in Cottage Grove Reservoir. Under the advisory issued June 5, 2012 people can safely consume up to nine meals per month of hatchery-grown rainbow trout month that are 12 inches in length or less. People can distinguish hatchery-grown rainbow trout by the absence of the adipose fin, which is clipped before hatchery fish are released into streams and reservoirs. Despite the new exception for rainbow trout, mercury contamination for resident warm-water fish, including bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead continues to be a concern. Women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years of age and persons having liver or kidney ailments should avoid eating any fish from this reservoir other than rainbow trout. Healthy women beyond childbearing age, other healthy adults and healthy children six years of age and older should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal of fish other than rainbow trout per month.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.

Detroit Lake
Detroit Lake
-Photo by Jerry Korson-

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. Stocking has resumed for the season; 5,000 legal rainbow trout were planted during the week of Sept. 22 and another 7,000 legal-size rainbow trout were stocked Oct. 7.

Kokanee fishing is winding down as the larger fish are getting ready to spawn, but there are still plenty of trout left. Currently the reservoir is about 55 30 feet below full pool. The Low Water boat ramp at Mongold State Park is the only boat ramp available at this time. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir was recently stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout. This will be the last release until early 2015. In addition to trout, some warmwater fish are also available. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.
DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was last stocked in late April and will be stocked next in mid-October. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

EAGLE CREEK: coho

Eagle Creek is still very low and clear despite some fairly good rainfall last weekend. Heavier rains in the forecast for this week should go a long ways towards improving creek conditions and getting the fish moving upstream.

There are coho in the creek and many down in the Clackamas River at the creek mouth near Bonnie Lure Park; they’re just holding until rainfall brings up the flows. Anglers can expect some decent coho fishing from Bonnie Lure up to the hatchery once the water comes up, even slightly. The hatchery has had over 200 coho swim in so far this fall.

Long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked in September with 1,200 legal-sized rainbow trout. Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

FALL CREEK above FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season in June. Wild trout continue to be available. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season in June. Wild trout continue to be available. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

Faraday Lake

Faraday Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Oct. 6 with 3,800 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is 4 feet below full pool at this time, and all boat ramps except Perkins Peninsula should be available. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River. The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is in spring after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. The water level has dropped significantly over the last few weeks. The only boat ramp available is at Sunnyside County Park. This popular fishing destination has received 10,000 legal rainbow trout stocked over the last three weeks. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and brown bullhead

Stocked with 16,000 rainbow trout on Sept. 30. Included in this release are 500 tagged trout. Some of these fish have “prize tags” that are worth $50 to the lucky anglers who catch them and return them to ODFW’s district office in Clackamas. It’s all part of a study to evaluate the trout stocking program at this popular fishery. ODFW asks that anglers on Hagg Lake help with this study by turning in information about any tagged fish they catch. Tagged fish can be harvested or released. If the fish is released, biologists recommend cutting the tag off at the base rather than try to rip the tag out. Anglers can report non-reward tags in person, by mail, by phone, or by using the tag-reporting page on the ODFW website. Reward tags must be returned in person or by mail to ODFW’s district office at 17330 SE Evelyn St., Clackamas, OR 97015. For more information, contact Ben Walczak, ODFW fish biologist at 971-673-6013.

This popular fishery has been stocked several times this year and there should be plenty of fish for anglers who are willing to get out and work for them. Hagg Lake is located within Scoggins Valley Park. The park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year and was recently stocked with 2,500 legal-sized and 1,200 trophy-sized rainbow trout. This reservoir is also stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year to provide a harvest fishery. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Native trout are available for harvest and bait may be used through Oct. 31 in Hills Creek. Hatchery fish released into Hills Creek in previous years will now be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake was last stocked for the season just before Labor Day.

