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

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

January 17, 2017

 Willamette Zone Fishing

Steelhead
Steelhead
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers should expect high and turbid waters for the week, and possibly into the coming weekend as rivers fill with snowmelt and rain. When the rivers do begin to clear, warm, and drop would be an ideal time to get back out in pursuit of winter steelhead as the fish get moving once again.
  • The last group of rainbow trout brood trout were released the first week of January at the following locations and amounts: Timber Linn Lake (50), Junction City Pond (50), Walter Wirth Lake (50), and Henry Hagg Lake (93). These fish have been averaging 8 pounds apiece. Remember, the bag limit on trout over 20 inches in length is one a day.
  • Henry Hagg Lake was stocked in late November with 8,000 hatchery trout and 80 extra-large hatchery brood trout. It was stocked this week with 93 rainbow trout brooders.
  • It’s time to target winter steelhead in the lower Clackamas, Sandy, Eagle Creek, and Santiam.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is good on the lower Willamette and Multnomah Channel.
  • REMINDER: The use of two rods is not currently authorized in rivers and streams, but is restricted to standing water bodies like lakes, ponds and reservoirs.

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.

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.

High Lakes stocking

ODFW takes very small fish to Oregon’s high lakes by helicopter, mule and river boats. Take a look at where these fish were released in the past and where you might even encounter some of them on your next backpacking trek. It typically takes only a year after stocking for fish to reach catchable size.

Check out our interactive 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 our Google-based stocking map. Click on the fish icons to bring up all the pertinent information about the state’s trout fishing locations.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The canoe 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 two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year. Stocking is scheduled to resume in early February, although a few holdover fish from December stockings may still be available.

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

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

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

Stocked every spring with rainbow trout. 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.

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

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

Stocked in December with 50 rainbow trout brood fish, ranging from 5-15 pounds. This is in addition to 60 brooders and several hundred 13-inchers released in late November. Try fishing from the docks or along the bank near the boat ramp. From October to April private boats are also allowed if under 14 ft. with motors of less than 3.0 horsepower.

This 64-acre lake is located in Blue Lake Regional Park three miles west of Troutdale. Amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Metro. The cost to enter is $5/car and there is ample parking once inside the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. until legal sunset. For further information call 503-661-6087.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day. Stocking into the river above the reservoir will resume in April. Anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations. Stocking will resume in March.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This river flows through mostly U.S. Forest Service land into Detroit Lake and is open year-round (however salmon fishing is prohibited). During the summer it is stocked fairly regularly with hatchery trout. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

The effort and catch were both a bit slow last week, largely due to the major snow storm that hit the area last Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately this week the forecast is for heavy rains and high freezing levels, resulting in flood warnings throughout the area as all of the snow still on the ground begins to melt and fill up the rivers and streams. Anglers should expect high and turbid waters for the week, and possibly into the coming weekend. When the river does begin to clear, warm, and drop would be an ideal time to get back out on the Clackamas River in pursuit in winters as the fish get moving once again. Numbers of winter fish weren’t exceptional prior to the snow but anglers had reported landing fish between Feldheimer’s above Barton and Cross Park in Gladstone.

During the early portion of the winter steelhead run, fish tend to stay low in the system, downstream of Barton. At this time water tends to be higher and more turbid. Under these conditions, try using bait such as salmon eggs and sand/coon shrimp or hardware with attractive blades (spoons/spinners) as the angler will need something to attract fish. As the water drops and clears, try switching to smaller gear such as jigs and beads/single eggs drifted under a bobber.

Be willing to move around on your day of fishing as staying in one spot may lead you to miss fish all together. Barton Park provides access to substantial bank fishing throughout winter. There is also access to the river upstream of Barton Park from Eaden Road.

Boat anglers also should concentrate on the lower river from Barton to Carver and Carver to Clackamette as large groups of fish are known to hold in deeper pools. As winter progresses through February begin to move upstream to the Feldheimer to Barton and Barton to Carver section. March is typically the best month for fishing in the upper section of the lower river from McIver Park to Feldheimer.

Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on private property. If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps.

USGS hydrological data for Jan. 16 shows river flows down at 1,440 cfs mark, with a gauge reading of 11.59 feet and the water temperature holding at a very chilly 33°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park. Expect a big jump in all of these numbers by mid-week.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. Stocking will resume in April. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Wes Niestrath-

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily.

