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• Rifle season opens Saturday and continues through Oct. 12.
BAKER COUNTY: The dry summer means water availability in some areas will play an important role in animal distribution. Hunters should concentrate on areas with available green forage for best results. Dark Canyon, Patrick Creek and Pine-Keating Travel Management Area regulations went into effect Wednesday.
UNION COUNTY: Hunters can expect to find bucks near water sources. Look for springs near dense cover.
WALLOWA COUNTY: Buck hunters can expect average success as deer numbers are still below management objective, but recent rains have alleviated dry conditions and stalking should be easier.
Pilcher creek reservoir
• Due to a rule change for 2016, the reservoir is open to fishing year-round. Fishing for rainbow trout up to 16 inches has slowed, but should improve with cooler fall temperatures. The reservoir is receding, and only the low water launch is functional.
GRANDE RONDE RIVER
• Steelhead season is open on the Grande Ronde and anglers are picking up a few fish. However, fishing typically doesn’t pick up until later in the month with the best fishing taking place on through the fall. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year. On the upside, a large majority of the returning fish are two-salt meaning larger than average size. Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the combined angling tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.