Rifle deer season opens this Saturday
Saturday marks the start of buck deer rifle season. See the zone reports or the hunting forecast to find out what to expect. Remember the general tag sale deadline is Oct. 2 and buy your tag online now.
The highway in the sky
Oregon lies directly under the Pacific Flyway, one of the major bird migration routes in the Americas. Visit regional Recreation Report zones to find good areas to see migrating birds.
ODF and Keep Oregon Green asks hunters to follow fire safety restrictions
See their news release. Check fire restrictions before you head out; there are current closures in Umpqua, Willamette, Wallowa-Whitman national forests and elsewhere. Visit the InciWeb site for a list of Oregon fires and visit the appropriate U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Dept. of Forestry or other land manager’s site for closures and restriction information.
Send ODFW your hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing photos
Check fire restrictions
Expect increased fire safety restrictions and possible fire-related closures. Check with the land manager where you are going before you head out. The InciWeb site lists Oregon fires and land manager sites (below) may list closures and restrictions.
Oregon National Forests
Oregon Department of Forestry
Weekend fishing opportunities:
- ODFW has temporarily lifted all daily catch limits, possession limits and minimum length requirements for Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake from Sept. 1 to Oct. 18. Both lakes will close Oct. 18 for chemical treatment to remove illegally introduced bullhead catfish.
- Trout fishing remains steady on the Crooked River. Although the water is typically turbid, don’t let this keep you from trying a few dry flies.
- With the arrival of cooler fall temperatures, fishing has picked up at several of the high Cascade lakes.
ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bullhead catfish
There are no daily catch limits, possession limits, or minimum length requirements for rainbow trout and bullhead catfish on Antelope Flat Reservoir from Sept. 1 through Oct. 18, 2009. Harvest is allowed by hand, dip net, or angling. The reservoir will close after Oct. 18, 2009 when it is scheduled for chemical treatment to remove illegally introduced bullhead catfish. Bullhead catfish populations have stunted, degraded water quality, and reduced success for trout anglers.
BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout
Fishing has picked up with the advent of cooler temperatures. Big Lava is a great place to catch nice rainbow trout ranging from 12 to 20 inches in length.
CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, largemouth bass
With the advent of cooler water temperatures fishing for both redband and brook trout should be improving.
Please note new angling regulation specifying the daily trout bag may only include one non-fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Crane is a great place to catch larger rainbow trout, though the novice angler will require patience.
CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout
Clear Lake has been stocked with lots of fish and should be a great opportunity to catch a limit.
CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee
With cooler temperatures there should be good opportunities for some kokanee and brown trout.
CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish
Fishing continues to be steady on the Crooked River. Although flows in the Crooked are typically turbid, anglers should not be afraid to try dry fly imitations. The Crooked River has been flowing consistently around 220 cfs and redband populations appear to be healthier than in previous years.
All anglers should visit informational kiosks located in the BLM campgrounds in the Wild and Scenic portion of the river where a flier has been posted to assist anglers in collecting valuable information. ODFW and OSU initiated a radio telemetry study on redband trout and whitefish in the fall of 2007. ODFW and OSU deployed new radio-tags in early October in fish caught by dedicated volunteer anglers from the Central Oregon Fly Fishers, Sunriver Anglers, ODFW, and OSU. Anglers are reminded that radio-tagged fish cannot be legally harvested. To determine if a fish is radio-tagged, anglers should check for an eight-inch wire antenna protruding from the rear of both redband and mountain whitefish. A sample of redband trout and mountain whitefish are also tagged with a numbered floy tag protruding from the back. Anglers who later catch a trout or whitefish with a floy tag are encouraged to release the fish after recording the tag number, fish length and location caught. Anglers can send the information to ODFW at (541) 447-5111 ext. 24 or email@example.com.
CULTUS LAKE: lake trout, rainbow trout
Pressure has been light: no angler reports.
DAVIS LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass
Cooler temperatures should improve trout fishing, and there’s still good opportunity for largemouth bass. Remember Davis is a fly angling lake only.
DESCHUTES RIVER: steelhead, rainbow trout
Mouth to Warm Springs: steelhead, trout, fall Chinook (mouth to Sherars Falls)
Poor visibility due to glacial runoff from White River has improved considerably, as has the steelhead catch, on the Lower Deschutes with the cooler temperatures. Excellent fishing was reported from the mouth upstream to the Sherars Falls area. Some reports of good success on steelhead upstream from Sherars Falls are beginning to show up. Anglers are reporting good success on both flies and lures. Anglers should be aware that predicted returning hot weather conditions may increase turbidity.