COTTAGE GROVE POND (ROW RIVER NATURE PARK POND): trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. The pond received a special stocking of 60 brood trout and additional 13-inchers for free fishing days on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities. A fishing dock is available on-site.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. The reservoir was last stocked in mid-October. Stocking will resume in March. Warmwater fish are also available. Only Lakeside boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Reservoir elevation is about 120 feet below conservation pool. Currently all boat ramps are out of the water. Water levels are being kept low all month to provide for flood storage starting in February when the reservoir will begin to fill back up. Stocking will resume in the spring but there are plenty of holdover trout near drop-offs and other structure.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Stocking will resume in February. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Stocking will resume in March. Only Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

The low elevation snowfall has allowed the creek to hold up in pretty decent fishing shape, and despite the snow and frigid cold there continued to be a number of anglers out over the weekend looking for winter steelhead. There’s no report on catch but given the increased angler effort there must be a few fish around. The heavy rainfall and snow runoff predicted for this week will surely leave the creek unfishable for a few days but it should be short-lived. Anglers who know the creek well will tell you it’s usually the first local stream to drop and clear so get on Eagle Creek once the water begins to get back in shape as steelhead will be on the move once again..

Keep in mind that 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.”

EE WILSON POND: warmwater species, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. Species that may be caught at the pond now are bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Trout stocking will continue later this winter. Be aware that there also is hunting on the wildlife area. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked almost weekly from spring through September.

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. An ADA-accessible fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

FALL CREEK: trout

Open all year for trout. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24-inches. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river. Stocking above the reservoir will resume in April.

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

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was stocked in the spring and won’t be stocked again this year. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked in September with rainbow trout and recycled summer steelhead. Faraday is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only bank fishing.

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. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. 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. Reservoir levels are low in order to provide winter storage and all boat ramps are out of the water.

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. Reservoir levels are dropping in order to provide winter storage. At the moment only the boat ramp at Sunnyside Park is available to launch boats.

Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed; no limit on size or number. A final stocking of 5,000 hatchery trout was released the last week of September.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Fishing in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. Hatchery trout are stocked during the spring as well.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Gold Lake is a 100-acre lake located north of the Willamette Pass summit off Hwy. 58 approximately 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. The lake closed to angling Nov. 1 and will re-open to anglers May 22.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good option for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Reservoir water levels have dropped very low and will stay low through January. Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available for boaters, but this can change quickly as water levels fluctuate.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

This is a stocked two-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. This site is ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARTMAN POND: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge, with easy access for non-boating anglers just off Interstate 84. It was stocked with legal- and trophy-sized trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-

HENRY HAGG LAKE: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, native cutthroat trout

Stocked this week with 93 rainbow trout hatchery brood fish weighing an average of 8 pounds apiece. The lake was also stocked in November with 8,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

Hagg Lake, located near Forest Grove, is one of Oregon’s premier warmwater fishing locations, with populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also supports a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery trout.

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, 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

This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. Hills Creek Reservoir is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year. Fingerlings are in addition to spring and fall catchable trout releases. Catchable trout will next be released in late February.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing. Only Packard boat launch is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

HILLS CREEK and Hills Creek Tributaries

The stream is open to fishing all year and anglers may keep up to two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Hills Creek is not stocked with hatchery fish.

HORSESHOE LAKE: trout

This is a 14-acre lake located in the Olallie Lake Basin on the Mt. Hood National Forest. There are a few campsites available at Horseshoe Lake Campground.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of Dec. 19 with 350 rainbow trout “pounders.” The pond also had two brood stock releases, in late November and early December.

This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, this venue has "kid-friendly" edges, is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about two miles south of Junction City on Hwy. 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 5-acre pond. It was stocked last week with 2,250 legal size hatchery rainbow trout, 150 larger, and about 350 “pounders”. A few of the very large brood trout may also still be available.

As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Five fish per day, but only one fish over 20 inches may be kept.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Hatchery releases will resume in April.

Leaburg Dam closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with trout from Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. The lower McKenzie River is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Leaburg Dam closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

McKenzie River
McKenzie River
-ODFW Photo-

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases beginning at Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

Flows are fairly low and temperatures are holding on the cold side, both things that will change as the weather moderates in the coming days. Extensive snowmelt and runoff means that flows will be very high for most of the week but should settle down some by the coming weekend. Winter steelhead counts at Willamette Falls have just gotten underway, while the coho season has wrapped up for 2016. USGS hydrological data for Jan. 16 shows river flows at 860 cfs and a gauge reading of 11.77 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked Dec. 12 with 25 extra-large rainbow trout brooders. The pond was also stocked in October with legal-sized trout. Please remember the bag limit on trout over 20-inches is one per day. Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

Fishing is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Angler permits from April 1 - Aug. 31. It is currently open to anglers of all ages.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

The Promontory Marina boat ramp and lower boat ramp are now closed for the season.

