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Willamette Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

November 18, 2014

 Willamette Zone Fishing

Coho Salmon
Coho Salmon
-Photo by Derek Wiley, ODFW-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Coho fishing is good to excellent in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, where the bag limit has been raised to three fish per day. Fish are also moving into Eagle Creek in strong numbers.
  • 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.
  • Junction City Pond and St. Louis Pond #6 were stocked last week with 90 brood trout each. Timber Linn and Waverly lakes got brood trout this week. Other ponds scheduled to get brood stock this fall include Canby Pond, EE Wilson Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Mt. Hood Pond, Sheridan Pond, Walling Pond and Walter Wirth Lake. Check next week’s Rec Report for updates.
  • Trout fishing rivers and streams in the Willamette Zone closed on Oct. 31.

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.


The Alton Baker Canoe Canal was last stocked for the season in early November. Stocking will resume in early February 2015.

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. The Canal is open to angling all year.

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.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to angling until April 25, 2015.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir has been drawn down for winter flood control. 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.


This fishery is now closed for the year and will re-open on April 25, 2015

Canby Pond
Canby Pond
- Photo by Rick Swart-

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 is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: Coho, summer steelhead

Water levels continued to increase over the past week, further improving fishing prospects throughout the system. Coho and summer steelhead are still 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. Fish are definitely congregated near the mouth of Eagle Creek waiting to move into it with higher flows. 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.


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 in spring, but trout or bass may 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 wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to angling all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,700 fish, including 200 “pounders.” 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.

Only smaller kokanee are left after the larger adults have left to spawn in the creeks, but there are still plenty of trout left. Currently the reservoir is about 100 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 was stocked in late September 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 to angling all year.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,700 rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.


Flows have continued to improve with additional precipitation and fish are now on the move. Angler effort is steady as folks try to reel in salmon before they are too dark to eat. 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.”


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 is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Anglers may continue to enjoy catch-and-release fishing after Oct. 31 below the dam. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.
Faraday Lake

Faraday Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


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 12 feet below full pool at this time, so there are no longer any boat ramps 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 this fall. 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

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. Kokanee fishing is done for the year, but bass and trout are still available. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level has dropped below the toe slope of Thistle Creek boat ramp. Storage season begins Dec. 1 after which the water levels will begin to rise. At the moment there are no boat ramps available.

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 stocked in mid-October 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 is closed to all fishing and will re-open April 25, 2015.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It was stocked last week for the first time this fall with 90 extra-large brood trout as well as 80 summer steelhead released from Leaburg hatchery that are no longer needed for brood and are now considered trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.


Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing and will re-open April 25, 2015.

Vehicular and pedestrian access across Leaburg Dam is currently restricted weekdays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Check EWEB’s website for updates.

McKenzie River
McKenzie River
-ODFW Photo-

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is open to fishing through the end of the year. 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.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.


The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Stocked Oct. 17 with 1,800 rainbow trout. This is a 5-acre pond on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31.


No more stocking is planned at North Fork this year, although this is a large waterbody and 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).


Quartzville Creek
Quartzville Creek
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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.


This fishery is now closed and will re-open on April 25, 2015.


Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is currently open to catch-and-release angling only while using flies or lures.


Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is currently open to catch-and-release angling only while using flies or lures.

 SANDY RIVER: coho, summer steelhead

Coho are on the move and should be distributed throughout the system in the wake of steady rains that have significantly raised flows. The overall catch reports for the Sandy have been very good, with the usual spots showing plenty of effort. Corkies, red and yellow yarn, and spinners seem to be the offerings of choice.

Improved flows will open up new opportunities to both bank and drift anglers. The Oxbow to Dabney drift remains a good bet by drift boat. If you’re bank fishing, try Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, and the confluence of the Sandy and Cedar Creek below the Sandy hatchery. Be very cautious if you decide to ford the river – PFDs, good footware, and walking sticks are always a good idea, especially during periods of higher flows we can expect over the next several months.

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.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle). Counts at Willamette Falls as of Nov. 13 show around 22,900 summer steelhead had entered the upper basin. Of those, around 4,234 made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through Nov. 8. The coho salmon run is slowing down, but there are still some fresh, bright fish newly arrived in the basin, and anglers are permitted to catch up to 3 coho per day. 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. Trout fishing is closed until May 23, 2015.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 3,660 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.

North Santiam
North Santiam
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-


This section of the river is closed to trout fishing until April 25, 2015. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam are at 3,430 cfs as of Nov 17. Summer steelhead can be found primarily in the upper river. 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. There are still quite a few summer steelhead in the upper reaches. Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.


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.


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


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.


The river is now closed to trout fishing for the year.

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

Stocked this week with 90 brood trout weighing 10+ pounds apiece. The fish were released in Pond #6. 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. Hikers are encouraged to follow the road from the gate to the main parking lot to avoid areas that may be inundated with water following cross-country paths. 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.

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 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. Flies and lures only may be used.

Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


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 Oct. 29 with 400 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. It will be stocked again this week with another 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 will be stocked again this week with 1,300 legal and 100 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. It was stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout averaging 10-inches in mid-October. It was stocked again last week with 500 legal size and 25 larger size rainbow trout.

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

Coho season continues on the Willamette and these fish 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 days have begun to decline a bit but the overall numbers are still very good. Total adult coho passage through Nov. 2 stands at 17,731. Steelhead crossings are all but done for the season, with a total of 22,941 crossings as of Nov. 2.

