Ocean salmon and halibut regulations available now

A green booklet with all the ocean salmon and halibut regulations is being distributed to license agents and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offices. Ocean anglers should pick up a copy.

The Columbia River salmon seasons are now open under permanent regulations, as listed in the 2004 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Spring chinook angling in the mainstem Columbia is closed for the year. Anglers are reminded that tributaries to the Columbia River such as the Willamette and Sandy remain open for salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules listed in the 2004 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The Columbia River sturgeon fishery between the mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna power lines is open to retention, but the minimum size increased from 42 inches to 45 inches. The maximum size remains the same at 60 inches. The Columbia River between Beacon Rock and Bonneville dam is closed to all sturgeon angling, including catch and release angling, May 1 - July 31. Both bank angling and boat angling is affected by this closure.

A temporary rule allows anglers to fish for adipose fin-clipped spring chinook in the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and Dug Bar. The season is open through Aug. 5 with a daily bag limit of two chinook.

The general spring turkey season closes statewide May 31. Tags may be purchased throughout the season. In addition, controlled spring bear seasons are open in several areas of the state.

Free Fishing Weekend is June 12-13 this year. Fishing licenses, tags, or shellfish licenses are not required these two days. Check the ODFW Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/FFW/index.htm for more information.

CENTRAL ZONE

FISHING

The following waterbodies are scheduled to be stocked this week: Antelope Flat Reservoir, Clear Lake, Hosmer, Kingsley Reservoir, Ochoco Creek, Rock Creek Reservoir, Spring Creek, and Thompson Reservoir.

ANTELOPE RESERVOIR: No report. However, there are some nice rainbow trout in the reservoir. Angling is generally best in spring through mid-summer. By late summer, low water levels and warm water temperatures limit success. There is an unimproved boat ramp for small to medium-sized boats; however, this is often not operational by late summer. Trout numbers have decreased the last two years. Trout up to 18 inches are present in the reservoir.

BIG LAVA LAKE: Reports are mixed. Some anglers had good success with other reporting the angling as being slow. Fish are running 10-18 inches, with an occasional fish over 20 inches being caught.

CLEAR LAKE is open and accessible and has been stocked with legal size trout.

CRANE PRAIRIE: No report. Wild and hatchery rainbow trout are available. There is good opportunity for brook trout and largemouth bass. Kokanee are also available for the angler. Hatchery rainbow trout are 100 percent marked with an adipose fin clip or left ventral clip. Anglers are asked to please voluntarily limit your harvest of wild trout to protect this fishery. Expect fish to be scattered early in the season. Anglers should target shallow water areas for best early season success. Good numbers of brook trout are available, and the best angling is early in the season. Bass angling should improve as water temperature increases; target willow areas early in the season. Recent illegal introductions of black crappie and bluegill have occurred. There is no limit on size or number of crappie or bluegill.

CROOKED RIVER, MAINSTEM BELOW BOWMAN DAM: Angling is reported to be good. Best opportunities are in the nine miles immediately below the dam. Flows are down to between 250 and 300 cfs between Bowman dam and the City of Prineville.

CRESCENT LAKE: Reports of nice brown trout being caught along with a few lake trout. Kokanee bite is still a little slow. Good opportunity for kokanee, brown trout and lake trout.

CULTUS LAKE: Angling for lake trout is still reported to be good.

DAVIS LAKE: No report. North Lava camp is accessible although there is no boat ramp at this site. West Davis boat ramp opened April 30. Contact USFS Crescent Ranger District for more information, (541-433-3200.

DESCHUTES RIVER (LOWER): The Deschutes from the mouth to Sherars Falls is open for adipose fin clipped hatchery origin spring chinook through July 31, 2004. Daily limit is two fin clipped adult and five fin clipped jack spring chinook and you cannot continue to angle after retaining a daily limit of adult chinook. Chinook fishing is fair. The lower 100 miles is open for trout and adipose fin clipped steelhead. Salmon flies are out in force from Maupin upstream.

DESCHUTES RIVER: Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls - No report. The best fish populations are upstream from Bend to Benham Falls and downstream of Steelhead Falls. Wickiup Reservoir Dam downstream to Benham Falls - Opened May 22.