This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This river is open all year for trout and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins. Flood levels are expected this week from heavy rains and melting snow.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish Pond was stocked with trout in November. Parking is available at the school after 5 p.m. weekdays and all weekend. Parking is no longer available adjacent to the pond along Glisan St. Informational signs regarding use of the area have been posted by the City of Fairview around the pond’s shoreline.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Hatchery releases will resume in April. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout fishing
-Photo by Dervin James-

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is an unstocked tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

Sandy River fishing conditions managed to hold steady with low snow levels helping to keep the river in decent fishing shape, although the water is a bit too cold. Frigid east winds, snow, and ice kept most anglers off the river, however a few hardy souls have been out trying for early winter steelhead. Observed effort at the hatchery was also down due to the extreme cold and wind, although the word is that a few fish have been landed. The rising snow levels and heavy rainfall this week will surely leave the Sandy unfishable for several days, although there could be signs of improvement by the weekend.

The Sandy River winter steelhead are a later returning stock so it will be later into January before we see good numbers of winter fish in the river. The hatchery has its trap open and several winters have come in so far, both hatchery and wild.

USGS hydrological data for Jan. 16 shows the Sandy flows at 1,140 cfs, with a gauge reading of 8.84 feet and the water temperature down near 35° F. The wet weather this week will definitely bring an increase in flows, turbidity, and water temperature.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Lots of rain is expected this week and flows should be very high making fishing difficult. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge.

A few late remaining summer steelhead are still around and the winter steelhead run is just getting started. The most recent counts at Bennett dam fish ladders indicate that more than 5,400 hatchery steelhead have passed into the upper river above Stayton so far. A few winter steelhead have entered the Willamette, but decent numbers will probably not be in the Santiam River until later this month. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred fishing 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 hatchery steelhead.

The river is now closed to trout harvest and any trout caught must be released. Trout harvest will re-open in May.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is open year-round for trout. It is stocked regularly in the summer and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

High water is expected this week due to forecasted heavy rains. Few late summer steelhead are still in the river and winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by late January. Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of Dec. 12 with rainbow trout brood fish averaging 10 pounds apiece. Please remember the bag limit on trout over 20-inches is one per day.

To get to Sheridan Pond, 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

Stocked in June with 2,600 legals and 200 “pounders.” This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy. 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following USFS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around bait fishing.

Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir are open to fishing all year. Two wild fish (8-inch minimum length) may be harvested per day. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies in Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir.

St. Louis Pond
St. Louis Pond
- Photo by Rick Swart-

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

Stocked twice in October with rainbow trout.

St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout and has many other species of warmwater fish.

A gate providing access to the last mile of dirt road to the complex is closed Oct. 1 - March 1, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish.

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, about a mile to the main parking lot.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. The stocking season at Sunnyside Pond has ended for the remainder of the year but there may still be a few trout left. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir.

To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked in late December with about 45 large hatchery brood trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day.

Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

 TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. 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. Only flies and lures may be used.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

The pond was stocked last week with 400 legal and 50 larger rainbow trout. About 30 or so excess hatchery steelhead were also put into the pond recently. As a reminder, the daily bag limit for trout is five fish per day, but only one trout may be over 20 inches. This is an eight-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

The lake was stocked last week with about 1,700 legal size and 150 larger hatchery rainbow trout. It was also stocked in early January with another batch of about 50 large hatchery brood trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout per day, but only one over 20 inches. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park. Good fishing opportunities remain for warm water species and that occasional larger hold-over trout.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was stocked right before the holidays with about 45 hatchery brood trout averaging 10 pounds apiece. It was also stocked mid-November with 500 legal and about 25 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. 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.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: winter steelhead, sturgeon

This time in January we would normally see a gradual improvement for the winter steelhead fishery in the lower Willamette, however the bitter cold and snow has left the river with water tempertures in the mid-30s, hardly ideal for producing a good bite. Now this week anglers will be facing extremely high flows, along with very turbid water and plenty of debris flowing downstream.

If the river forecasts are accurate we can expect places like Meldrum Bar and Clackamette Park to be partially or completely underwater, resulting in closures. Since the Willamette River is always very slow to drop and clear, these conditions could carry through the coming weekend. The first place to try when the rivers do begin to settle would be the “seam” where the cleaner water from the Clackamas River meets the dirtier Willamette water.

