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Home arrow Opinion arrow Hunting, Fishing and Viewing Reports for June 8, 2012

Hunting, Fishing and Viewing Reports for June 8, 2012

Hunting, Fishing and Viewing Reports for June 8, 2012

FISHING REPORT 

NORTHEAST ZONE EVENTS

Saturday and Sunday is Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon. ODFW waives all recreational fishing license requirements these two days in June, so plan to get out and take advantage of the many fishing opportunities that are available throughout the region and state.

To help new anglers get started, there will be several Free Fishing Weekend events throughout the state. Most events will have loaner gear and volunteer instructors.

MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, bass

A family fishing event will be held June 9 from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be a biggest fish contest for youth 12 years and under with prizes for several age brackets. Hot dogs and beverage will be available for contestants. Loaner fishing rods, bait and tackle will be available also.  

CATHERINE CREEK: chinook salmon, trout

Catherine Creek opened to angling for spring chinook salmon May 26, until further notice. The open area is from the Miller Lane Bridge to the Highway 203 Bridge upstream of Catherine Creek State Park, effective The bag limit is two adipose fin-clipped adult chinook and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day; two daily limits in possession. It is illegal to continue fishing for jack chinook once the adult bag limit is met. All other general, statewide and Northeast zone regulations remain in effect. Trout season also opened May 26. Fish began returning to the counting weir last week. Fishing pressure has been light and only one fish has been checked in the creel survey. Water conditions are poor due to recent rains.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish, bass

The Grande Ronde River opened for fishing this past weekend. High flows from spring runoff are currently making fishing difficult, but some trout and whitefish can be caught where flows are slower in pools and near shore. Cooler weather has been holding spring hatches back, but we expect more hatches to come off with warmer weather. Flows are still too high and cold for bass, but anglers should take advantage of this great bass fishery later this summer.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead

The Imnaha River opened for fishing this past weekend. High flows from spring runoff are currently making fishing difficult, but some trout and whitefish can be caught where flows are slower in pools and near shore. ODFW will open the Imnaha River to spring Chinook salmon fishing on Saturday. Anglers will be able to fish the Imnaha River from its mouth upstream to Summit Creek Bridge. The bag limit will be two (2) adipose fin-clipped adult chinook and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two jack daily limits in possession.

JOHN DAY RIVER: smallmouth bass and channel catfish

The spring chinook season closed on June 3.

Below Kimberly, smallmouth bass and channel catfish angling is heating up and will be improving throughout the month.

Trout fishing is open on the John Day Rivers and tributaries.

LOOKINGGLASS CREEK: chinook salmon, trout

Opened for spring chinook fishing May 26 until further notice. Open area is from the Moses Creek Lane Bridge (County Road 42) upstream to Jarboe Creek. The bag limit is two adipose fin-clipped adult chinook and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two daily limits in possession. It is illegal to continue fishing for jack chinook once the adult bag limit is met. Artificial flies and lures only. The hook gap restrictions for Lookingglass Creek as listed in the 2011 Sport Fishing Regulations are lifted for the duration of the spring chinook season. All other general, statewide and Northeast zone regulations, remain in effect. Trout season also opened May 26.  Chinook began returning to the counting weir at Lookingglass hatchery last week.  Fishing was very good over last weekend and should continue depending on how recent rains affect stream flow.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow and kokanee

Will be stocked with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 500 trophies this week.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

Legal and trophy-sized trout were stocked the week of May 7. A parking permit is required to be on the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. For more information, visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/online_license_sales/parking.asp.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with legal-sized trout and fishing is good.  

UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: trout

Most ponds have been stocked. Higher elevations ponds may still have limited access due to snow. Fishing is good.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Kokanee fishing appeared to be slower than usual during the holiday weekend, but some anglers found success throughout the lake. Some kokanee in the 14 to 18-inch range have been reported. Anglers also found plenty of rainbow trout to catch this past weekend, especially at the south end of the lake. Some nice lake trout are also being caught in the depths. 

 WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead

The Wallowa River opened for fishing this past weekend. High flows from spring runoff are currently making fishing difficult, but some trout and whitefish can be caught where flows are slower in pools and near shore. Cooler weather has been holding spring hatches back, but we expect more hatches to come off with warmer weather. ODFW will open the Wallowa River to spring Chinook salmon fishing on Saturday. Anglers will be able to fish the Wallowa River from Minam State Park upstream to the Lostine River. The bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two jack daily limits in possession.