EAST LAKE: Fly-anglers and some boat anglers are reportedly having good success. Kokanee, rainbow, brown trout, and Atlantic salmon are present in the lake. Expect fair to good catches of rainbow and brown trout early in the season. Brown trout numbers are excellent with good numbers of large fish. Catchable rainbow trout are stocked intermittently through the season. Expect fair to good numbers of carryover rainbow early in the season. East Lake is becoming a popular fly fishing destination for Atlantic salmon.

ELK LAKE: Road is open to the lake and the lake is ice-free, but boat ramp is still closed due to snow.

FALL RIVER: Angling is reported to be fair.

FROG LAKE is open and accessible and has been stocked with legal sized trout as well as brood trout.

HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: Hay-stack was recently stocked; however, no reports of angler success or lack of success have come in to this point. Moderate numbers of large brown trout are present. Kokanee angling should be fair in the spring while angling for bass, bluegill and crappie should improve as the water warms. Angling for brown bullhead should be good. Launch ramps on the east and west shores are in good condition. The daily bag limit is five trout, including kokanee. This is an irrigation re-regulating reservoir; thus water levels fluctuate daily. However, there will be adequate boating water throughout the season.

HOSMER: No report, however, the Atlantic salmon should be biting.

KINGSLEY RESERVOIR is full and has been stocked.

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: Bull trout catch is slowing. Anglers hopeful of catching a legal bull trout should fish the Metolius arm of the reservoir. Kokanee catches are still requiring a fair amount of work. Kokanee size this year is averaging from 8 to 13 inches. Peak angling for kokanee is typically in July and August. Angling for trout should be fair in the uppermost reaches of all three arms. Bass angling should be fair in all three arms as the water warms. A tribal angling permit is required in addition to an Oregon State angling license to fish in the Metolius Arm. The Metolius Arm is open to angling from March 1 through Oct. 31 and a tribal angling permit is required. The balance of the reservoir is open the entire year.

LAURANCE LAKE is open and has been stocked, but is not full pool.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: Reports of nice rainbow and brook trout showing up in the creel.

LOST LAKE is open and accessible and has been stocked.

METOLIUS RIVER: Good reports of nice rainbow trout being caught and released. Mainstem above Allingham Bridge opened May 22.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: Some success reported for rainbow trout. Provides a "put and take" fishery for nine to 11-inch rainbow trout. Some carryover fish up to 15 inches are available. Brown bullhead catfish have been illegally released into the lake and will likely overpopulate and stunt growth of rainbow trout. Motors are prohibited.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: Angling for rainbow trout has been good with fish ranging from 12 to 16 inches. Anglers are effective with a wide range of bait and tackle. Boat anglers should concentrate in the upper end of the reservoir near the mouths of Ochoco and Mill Creeks during May. The boat ramp and camping facilities will be available for use. The boat ramp has been improved and extended allowing use at lower water levels. Black crappie fishing should improve as the water warms. There is no limit on this illegally introduced species. Bank anglers are asked to respect private property on the shoreline.

ODELL LAKE: Fair to good catches of kokanee running 12 - 16 inches. Lake trout angling is also reported to be good. Expect fair catches of kokanee early in the season with improved catch as water warms in May and June. Only one lake trout per day is allowed as part of the daily trout limit and must be at least 30 inches in length. Angling is closed within 200 feet of the mouth of Odell Creek to protect bull trout.

PAULINA LAKE: Reports of some success for brown trout and kokanee. Expect best catches of large brown trout early in the season and early and late in the day. Kokanee angling is expected to be good with most fish ranging from 13 to 16 inches. Kokanee catches will improve as lake productivity increases in May and June.

PINEHOLLOW RESERVOIR has been stocked and trout fishing is good. The reservoir is nearly full.

PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: North side road is open. Opportunity is good for 12 to 16 rainbow trout. Anglers should concentrate their efforts by the dam and Bear Creek arm. Black crappie angling should begin to pick up with the warmer temperatures. Bullhead enthusiasts should fish the upper end of reservoir.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR has been stocked and trout fishing is good. The reservoir is full.

SOUTH TWIN: Anglers are enjoying fair to good catches. South Twin is a popular lake for rainbow trout angling and provides sheltered angling opportunity when early season cold temperatures and wind become a problem on larger water bodies. Rainbow trout are typically 11 to 13 inches for the opener with carryover fish in the 14 to 16-inch size. A number of large 4-5 lb. rainbow trout were caught from South Twin in 2003. South Twin provides good bank angling opportunity. Boat launching is available, however, motors are prohibited.