Vehicular and pedestrian access across Leaburg Dam is restricted weekdays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m until mid-October. Angler access will not be restricted on the highway side of the lake, but anglers will need to consider dam access when planning their weekday fishing activities on the park side of the lake. Check EWEB’s website for updates.
McKenzie River
McKenzie River
-ODFW Photo-

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake was boat stocked in early September for the last time this season from Leaburg Town Landing down to Hendricks Bridge. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures below Hendricks Bridge. Use of bait is allowed from Hendricks Bridge upstream to Leaburg Dam through the end of the year. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Leaburg Dam is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays through mid October. See the EWEB website for updates.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake was boat stocked below Finn Rock in mid-September for the last time this season. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing. Angling is restricted to flies and lures. The Middle Fork above Hills Creek Reservoir will not be stocked this year. Those fish will instead be released into Hills Creek Reservoir for anglers.

Middle Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MOLALLA RIVER: Chinook, coho, summer steelhead

The Molalla is low yet fishable by drift boat or from the bank, and with passage of coho continuing strong at the falls there should be some fish to be found in the Molalla, particularly down near the mouth.

It’s also not unheard of for a few hatchery summer steelhead to poke their way into the lower river escaping the warmer waters of the Willamette.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

ODFW will host a family fishing event at this popular fishing venue on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is open to anglers of all ages. ODFW will loan out rods, reels, tackle and bait while it lasts free of charge to participants on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure that everybody has the opportunity to catch fish, ODFW will release more than 1,800 rainbow trout into the pond just prior to the event. Kids 13 and under fish free while older participants will need a license. The pond also offers angling for several different species of warm water fish including crappie, bluegill, and catfish.

North Fork Reservoir

North Fork Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

No more stocking is planned at North Fork this year, although some fish from earlier in the year should still be available.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park will be closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf).

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length.

Trout season opened April 28 and ends Oct. 31. The river was stocked several times through the summer with over 5,000 rainbow trout. It was stocked one last time for 2014 the last week of July with 2,000 rainbow trout. Wild cutthroat trout can be found here as well.

Light gear works best and fly-fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. Please be cautious with any source of fire while enjoying your outings this season. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salmon Creek was last stocked for the season in late August. Fish are released at several locations up to the Black Creek Road bridge. Bait use and both native and hatchery trout harvest are allowed through Oct. 31.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to harvest of native trout through Oct. 31. Bait use is allowed during trout season. Salt Creek will not be stocked in 2014. Instead, these hatchery fished will be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.

Sandy River steelhead fishing
Sandy River Steelhead fishing
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

SANDY RIVER: coho, summer steelhead, Chinook

Like most rivers in the state the Sandy River is low, clear, and getting colder. Rain this past Friday night and Saturday did little to improve things but a few more coho managed to swim into the Sandy Hatchery holding ponds. Steady rain this week should provide some renewed opportunity and fresh fish.

The overall catch reports for the Sandy have been very good, with the usual spots showing plenty of effort. Reliable sources say that coho are spread throughout the river from the mouth all the way up to the hatchery at Cedar Creek. The low flows can offer a bit of a challenge for anglers but the river is still driftable. The Oxbow to Dabney trip is a good choice by drift boat or pontoon and if you’re bank fishing try Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, and the Cedar Creek area at the hatchery. If you’re willing to hike a bit you can escape the madness at Cedar Creek and still catch fish.

Anglers who park at the hatchery to fish are reminded to obey all rules and signs; on any given day over 100 vehicles have been counted parked on hatchery grounds.

Monday hydrological data shows the river flows below Bull Run up slightly at 354 cfs, a gauge reading of 7.79 ft and a water temperature of 51° F.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout

Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle), where summer steelhead can find cooler water. Counts at Willamette Falls as of Oct. 2 show just over 22,600 summer steelhead had entered the upper basin. Of those, around 3,800 made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through Oct. 11, including 240 just in the last week.

The river is now closed to spring Chinook harvest. There is lots of spawning activity going on, especially around Packsaddle boat ramp. Please be careful when launching boats there and avoid stepping on to spawning beds or otherwise harassing spawning fish.