Back to the top

  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, COAST ELK (2nd season Nov. 22 – 28), see regs), late archery DEER, GROUSE, QUAIL, WATERFOWL (see regs), and TURKEY

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

See ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions (click Landowner/Corporate Closure Chart for private land closures)


See ODFW’s calendar for upcoming Learn to Hunt events.

Jennifer Osgood

Jennifer Osgood with her 1st buck.
– Photo by Jennifer Osgoodr–

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.


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. Deer hunters are reporting good numbers of Mountain quail scattered through brushy clearcuts in the coast range. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. While the use of dogs will improve your chances of locating and quickly recovering birds, hunters without dogs can easily get into the action with a little extra hiking. 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 success has slowed as rainy and stormy weather conditions persist. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches and riparian areas during morning and evening times. Blue grouse will begin to move towards higher elevation timber stands to winter so hunters shouldn’t overlook those habitats. 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

Duck Hunting
Toby the yellow lab shows off his work
-Photo by Troy Rodakowski-

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.

Migratory Birds

Waterfowl seasons have begun. Zone 1 duck season opened on October 11. Goose hunting will reopen for the second period in both the Northwest General Zone and Northwest Permit Zone from November 15 – January 10. 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. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

Coast Elk second season is open Nov. 22 - 28. Please remember the bag limit is spike only in the Wilson, Trask, and Siuslaw units. Refer to the current Big Game Regulations for details. Elk tend to feed during the night so hunters will want to target open grassy areas at dawn and dusk. During the day hunters will have the best success targeting bedding areas such as timber stands adjacent to clear cuts or open areas.

Late season Archery Deer is open Nov 22 – Dec 14 in the McKenzie, Santiam, Willamette, Alsea, Siuslaw, Stott Mtn, and the northern portion of the Indigo unit. Refer to the current Big Game Regulations for details and bag limits. Black-tailed deer are still rutting. Although some does have been bred, hunters can expect to find bucks with does or looking for does. Bucks looking for does often travel ridges or well used trails and can be active all day long. Hunters may have success rattling and grunting at this time.

Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Biologists are checking in a few cougars harvested by hunters participating in other big game seasons. Hunters that specifically target cougar are still waiting for snow which will help them locate cougar and improve their chance for success. Until the snows arrive, hunters can use predator calls that mimic an animal in distress to draw cougar into the open. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. 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 but success is starting to wane. Many of the berry food sources are gone for the season. Bears are looking for those last few meals before winter arrives so hunters need to locate food sources, such as nuts, apples and pears that remain. Abandoned orchards or old homesteads can be productive this time of year. Bears will be feeding primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. 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.
Isabella's Turkey

Turkey Hunting
- Photo by ODFW-

Fall turkey hunting prospects in the NWWD will be similar to last year. Turkeys are primarily found on private lands in Yamhill County and are not readily available to the public. Hunters with access to private lands should have moderate to high success rates.

In the southern Willamette district, hunting success is dependent on access to private lands with turkeys and early scouting. Turkeys are most often found on private lands in the foothills along the west side of these units. It is uncommon to find turkeys in the Douglas fir forests at higher elevations. Hunting can be very good in the McKenzie and southern portions of the Santiam Units for hunters that have done their homework and obtained access to private lands. Turkey are not abundant in the northern portions (north of Silverton) of the Santiam Unit and hunters will have difficulty finding the few scattered flocks.

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

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.

Barrow's Goldeneye
Barrow's Goldeneye
- Photo by Greg Gillson-


Foster Dam and Reservoir

Viewing sites are at the boat ramps, roadsides and a county park. A flock of Barrow’s Goldeneye regularly winters just below Foster Dam,sometimes with Common Goldeneye. Deep water above the dam drawsmigrant Common Loon and Horned, Eared, Western, Clark’s and (rarely) Red-necked Grebes in migration, along with Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Common Merganser, and other diving ducks. Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and migrant terns may drop in as rarities. US Hwy 20 at the E end of Sweet Home, take 60th Ave/Foster Dam Rd N to North River Dr.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Visit the Wildlife Area after 5 p.m. in October for the best wildlife viewing. Hunting in October ends at 5 p.m. so viewers have the area to themselves. Look and listen for songbirds and game birds—quail, doves and pheasants. There should be deer to see at dusk and last week viewers enjoyed watching a river otter.

Waterfowl and shorebirds are scarce but as soon as the wet weather comes, their numbers will start to build.

From Albany, take Highway 20 toward Corvallis and after 5 miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go 3 miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed 2 miles to the wildlife area.

Fern Ridge Reservoir

Most of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. The East and West Coyote Units are now closed to access and will be open only to reservation permit holders beginning Nov. 15. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon Units are open daily but closed to all access after 2 p.m.

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. 

There is an elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit just south of Royal Avenue that is open year-round. A second viewing platform is located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.

Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Cackling geese

Cackling geese forage on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area’s Eastside unit.
- Photo by Rick Swart-

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside units and Westside, Oak Island and North are now closed and will remain so through April 30. The trail to Warrior Rock Lighthouse will remain open for hiking and Rentenaar Road, Eastside Viewing Platform and Coon Point will remain open for viewing. All areas require a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Parking Permit.

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 them and the thousands of birds that stay to spend the winter on the wildlife area. An abundance of ducks and geese can be seen from many points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, 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 them. An abundance of ducks and geese can be seen from many points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel.

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 vendors, at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours or online. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

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