SUTTLE LAKE: Angling for brown trout and kokanee is fair to good. Reports of some nice kokanee have been taken. Target brown trout early and late in the day for best results.

WALTON LAKE: No report. Angling for holdover rainbow trout should be good early in the season. Legal-sized rainbow trout were stocked in early May and through the season. Beginning in late May and continuing on a monthly basis throughout the summer, the lake will be stocked with trophy trout (one to two pounds each). The daily bag limit is five trout. Walton Lake is open to year-round angling.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: Anglers reported some nice brown trout catches mixed with a number of kokanee in the creel. Kokanee are running 12-18 inches. Wickiup Reservoir water level is improved over last year. Kokanee numbers are expected to be low again this year, however, size should be improved. Kokanee will be scattered early in the season and begin schooling in channels sometime in June. Target shallow water flats early in the season and river channel areas as the water warms. Good numbers of brown trout are available. Growth of brown trout has been very good due to high feed abundance. Most large browns are captured early in the season, both early and late in the day. Some large rainbow trout are available. There is no limit on size or number of warm water gamefish, including bass, in Wickiup Reservoir. Anglers interested in targeting brown bullhead should fish the southeast areas of the reservoir.

HUNTING

Ochoco District

Spring-like conditions are present, with green-up on ranges well advanced. The north-side access road along Prineville Reservoir is open.

GROUND SQUIRRELS remain active, however, hunting is getting challenging as vegetation gets higher. The best opportunities are on private agricultural lands east of Prineville along the Crooked River. Hunters are reminded to get permission from landowners if needed.

COUGARS are scattered widely as elk and deer have moved to higher elevations. Areas to consider include the N.F. Crooked River, Lookout Mountain, and Pisgah Mountain (Ochoco Unit); and Green Mountain and Trout Creek (Grizzly Unit); and the north slopes of the Maury Mountains in Pine and Hammer Creeks. Season closed May 31.

COYOTES are scattered as deer have moved off winter ranges.

WILD TURKEY: In most areas birds have moved out of wintering areas to higher elevations, including Ochoco National Forest lands. Areas to consider include the Bear and Trout Creek drainage's (Grizzly Unit) and southern boundary areas of the Lookout Mountain and Paulina Ranger Districts of the Ochoco National Forest. Season closed May 31.

NORTHEAST ZONE

FISHING

The following water bodies are scheduled to be stocked this week: Kinney Lake, Roulet Pond, and Ladd Pond.

JOHN DAY RIVER: The bridge across the John Day River at the Flat Creek access to the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area and road south of the bridge is closed to motor vehicles. Smallmouth bass angling has been fair to good. River flow information at the Service Creek gauging station is available at waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/us/14046500.

KINNEY LAKE: Opened May 22, stocked with legal and trophy sized trout.

LADD POND: Surplus steelhead from Wallowa Hatchery have been stocked into Ladd Pond on Peach Road. These steelhead are considered trout in Ladd Pond, so these fish can still be kept. The regulation that only one trout over 20 inches may be taken applies here. Also, 600 legal and 35 trophy rainbows were stocked in late April.

MAGONE LAKE AND BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: Angling for rainbow trout has been good.

MARR POND: Stocked with legal and trophy sized trout.

MORGAN LAKE: Free Fishing Day activities will be held at Morgan Lake this year on Saturday, June 12.

ROULET POND: Surplus steelhead from Wallowa Hatchery have been stocked into Roulet Pond. These steelhead are considered trout in Roulet Pond, so these fish can still be kept. The regulation that only one trout over 20 inches may be taken applies here. Also, 650 legal and 26 trophy rainbows were stocked in late April.

UMATILLA RIVER: The Umatilla River spring chinook season from Hwy 730 bridge upstream to Three Mile Dam closed last week. The area from Three Mile Dam upstream to the reservation boundary remains open.

WALLOWA LAKE: Fair for holdover and recently stocked rainbow trout. Kokanee are in deep water.

WALLOWA WILDLIFE AREA PONDS: Have been stocked with legal and trophy rainbows as well as surplus steelhead.