Angling for steelhead and chinook salmon in Sherars Falls has improved, with several large chinook and many steelhead reported in the catch.
Anglers can check the trap catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Deschutes at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/sherars_falls/index.asp.
Trout anglers are reporting good fishing on caddis hatches. Look for some morning hatches and big evening hatches.
Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls: rainbow trout, brown trout
No recent reports. The flows are now well-suited for fishing. This reach of the Deschutes provides good spring angling opportunity for brown trout and redband trout.
Benham Falls to Wickiup Reservoir: brown trout, rainbow trout
Reports of fair success for brown trout and rainbow trout. No reports from the past weekend.
Wickiup Reservoir to Crane Prairie Reservoir: rainbow trout, brown trout
Closed to angling for the remainder of the year beginning Sept. 1.
Crane Prairie Reservoir to Little Lava Lake: rainbow trout, brook trout
Closes to fishing after Sept. 30.
EAST LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, Atlantic salmon
Anglers are still finding fair success for rainbow trout and brown trout.
ELK LAKE: kokanee, brook trout
No recent reports.
FALL RIVER: rainbow trout
Recent reports from a couple of experienced angler types indicate that the angling has been slow fair with a few nice fish being caught. Despite the warmer temperatures and increased insect hatches it appears that nymphing is still the most productive method for catching fish. River water temperatures are generally in the 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit range. This is a popular spring fishery for fly-fishers.
No recent reports.
HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout
All fishing has been consistent. Anglers have reported catching large bass and trout at the inlet of the lake recently.
On Sept. 18, the Oregon Department of Human Services issued a blue green advisory on Haystack Reservoir. To find out more about the advisory and recommended precautions, please go to the DHS Web site.
HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead
Glacial flow from Mt. Hood has made visibility low.
Find out how many fish are being captured at the Powerdale Dam trap.
HORSESHOE LAKE: rainbow trout
Horseshoe has been recently stocked and should offer good opportunity for legal and trophy-sized trout.
HOSMER LAKE: Atlantic salmon, brook trout
Some reports of Atlantic salmon being caught. Remember, it’s catch-and-release fishing for Atlantic salmon.
KINGSLEY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Along with earlier stocking of legal trout, Kingsley has received many excess summer steelhead that have returned to the Hood River.
LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass
Fishing is average for this time of year. Kokanee bag limit is five fish per day, included in the trout daily bag limit. Anglers should consult 2009 Sport Fishing Regulations for new angling regulations on Lake Billy Chinook.
LAURANCE LAKE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Laurance Lake has been recently stocked and should offer good opportunity for legal and trophy-sized trout.
LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout
No recent reports.
METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout
Some recent reports of good success. The warmer temperatures continue to make for good hatches.
NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout
Fishing should improved with the arrival of cool fall temperatures. Good beaches, good wind protection and good numbers of stocked rainbow trout are North Twin positives.
OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout
Bait fishing is now allowed. Five trout per day, 8-inch minimum length.
OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Anglers continue to report occasional catches of large fish.
ODELL LAKE: kokanee, rainbow trout, lake trout
The fishing at Odell has been fair. Please note that all bull trout must be released unharmed.
OLLALIE LAKE: rainbow trout
The lake has been stocked and should offer a great opportunity to catch lots of trout.
PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout
Fishing for brown trout and kokanee remains good. Rainbow trout fishing is fair.
PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
No recent reports.
PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, bass
Trout fishing should pick up as temperatures cool and fishing for warmwater species is excellent. Anglers should note an error in the 2009 fishing regulations for Prineville Reservoir (p. 63). The CORRECT regulation is: largemouth and smallmouth bass, 15 in. MAXIMUM length, only one of which may be a largemouth.
PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: largemouth bass
More largemouth bass were stocked in the Prineville Youth Pond on Aug. 6, and fishing is good. The Prineville Youth Fishing Pond is open to children 14 and younger with a bag limit of five fish.
ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Rock Creek Reservoir has extremely low water due to irrigation withdrawals.
SOUTH TWIN: rainbow trout
With the advent of cooler temperatures anglers should expect good fishing. South Twin provides plenty of opportunity for rainbow trout, great wind protected shoreline and good beach-like shoreline for the kids to run around on when they’re tired of catching fish. A great family lake.
SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee
No recent angler reports.
TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout
Taylor Lake is a great spot to catch carp with flies; look for carp in the shallows as water temperatures warm to summer temperatures.
WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout
Anglers accessing Walton Lake should access it from the Round Mountain Trail approximately a quarter mile uproad from the Walton Lake gate. There are no daily catch limits, possession limits, or minimum length requirements for any fish species on Walton Lake from Sept. 1 through Oct. 18, 2009. Harvest is allowed by hand, dip net, or angling. The reservoir will close after Oct. 18, 2009 when it is scheduled for chemical treatment to remove illegally introduced bullhead catfish and bass. Bullhead catfish populations have stunted, degraded water quality, and reduced success for trout anglers.
WICKIUP RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass
There should be very good opportunity for catching brown trout. Kokanee fishing appears to be winding down. Anglers are encouraged to work the shallows for browns and rainbow during the early morning hours and hours just before dusk. Please note that the Deschutes arm of Wickiup upstream of the ODFW marker located near the West South Twin Boat launch closed to angling Sept. 1.
OPEN: CONTROLLED BUCK (opens Oct. 3), EARLY RIFLE ANTLERLESS ELK, and FOREST GROUSE, COUGAR and BEAR
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
PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT
To this point big game hunters have been enjoying shortsleeve conditions during the day, but cool nights with temperatures dipping to below freezing. Weather conditions are predicted to change mid week, with possible precipitation, including the possibility of snow. BUCK hunters participating in this weekend’s opener should come prepared! Hunters planning to hunt public lands should check with Ochoco National Forest or Prineville BLM offices for the latest information on access and camping.
BUCK RIFLE HUNTERS will be active in all local wildlife units. Tags numbers were reduced this year in the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units due to a drop in buck numbers. Despite the lower number of mature bucks, decent numbers of yearling bucks will help provide opportunities for hunters. Animals appear in good shape, and more scattered this year due to good water availability. Hunters are reminded the Rager and South Boundary Travel Management Areas (TMA’s) will be in effect in the Ochoco unit.
GAME BIRD seasons are active at this time. FOREST GROUSE opportunities are limited to higher elevation forest lands on the Ochoco National Forest. Hunters should check the more heavily forested portions of the Lookout Mtn. and Paulina Ranger districts for these elusive birds.
EARLY RIFLE ANTLERLESS ELK hunts are active on mostly private lands in portions of the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. These hunts include private agricultural and ranch lands that require having landowner permission for access.
COUGAR and BEAR seasons are open, and hunters are reminded both species require check in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. This includes calling ahead of time to make an appointment, and remembering to bring in the unfrozen skull, hide, and other necessary parts needed for check in. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts. It’s also a good idea to prop the mouth open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.
BEAR are more plentiful in the more forested Ochoco and Grizzly units. The denser forested north slopes at higher elevations in both units would be areas to scout and look for bear sign. COUGAR are also present in these 2 units and the Maury as well. Cougars are present at all elevations, and use the more open juniper-sage desert habitats, as well as the forested country. Areas with known cougar activity include the Maury Mountains and S. Fk. Crooked River (Maury unit); S. F. John Day River, N F. Crooked River, and Lookout Mtn. (Ochoco unit); Upper Mill Crk., Green Mtn., and Grizzly Mtn (Grizzly unit).
THE DALLES WILDLIFE DISTRICT
Be sure to check with local state forestry and US Forest offices for fire season regulations before planning your outdoor adventure.
Opening weekend of rifle DEER should provide below average temperatures and a chance of precipitation that should improve hunting conditions. Hunters should focus their time during the early morning or late afternoons. Take advantage of the rain as the deer are likely to spend more time on the move and should be visible during the day.
FOREST GROUSE in the area are scattered, with the best hunting generally being found in stream bottoms or on open ridges on either side of the Hood River Valley. Successful hunters are asked to give a wing and a tail to ODFW to help manage grouse populations in the state. Wings can be turned in at any ODFW office, or in one of the many wing barrels scattered throughout the district.
COUGAR and BEAR seasons opened Aug. 1. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) and bear skull at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. See regulations for details.
BEAR hunters should focus their efforts within higher elevation berry fields or recent clearcuts within the Hood unit, or in one of the stream canyons along the eastern edge of the Cascades in the White River unit. Finding a good vantage point and spending time with good optics can increase the odds of finding a bear.
Those wishing to pursue COYOTE will find the best success near agricultural lands. Be sure to ask permission to hunt private lands. Limited opportunities may also be found at White River Wildlife area, and on lower elevation forest service lands.