The summer steelhead counts came to a close on Oct. 31 at Willamette Falls with the cumulative passage for the season showing 21,732 while adult coho passage counts ended on Dec. 31 with a final number sitting at 2,559 adults passing for 2016. Early winter steelhead passage stands at 154 fish through Jan. 12, a fairly low number greatly affected by the very cold water conditions. The extremely high and turbid water coming this week will also have considerable impact on fish passage as the steelhead hunker down awaiting improved opportunity to move upstream.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Jan. 17 has flows at 33,300 cfs, the water temperature up a bit near 37°F, and visibility holding at around 3.5 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2017 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing shifts to catch-and-release for trout from Nov. 1 to May 21. Fishing and harvest of warmwater fish is also allowed during this period.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, FOREST GROUSE, QUAIL, CROW, SNIPE, DUCK

UPCOMING: Reporting deadlines

Don’t forget to report your hunt results. Anyone who purchases a big game or turkey tag must report hunt results online or by phone. Reporting is required even if you did not fill your tag or go hunting. More information

Deadline is Jan. 31: For all turkey and big game hunts with seasons ending between April 1 and Dec. 31 of previous year.

Deadline is April 15: For all hunts ending between Jan. 1 and March 31 of that year.
Report at www.reportmyhunt.com

Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy. Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

In addition, 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.

BIG GAME

PLEASE REPORT OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITH HOOF DISEASE

Roosevelt Elk
Roosevelt Elk
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Please report observations of live elk, hunter-harvested or dead elk showing signs of elk hoof disease that may include lame or limping elk or elk with damaged, injured, missing or deformed hooves. The best information can be provided if you take the following steps:

  • Collect GPS locations
  • Take digital photos of affected hooves
  • Contact ODFW at the toll-free wildlife health lab at 866-968-2600 or email Veterinarians at Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.
  • Report your observation by filling out online form

If you harvest an elk with suspected hoof disease, please take the following additional step:

  • Remove and save all four hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area (i.e. Cooler with ice) for further evaluation by ODFW

The 615 Willamette Unit CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS DEER hunt is open through February 28, 2017 for those hunters that drew a tag. All other deer hunts are now closed in this zone. Hunters that did not purchase their tag before the hunt began can still purchase a tag from some ODFW offices provided they sign an affidavit and pay the after-the-deadline fee. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure the dates of the hunt you drew and to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

RETURN BLACK-TAILED DEER TEETH!

Successful black-tailed deer hunters are asked to return a tooth from their deer. See how to properly remove black-tailed deer teeth. Postage-paid envelopes are available at license sales agents or ODFW offices. If you can’t pick up an envelope, send the tooth to ODFW, Wildlife Population Laboratory, 7118 NE Vandenberg Ave, Adair Village, OR 97330. Include the following information with the tooth: Your name and address, sex and species of animal (e.g. buck deer), antler points, hunter ID#, date harvested, Wildlife Management Unit or Hunt where harvested, drainage or landmark. ODFW staff use the teeth to determine the age of the animals, which is needed for population modeling and management efforts. Hunters will receive an age card in the mail telling them how old the harvested animal was. Age cards may take up to 12 months to receive.

Voluntary Hunter CWD Samples Wanted!

Hunters are encouraged to voluntarily bring the heads from any harvested deer or elk into the ODFW offices in Clackamas or Sauvie Island so that samples can be taken for ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) monitoring. Call ahead to ensure someone will be around to collect the sample or to make an appointment for another day.

The 2017 COUGAR season is now open until Dec. 31 or the zone quota is met. Remember to purchase a 2017 Hunting License and 2017 Cougar Tag if you are planning to hunt for cougar in the new year. A productive hunting technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed prey species. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Most deer and elk have moved out of their wintering areas and cougars will spend more time moving around their territories looking for prey so hunters need to be mobile.

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. Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

See 2016 Cougar Regulations for details

COYOTES 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. Use predator calls to lure coyotes in close can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cool. Hunters need a valid hunting license to hunt coyotes on public property.

GAME BIRD

Canada Geese

Canada Geese
- Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

GOOSE season is now closed but will reopen Feb. 4-March 10 in the Northwest Permit Zone. Goose numbers continue to increase and hunters should find good hunting opportunities in the northwestern portion of the state. Hunters who have scouted out fields with actively feeding geese will experience the best success. Goose hunters are still required to pass the Northwest Oregon Goose Identification Test to hunt. Please review the information provided in the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details on the major changes to goose hunting regulations in Northwest Oregon.