SNAKE RIVER ZONE

BROWNLEE RESERVOIR: crappie, bass, perch, catfish, bluegill, trout

Current water level is at 2,039 feet and rising. Water has reached the bottom of the paved surface at Hewitt Park and boats are being launched. Boats are being launched at Swede’s Landing and Woodhead Park on the Idaho side. Crappie are biting in the Brownlee Arm and are large, averaging 12 inches. Fishing is also good for early spawning smallmouth bass that tend to be larger. Some perch were being caught as well. Trout can usually be caught at stream mouths this time of year. Connor Creek is usually good for trout. Call the Idaho Power Co. recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access.

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Fishing has been good for early spawning smallmouth.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Trout may be picked up at stream mouths this time of year.

 SNAKE RIVER below HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, steelhead

Chinook fishing is improving below Hells Canyon dam. Over 60 salmon were harvested this past week, and creel surveys are reporting catch rates of 24 hours per fish kept. With downriver fisheries doing well, we anticipate that fishing will continue improve in the weeks ahead. Anglers are also reminded that new for 2012, only adipose-clipped trout may be kept in the Snake River.

SNAKE RIVER (Above Brownlee Reservoir): channel catfish, flathead catfish, smallmouth bass

Angling for catfish and smallmouth bass remains slow. Flows at the Nyssa gauge averaged 8,213 cubic feet per second and flows at the Weiser gauge averaged 17,561 cubic feet per second (May 28). Water temperature of the Snake River near Weiser was 56˚F (May 28). Boaters should continue to use caution the Snake River is high and turbid. Old debris remains in the river channel and new debris maybe enter the river from tributaries.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Has been stocked with legal-sized rainbows.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The water level is at 88 percent full. Sampling on Phillips Reservoir shows nice sized trout (12-14 inches). Legal-sized trout were stocked early to mid-April. Yellow perch have spawned and moved back into deeper water.

 PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout, crappie

Water level is at 100 percent full. Gillnet samples indicate rainbows up to 16 inches are available.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring chinook

Opened for general trout fishing on April 28. The river below Thief Valley Reservoir is a good location to catch large rainbow trout up to 20 inches this time of year. The 1,000 feet of river immediately downstream of the dam is open to public access. Do not trespass on private property without permission.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

Trout fishing has picked up trout 12 to 20 inches being common. Some recent sampling showed some 11 to 13-inch yellow perch in the reservoir as well. 

 UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Water level is at 98 percent full. Fishing should be good for trout.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Water level is at 100 percent full. Angling is good for 10-14 inch rainbows.  

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HUNTING REPORT 

BAKER COUNTY

TURKEY: General spring turkey season has ended.

SPRING BEAR: Spring bear season has ended.

COUGAR: Cougars can be found throughout Baker County but hunters should target areas with high concentrations of deer and elk. Setting up on a fresh kill or using distress calls can all be productive techniques. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached.

COYOTE: Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

SQUIRRELS: Ground squirrels are out and active throughout the valley. Hunters should find good numbers of squirrels when the weather cooperates; remember to ask permission before hunting on private property.

UNION COUNTY

SPRING BEAR: Spring bear season is closed.

TURKEY: Spring turkey season is closed.

GROUND SQUIRRELS: Squirrels are now up and active. The best hunting is often on warm days after the rain and cold weather. Remember, always ask first to hunt on private land.

COUGARS: Cougars are common in Union County. Due to the mild winter, deer and elk can be found at higher elevations. Focus on game rich areas with long ridgelines or saddles that cats typically travel. Setting up downwind of a deer or elk killed by a cougar can be productive. A cougar kill is often covered with material that has been scraped up in about a 10 foot diameter circle around the carcass. Cougars will often drag their kill to the nearest cover next to the kill site (pay attention to drag marks). Hunters need to be extremely patient and wear camo when calling cougars as they come in slowly and use every bit of cover as they approach. Using remote calls will focus the cat’s attention away from your blind. Above all, do not move. Their eyesight is excellent. Finding tracks in the snow, determining direction of travel and setting up ahead of the cat may produce results. Nonresident hunters can include a cougar tag with others tags for only $14.50. All cougars taken must be checked in within 10 days of harvest; call for an appointment before coming in.