California Ground SQUIRRELS, or gray diggers, are still active. The best hunting opportunities for squirrels are generally found on private agricultural ground, but good opportunity also exists on White River Wildlife area. Focus your efforts in the morning or evening to find the highest squirrel activity. Make sure to ask permission to hunt on private lands.
WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA
Deer season opens Oct. 3 and the deer are still at the higher elevations for the most part but there are still a few animals using the Wildlife Area. Deer will be scattered through out the Wildlife Area.
BEAR and COUGAR hunting opened Aug. 1. BEAR hunters will find the best success adjacent to major drainages such as White River, Tygh Creek or Badger Creek.
COYOTE hunters should be looking in open areas along the eastern perimeter of the wildlife area.
GROUND SQUIRRELS, or gray diggers, can be found throughout the wildlife area.
The wildlife area is a vehicle regulated use area. Open roads have a green dot on them. Hunters bringing their ATVs are reminded that all vehicles are to stay on roads; cross country travel is prohibited. As summer progresses, fire danger increases. Please be aware of current fire regulations and their impact on the wildlife area.
Fire restrictions are in affect and ATVs and motorcycles are prohibited on all unimproved roads and any road with vegetation growing in the middle of the road way they also have to have fire tools and fire extinguisher with any vehicle traveling on these roads. You may find out more about fire restrictions and regulations by contacting the Oregon Department of Forestry in The Dalles, Oregon at (541)296-4626.
CENTRAL Zone Viewing
Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Harvest Moon Walk, Monday, Oct. 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
An interpreted walk for all ages down Riverfront Trail exploring nature by moonlight with museum educators Steve Thompson and Linda Turner. Please leave pets at home. For more information.
Tumoluo State Park
In Tumulo State Park find songbirds lured by woodlands and surface water. Look for black-headed grosbeak, pygmy nuthatch, mountain chickadee and Cassin’s finch. You might also see violet-green swallow, yellow warbler, Townsend’s warbler, western meadowlark, California quail and Townsend’s solitaire. During the twilight of evening, watch the river corridor for acro"bat"ics from several species of this mammal, some of which may roost during the day in crevasses of onsite rock cliffs. More information is available on the US Forest Service Web site. Visit The Oregon State Park Web site for information on the park. Located off US 20, 5 mi. NW of Bend
The upper Crooked River and Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) offer wildlife viewing opportunities. Ducks, geese, and other waterfowl are common and visible along the Crooked River and Prineville Reservoir WMA. Additionally, a variety of other shorebirds and birds of prey are present along the shoreline and rimrock areas. The access road along the north side of the WMA is open and offers great camping, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. A map of the area is available at the ODFW’s Prineville Office and the Oregon State Park office located at the Prineville Reservoir State Park.
Directions to the wildlife area: From Prineville, take Paulina Highway 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Juniper Canyon Road at the Prineville Reservoir State Park sign. Take Juniper Canyon Road 12.5 miles to Prineville Reservoir State Park. Access to the WMA is via the primitive N. Side Access road at the northeast corner of the state park. Visitors can also access the WMA by continuing southeast along Paulina Highway for 15 miles (from Prineville) and turn right at the bottom of the hill after passing Eagle Rock near milepost 14 onto the signed WMA primitive road. For more information, visit ODFW’s Web site.
Sherman County and Deschutes Canyon
Many different species frequent the Deschutes Canyon at this time of year with opportunities to view a wide variety of waterbirds, passerines, deer and bighorn sheep.
Bighorn sheep are a common site in the canyon. This is the time of year that sheep in the Deschutes start into the rut. One of the most popular spots to view Bighorn rams is across the river from Jones campground, along the Mack’s canyon access road.Sheep are most active in the early morning and late evening during warm summer days. Good binoculars and a spotting scope will improve the odds of viewing sheep.
The Dalles Area
ODFW White River Wildlife Area
Visitors to White River can find a variety of bird species on the area. Some of the most notable are Lewis’ Woodpeckers, which inhabit the open oak areas throughout the wildlife area and Pileated Woodpeckers, which can generally be found near the forest boundary. The area also hosts a variety of passerines, as well as turkey, quail and a few waterfowl. For more information and directions to the wildlife area, visit ODFW’s Web site.
ODFW Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area
Note: Fire season is in full swing, will extreme fire danger occurring throughout the region. Be cautious when recreating in the area. Check with the Prineville district of the BLM for current fire regulations.
Many different bird species are present in the Deschutes Wildlife Area, including osprey, kingfishers, great blue herons and waterfowl. ODFW’s Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area is located east of The Dalles. Directions and more information about the Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area are on ODFW’s Web site.