Coho salmon have arrived in the basin, and anglers are permitted to catch up to 2 coho per day below Stayton. Above the Stayton-Scio bridge, coho fishing is closed until Nov. 1. It looks like it will be another banner year for coho - over 10,000 coho have already passed the Willamette Falls fish ladder as of Oct. 2. Many of these fish can be found from the mouth up to Stayton. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to adipose fin-clipped steelhead, while trout fishing will remain open to Oct. 31.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 2,010 cfs). Current conditions

CAUTION: The section between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge remains hazardous for boaters because of downed trees and multiple side channels. Better bets are the floats below Green’s Bridge and above Stayton.

UPDATE: Maintenance work on the Upper Bennett Dam has been completed! The upgraded boat slide is once again available for use.

UPDATE: The gate at Green’s Bridge near Jefferson has been opened and will remain open until the next seasonal closure in June 2015.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT: (trout)

This gorgeous section of the river is open to fishing April 26 to Oct. 31. It was stocked again for the last time this season on July 28 with 3,000 legal size rainbow trout. Up to five trout of 8 inches or larger are allowed per day, but please be aware that this section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout, bass

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam are at 1,510 cfs as of Oct. 6 and should remain fairly stable for the short term. These are excellent conditions coinciding with the diminishing influx of new fish into the basin.

As a reminder, spring Chinook fishing closed on Aug. 15 and will not reopen until Nov. 1. This is the peak spawning season for Chinook and anglers are asked to avoid areas where fish are actively spawning and not to step on to spawning beds so that these remarkable fish can complete their lifecycle. Below Lebanon, however, there are coho salmon moving in and fishing for these wild fish can be very good.

Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam. As of Sept. 22 just under 3,000 summer steelhead had entered the fish ladder and nearly 2,450 were recycled back down river for another angler opportunity. The recycling has now ended for the year.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked for the last time this season in late June. Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing. Native fish are available for harvest.

SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout

Stocked the week of June 9 with 2,000 rainbow trout. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina. The river is open to trout fishing through Oct. 31.

Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.

ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish

The ponds were recently stocked with rainbow trout and some of those fish should still be available. Anglers are reminded the gate to the park is closed for the season but the site is still open to fishing for those who are willing to hike in.

The fishing park has a number of ADA-accessible fishing platforms and a paved trail that meanders around some of the ponds. Parking is very limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and when parking lots fill up participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex.

St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds. More information: Jeff Fulop, (971) 673-6034.

Timothy Lake

Timothy Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee

Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 m.p.h. speed limit is in place. The lake is currently accessible via Highway 26 as well as Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. It was last stocked for the season in late July. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Flies and lures only may be used.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Oct. 6 with with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 larger trout. Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

In winter, spring, and fall, Walling Pond receives over 5,000 trout ranging in size from legal to multi-pound brooders. It was stocked again last week with 400 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. The pond is located within the Salem city limits west of I-5. Take Turner Road off Mission Street.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was stocked last week with 1,700 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. A stocking scheduled for the week of Oct. 13 has been postponed due to high water temperatures and overgrowth of pond vegetation. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout

The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park restoration project is far enough along that anglers are able to go in and fish both the east and west ponds. A variety of resident warm water species can be found in both ponds, with the east offering the greatest opportunity.

The City of Fairview would like to give young plantings in the park another season to establish themselves before large numbers of anglers begin fishing there again; as a result ODFW likely won’t resume stocking West Salish Pond with trout until late 2014.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, summer steelhead, coho

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has lifted its blue-green algae warning for the Willamette River.

Coho season is now open on the Willamette and are moving over the falls in good numbers. Anglers fishing above the falls should be trying areas near the mouth of Willamette tributaries such as the Molalla, Tualatin, or Yamhill rivers. Hooking into coho below the falls can be very difficult except perhaps near the mouth of the Clackamas River in Oregon City.

Coho passage makes up the bulk of fish crossings at Willamette Falls, with smaller numbers of summer steelhead and wild fall Chinook also moving into the upper river.