COYOTE: Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

LADD MARSH WILDLIFE AREA

Bird hunting seasons are now closed.

New this year, a parking permit is needed for Ladd Marsh. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash. 

Wallowa COUNTY

Coyote: Good numbers of coyotes can be found throughout Wallowa County. Calling coyotes with rabbit distress type calls has been effective for hunters. It is important to choose areas with abundant coyote sign and little human activity. 

Cougar: Cougar numbers are strong throughout Wallowa County. Most lions are taken incidental to other hunting. However, calling with fawn bleat, or locating a cougar kill and waiting for a cat to return are often successful techniques. nonsequi cus miliquate sequaeptam es experibus

 

VIEWING REPORT 

BAKER COUNTY

Bald and golden eagles can be seen along open water areas of the Snake River and Brownlee Reservoir. For best viewing, drive the Snake River Road between Richland and Huntington.

Turkeys can be seen and heard throughout the county in the transitional zone between the forest and the valley. A good area to look is on the Elkhorn Wildlife Area.

Deer and elk are steadily moving toward traditional spring ranges. The first deer fawns and elk calves are hitting the ground now. Remember to leave any newborn animals where you found them.  Many times the mother is still close by and will return later to pick it up.

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland. Ewes are with lambs now and can usually be found in higher elevation areas with rugged terrain.  In some cases, prolonged glassing is required to locate the sheep.

Canada geese goslings are starting to be found on waterways throughout Baker County.

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Tule Lake Public Access Area and the Auto Route are open for the season. The Glass Hill Unit is also open to public access. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, on or off leash except during authorized hunting seasons. There are numerous quality-viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

Waterfowl using the area include Canada goose, snow goose, greater white-fronted goose, northern pintail, American wigeon, ring-necked duck, mallard, gadwall, cinnamon teal, green-winged teal and northern shoveler. Broods of ducklings and goslings can be seen in nearly any wetland.  Some Canada goslings are nearly as big as the adults and are beginning to “color up” to look like them, too.  Shorebirds have included killdeer, black-necked stilt, American avocet, greater yellowlegs, spotted sandpiper, Wilson’s snipe and others.

Most local sandhill cranes have hatched and the young may be visible as they feed in meadows with their parents. A spotting scope or quality binoculars are important as the meadows are closed to entry and viewing is best from the viewpoint or county roads. There are also small groups of non-breeding sandhill cranes using the wildlife area. Cranes can be seen from county roads in several locations. Please report any sandhill cranes wearing leg bands to the Ladd Marsh staff (541-963-4954). If possible, note the color and order of bands on each of the bird’s legs (e.g., pink above white on left leg; silver above black on right leg). The specific combination and order can identify individual birds.

Songbirds are nesting and many are feeding young.  The songs of territorial males are mixed with the cries of hungry young in the overall soundscape of the marsh.  With spring foliage at its peak, many birds can be heard but seeing them can be a challenge.

Red-tailed hawks are feeding young and the Swainson’s hawks are also nesting. Osprey have re-claimed nest sites and are incubating. They can be seen hunting over ponds on and near Ladd Marsh.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Herons are common and can be observed throughout the Wallowa Valley feeding along creeks and rivers.

Waterfowl species such as Canada geese and mallards can be observed on Wallowa Lake and throughout the Wallowa Valley feeding in agricultural fields.

Prairie falcon, red-tailed hawk, northern harrier and Swainson’s and ferruginous hawks, as well as a variety of owls can be observed throughout Wallowa Valley and Zumwalt Prairie. Most raptors can be easily observed from county roads. A good pair of binoculars will improve viewing opportunities.

A wide variety of songbirds can be observed from now through the summer in forested areas north of Enterprise, and along rivers and streams throughout Wallowa county.

Mule and white-tailed deer are common in agricultural areas adjacent to Highway 82. Animals can be observed during early morning and late evening hours.

Persons willing to drive down the rough Imnaha River Road will often observe bighorn sheep north of Cow Creek near Cactus Mountain.

 Elk can often be observed along the Zumwalt Road near Findley Buttes.  

 
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