  • The season for Dusky Canada geese has been closed. It is a wildlife violation to shoot a Dusky Canada goose.
  • There is no quota for Dusky Canada geese, since no harvest is allowed.
  • There are no longer goose check stations.
  • Northwest Oregon Goose Permits are still required but harvest cards are not required.
  • The former Northwest General Goose Zone has been combined with the Northwest Permit Zone.
  • Legal shooting hours for geese in the Northwest Permit Zone is listed on page 23 of the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
  • All days of the week (during the open NW Permit season) are open to goose hunting.
  • Geese must be intact and fully feathered in the field and while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

DUCK season in Zone 1 is open Nov. 2 – Jan. 29, 2017. Please review the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information including legal shooting hours. See there are good numbers of ducks in the Willamette Valley but there is also a lot of sheet water available to draw ducks away from previous feeding locations. Rainy and windy weather is the best time to be in the field so hunters will want to pay close attention to upcoming weather forecasts to find the best dates for hunting. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

FOREST GROUSE and QUAIL seasons continue through Jan. 31 in Western Oregon. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. Hunters will want to target hardwood riparian areas for ruffed grouse and mature timber areas or ridge tops for blue grouse. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Review the information provided in the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details.

YOUR PARTICIPATION IS GREATLY NEEDED!

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of grouse and mountain quail populations. Hunters can help by donating a wing and tail from harvested grouse and mountain quail. Grouse and mountain quail wings and tails provide ODFW biologist important information about the health of populations. What to do; remove one entire wing and whole tail including small feathers, place in paper collecting bag provided at ODFW officers or use your own (1 bird per bag), mark the bag with species, date harvested, county of harvest and general location, and drop it off at local ODFW offices. If there is a delay in dropping off your specimen, please freeze it.

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 sanitary by placing it into a clean dry cloth game bag. Never place the carcass in plastic bags.

BE PREPARED

Hunters who drew a controlled tag in the controlled draw applications are reminded to purchase it no later than the day before the hunt begins.

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.

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

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 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

Valleywide

Cackling Geese
Cackling Geese
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

It’s now winter sanctuary season on in the Willamette Valley when geese and other waterfowl rest to replenish the energy they need for nesting and migration. There are a number of wildlife areas that provide sanctuary for overwintering birds and viewing areas and platforms from which to observe the birds without disturbing them.

Where there are waterfowl, raptors are sure to follow. Now is a good time to see bald eagles, hawks, and peregrine falcons on the hunt.

Blinds are available for photographers by reservation at several wildlife areas, including Ankeny National Wildlife Area, EE Wilson Wildlife Area, and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Corvallis area

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge – The 5,325 acres of William L. Finley NWR protect fine examples of many of the Willamette Valley’s historic habitats. Fields of wildlife food crops are interspersed with Oregon white oak savanna, meandering creeks with bottomland Oregon ash forest, mature big-leaf maple in mixed coniferous forest and native prairie.

With the depleting number of wetland habitats elsewhere in the Willamette Valley, William L. Finley NWR is a great way to see what the valley once looked like. The wetlands on the refuge provide a sanctuary for wintering waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds. Bird species present this time of year include Canada geese, mallard, Northern pintail, great herons, and bald eagles. Wildlife species include red-legged frogs, Pacific tree frogs, beaver and Roosevelt elk. Trails, observation blinds and kiosks on the refuge allow excellent vantage points to see and photograph these wildlife.

The Finley National Wildlife Refuge is located 16 miles south of Corvallis, Ore., via Hwy. 99W, at 26208 Finley Refuge Rd., Corvallis, OR 97333.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area, 29555 Camp Adair Rd., Monmouth, OR 97361 – Now that the leaves have fallen, look for perching birds such as raptors, and hawks that are easier to see when the trees are bare. Waterfowl and shorebirds are moving in and their numbers will continue to build with the wetter weather.

Once the site of the U.S. Army's Camp Adair during World War II, the wildlife area offers many miles of abandoned roads which provide a unique opportunity for access, including easy access for persons with disabilities. Biking and horseback riding on area roads are also permitted.

Two photography blinds are available; one overlooking a wetland and the other offering photo opportunities for songbirds. Arrangements for use of the blinds can be made at the wildlife area headquarters. Ph. (541) 745-5334.

Directions: From Albany, take Hwy. 20 toward Corvallis and after five miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go three miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed two miles to the wildlife area. For detailed information, including maps, photos, and additional recreational opportunities, visit EE Wilson Wildlife Area on-line.