Coho crossings over the past weeks have been steady, with most days in the past three weeks well above 500 fish per day. Total coho passage through October 3 stands at 9,658. Steelhead crossings typically number about 20 fish a day, give or take, with a total of 22,677 crossings as of Oct. 3.

Hydrological data as of October 13 shows the Willamette flows up at 11,500 cfs, the water temperature near 61°, and visibility still fairly clear at 6.5 feet.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, WESTERN RIFLE DEER (Cascade area closed Oct. 18-24), CASCADE ELK (Oct. 18-24), GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE, DUCK, TURKEY (opens Oct. 15)

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Fire danger is a concern this time of year and hunters are asked to follow all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire restrictions while hunting. See ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions (click Landowner/Corporate Closure Chart for private land closures)

Jane Butterfield
Jane Butterfield and 12-year-old son Christopher took this buck in the Chesnimnus unit
-Photo by Joe Sheahan-

Hunter orange required for youth

Don’t forget: hunters age 17 and under must wear a fluorescent orange upper garment OR hat when hunting upland game birds (except turkey) and game mammals (deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn, goat, sheep, and western gray squirrel) with a firearm.

Industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters. In addition, many private timberlands use the following link to provide information regarding the access policy for their private lands. Hunters need to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

BE PREPARED

Hunters are reminded to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down.

Upland Game Birds

Quail, Mountain / California – Open season from Sept. 1 to Jan 31. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent.

Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.

ODFW is conducting a survey to determine Mountain Quail locations east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. Please report and observations, including the date, specific location, county of observation, and number of quail to your local ODFW office.

Forest Grouse – Open season Sept. 1 - Jan 31. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Forest grouse hunting has been very good so far this fall. The dry weather we experienced this spring was good for brood production and hunters can expect to find more young grouse in field this year. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species.

Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.

Your participation is greatly needed

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of populations grouse and mountain quail populations. To do so we would like the tail and one whole wing off of any grouse or mountain quail you harvest. Look in the 2014/15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for specific instructions for removing wings/tails and sending them in.

The Western Oregon Fee Pheasant Hunts is open through October 31 at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area but is now closed at all other Wildlife Areas. In addition to a current hunting license and appropriate validations, participating hunters will need a fee pheasant tag. Please see page 14 of the 2014-2015 Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Migratory Birds

Waterfowl seasons have begun. Zone 1 duck season opened on October 11. Please remember that there will be a short closure on Oct 27 and 28 in Zone 1. Goose hunting is open for the first period in both the Northwest General Zone and Northwest Permit Zone from October 18 – 26. Hunters are reminded that a NW Goose Permit is required to hunt either of these zones. Please refer to pages 16 – 19 of the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for bag limit, open area, and other restrictions.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves
- Photo by Maxine Wyatt-

Mourning Dove season has been expanded this year and is open from September 1 – October 30 with a bag limit of 15 per day. Hunters may find doves feeding in grain fields around the Willamette Valley. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

Western Oregon General Rifle Deer Season opened Oct. 4. As is typical for early October, the weather has alternated between rainy periods and seasonally warm periods. Hunting conditions will improve as the month progresses and the weather changes to a consistently cool, damp pattern. Private timber company lands can be productive places to hunt if the landowner is allowing hunting access. Deer can be found early in the morning and late in the afternoon feeding along mid-elevation clearcuts or thinned areas that have varied densities of young shrubs and trees, which provide forage and hiding cover. During the day, deer may take to older timber patches or thick stands of young trees.

Hunters are advised that the Cascade Buck area is closed from October 18 through October 24, during the Cascade Bull Elk season. Coast Buck areas will remain open until Nov. 7.

Hunters are reminded that access road closures on Forest Service roads 4610, 4611, 4612, and 4613 due to the 36 Pit Fire outside of Estacada. Oregon 224 is open only on a limited basis between Milepost 31 and 36.

Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Hunters will need to purchase a 2014 hunting license and a 2014 cougar tag to hunt cougars. Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.

Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Fall Bear season is open and hunters looking for the best chance for success will want to become familiar with the wide variety of food sources bears utilize during the fall and move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source. They will be feeding on the abundant berry, apple, pear, and plum crops primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. When out scouting, hunters should be looking for bear sign close to streams, lakes and adjacent to cool north slopes of timber. Please present the unfrozen skull (no hide attached) so that biologists can properly affix a seal. While hunters are NOT required to submit the reproductive track of female bear, the voluntary information is valuable for population modeling.

Field Care of Harvested wildlife

The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass clean by placing it into a cloth game bag. Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.

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 Willamette Zone Viewing

Spring Chinook

Chinook
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Fall is the time to see salmon spawning

Chinook salmon are currently spawning in rivers around the region. Look for these impressive fish in the McKenzie, Sandy, Clackamas, and other streams. Please remember to be respectful of the spawning fish and to observe the salmon quietly without disturbing them.

Elk are in the rut

The elk breeding season or "rut" has begun and should last into the first couple weeks of October. Bulls are bugling now, especially from dusk to dawn and will battle for dominance. The whole process can be quite a sensory experience for the ears and eyes! Take a drive to Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area near Seaside for a great elk viewing opportunity.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area directions

Willamette Valley.

Eugene Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Portions of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area are open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. East and West Coyote Units are closed to all access through Nov. 14 and then open only to waterfowl reservation permit hunters through January 24. Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon Units are open to public use until 2 p.m. each day through Jan. 25. Kirk Park and Fern Ridge Dam Units are open to public use daily.

Observant visitors may catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes. Some of the unusual and special bird species to be on the lookout for include white pelicans, black terns, band-tailed pigeons, yellow-headed blackbirds, osprey and bald eagles. This is a great time of year to look for waterfowl, shore birds, wading birds, songbirds, raptors, reptiles, and amphibians. 

Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Hillsboro area

L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park

Oregon’s newest state park as of 2009,this former logging site is being restored to a more diverse forest setting. More than 17 miles of trails traverse the park, including a 3.5 mile section of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Douglas-fir forest and undergrowth host Rufous Hummingbird, Steller’s Jay, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, and Varied Thrush. Located off US Hwy 26, west of Banks.

Spotted Towhee at EE Wilson

Spotted Towhee at EE Wilson
- Photo by Kathy Munsel -

Monmouth Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Go birdwatching at the EE Wilson Wildlife Area while the waterfowl broods and songbirds are caring for their young. Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Portland area

Henry Hagg Lake

Henry Hagg Lake is a great place to view large numbers of Canada geese during their migration. Large flocks of birds move into the lake just before dark and spend the night. They leave early in the morning.

Species to view at Henry Hagg Lake

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Oaks bottom is a good location to see Great Blue Heron, the official city bird and the star of the show. Oaks Bottom is one of the favorite places of a score of these impressive birds because of its proximity to one of the rookeries on Ross Island.

Information and directions

Sandhill Crane at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Sandhill Crane at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Sandhill cranes just started to arrive for the winter. Fall migration is in full swing for shorebirds. The best viewing areas for shorebirds and cranes are Sturgeon, Crane or Racetrack Lakes. Approximately 500 white pelicans are now using the wildlife area and are primarily being seen on Mud and Sturgeon lakes. Visitors to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area are welcome to pick the berries after obtaining a free permit from the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area office at 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road

Take Hwy. 30 to the Sauvie Island Bridge. After crossing the bridge, stay on NW Sauvie Island Road for about two miles. Stay left at the “Y” intersection. The wildlife area office is on the right about 1/4 mile from the intersection.

A parking permit is required for ODFW Wildlife areas, including Sauvie Island, and can be purchased at ODFW Point of Sale vendors. A daily permit is $7 and an annual permit is $22.

Salem Area

Silver Creek Falls State Park

There are lots of birds to see and hear including American dippers and mountain quail. Listen for owls in the evening.

See the Silver Falls State Park website for directions, maps and a bird list.

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