An ODFW wildlife area parking permit is required for vehicles on this property. Parking permits can be purchased from any ODFW office or license agent.

Eugene area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area has extensive wildlife habitat that can be accessed from many access points including Royal Avenue which extends from west Eugene to the reservoir and ends at a gated access point. This is an excellent place to observe wildlife. Berms were built in this area during 2000 and 2001 to retain water along the edge of the reservoir during the winter months when the reservoir is drawn down for flood control. These ponded areas are very attractive to wildlife at this time of year. Also accessible from this access point are natural prairie habitats (to the north and south) that are very rare in the Willamette Valley. Where there are waterfowl, raptors are sure to follow, and these can be seen in this area as well. Look for short-eared owls and peregrine falcons. Also visible from this area are wading birds, such as egrets and herons and various shorebirds.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is located five miles west of Eugene on either side of Hwy. 126. The address is 26969 Cantrell Rd., Eugene, OR 97402. A parking permit is required for the wildlife area and can be purchased at ODFW license vendors or any ODFW field office.

Additional Eugene area wildlife viewing locationsAlton Baker Park, Delta Ponds, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Spencer Butte, and Skinner’s Butte.

Snow Geese at Sauvie Island

Snow Geese at Sauvie Island WA
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

Portland area

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area has excellent waterfowl viewing this time of year. More than 100,000 waterfowl are wintering on the island, and huge flocks can be seen on Sturgeon Lake from ODFW’s Coon Point viewing station. The recent cold weather and shortage of rain has reduced the open water and wetlands available to birds. As a result, huge flocks are finding refuge on the 3,000 acres of water available to them at Sturgeon Lake.

Access to the lake itself is closed this time of year in an effort in an effort to minimize any human impacts on the birds. However, they are still quite visible from the viewing station, which is located next to Reeder Road across from Sauvie Island Kennels. Huge flocks of ducks and geese can likewise be seen from many other points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel.

Sauvie Island is a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway, and ODFW actively manages the Wildlife Area to provide food and cover for these creatures.

In addition to Coon Point, the best viewing opportunities can be found at the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island Parking Permit.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License agents or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Additional Portland area wildlife viewing locationsSmith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area in north Portland for waterfowl, herons, raptors and amphibians; Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in SE Portland for great blue heron, hawks, and quail; Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro, Ore., for deer, coyote, beaver, raccoon, and more than 130 species of birds; Oxbow Regional Park near Sandy, Ore., along the banks of the Sandy River and its salmon and steelhead runs.

Salem area

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
-Photo by Chuck Gardner-

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, located at the confluence of the Santiam and Willamette rivers about 12 miles southeast of Salem. This refuge provides winter habitat for the dusky Canada goose and many other species of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, passerines and raptors. Extensive croplands are managed to provide winter forage for the geese to reduce depredation of private fields. Wetlands and riparian woodland provide sanctuary for migratory and resident wildlife.

Located just off of Interstate 5, the refuge offers convenient access to miles of boardwalk and dirt trails as well as handicap and stroller accessible viewing platforms. Refuge kiosks and trails provide an interpretive and informative experience for visitors along the way to learn more about the refuge habitats and how they are maintained for wildlife. 

Nature photographers are welcome to use of these observation blinds and trails, and the refuge offers photographers access to a refuge photography blind that overlooks Frog Pond. The photography blind is available for reservation during the winter sanctuary season. Refuge boardwalks and kiosks are open year-round, but all other trails are closed Oct. 1-March 31 to provide sanctuary for wintering dusky Canada geese and other waterfowl.

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge near Dallas, Ore., provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Populations of several endangered and threatened animal and plant species can be found on the refuge, and wildlife/wildlands observation, photography, hiking, and environmental education and interpretation are some of the visitor activities allowed on the refuge.

It’s now Winter Sanctuary Season on the refuge, and many areas are closed to allow wintering geese time alone to replenish the energy required for nesting and migration. A wildlife viewing kiosk is located adjacent to state Hwy. 22, which offers visitors excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and is complete with interpretive panels, a viewing scope, benches, and picnic tables. The kiosk is fully accessible and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Baskett Slough NWR is located 14 miles west of Salem via Hwy. 22.

Additional Salem area wildlife viewing locations – the undeveloped areas around the airport, Cascade Gateway Park and Minto-Brown Island Park for waterfowl, raptors and wintering songbirds

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Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at: odfw.info@state.or.us
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   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 01/18/2017 8:49 AM