HUNTING

Baker District

COUGAR: All indications are that Cougar populations continue to increase. Cougars respond to calling including turkey and elk calls. Hunters are reminded to check in all harvested cougars within 72 hours at an ODFW office. Season closed May 31.

COYOTES: Coyote numbers are medium to high. The use of predator calls is an effective technique to call them in. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

TURKEY: Turkey season opened April 15 and continues through May 31, with a one gobbler limit per day. Two tags may be purchased at any time during the season. Turkey populations have been slowly increasing in several areas in the county. Turkeys generally move up into the forest during the spring and there should be fair opportunities to find a gobbler on public lands. Be sure to obtain permission before hunting on private property.

Grant District

COUGAR can be found throughout the district. Hunters have been successful using predator calls and setting up on animals previously killed by cougar. Cougar must be checked in within 72 hours at any ODFW office. Season closed May 31.

SPRING BEAR: Hunter success has been low. High elevation roads are free from snow and warming conditions should continue to improve access.

TURKEY are widely distributed throughout the district on both public and private lands. Hunter access has been average with reports of harvested birds throughout the district. Recent warming trends in weather should increase hunter success. Please obtain permission to hunt on private land. Season closed May 31.

Heppner District

COUGAR: Hunters will find best success by setting up tree stands in heavily used saddles between major drainage's or by setting up on deer or elk which have been previously killed by a cougar. In some circumstances, spotting and stalking or using predator calls has proven effective. Hunters are reminded to check in all harvested cougars within 72 hours at an ODFW office. Season closed May 31.

Umatilla District

COUGAR: Hunters will find best success by setting up tree stands in heavily used saddles between major drainages or by setting up on deer or elk which have been recently killed by a cougar. In some circumstances, spotting and stalking or using predator calls has proven effective. Hunters are reminded to check harvested cougars at an ODFW office within 72 hours of harvest. Season closed May 31.

SPRING BEAR: Hunting should be excellent at mid-elevation areas.

Union District

TURKEY: The season continues through May 31. Birds are widely scattered and hunters could locate active toms throughout the county. Scouting for sign or calling to find localized birds will improve hunting success. As hens spend more time nesting, toms should wander more and may become more aggressive to calling. Conversely, toms that have been hunted will be shy about calling. The northern portion of Union County should provide the best opportunities. Turkey hunters should realize that calling for turkeys could attract cougars and hunters should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

SPRING BEAR season continues through May 31. Recent warm weather will necessitate early morning and evening hunting. Observing open slopes and meadows for feeding bears will improve hunter chances of locating bears. Scouting for signs such as fresh tracks or recently rolled over logs can also help hunters locate bears.

COUGAR: Hunting areas near concentrations of deer and elk by scouting for cougar sign and utilizing predator calls should provide the best opportunities to harvest a cougar. All cougars must be checked in at an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office within 72 hours. Season closed May 31.

Wallowa District

COUGAR: Cougar populations are high and spring bear hunters are advised to have cougar tags. In 2003, spring bear tag holders took 8 cougars incidental to bear hunting. All cougars need to be checked in at an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office. Season closed May 31.

TURKEY are scattered and hunting success has dropped from the spring weekend. Season closed May 31.

SPRING BEAR: Hunting success has improved with warmer weather. Most medium elevation roads are snow free. High elevation roads in the Imnaha and Snake River Units remain blocked by snow.

SNAKE RIVER ZONE

FISHING

BROWNLEE RESERVOIR: Crappie and perch fishing have been very good when the water levels are stable. Bite goes off when the water levels are raised or dropped. Crappie are at all water levels. Bass fishing is good. There is a 12" minimum on bass in Brownlee. Some large trout are being caught with spinners, worms or eggs near stream mouths and just below Brownlee Dam (drift fishing with bait on the bottom). The reservoir is about 10 feet below full and they are starting the spring runoff, so water levels will fluctuate. Call Idaho Power Company's recording (1-800-422-3143) to get information on access at recreational sites or access www.idahopower.com under the Rivers and Recreation heading. For reservoir level information, access www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/cgi-bin/dataquery.pl?k=brownlee.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: Trout and bass fishing has been good. Crappie fishing is starting to pick up.

OXBOW RESERVOIR: Trolling for trout is good. Catfish are being caught below the dam. Crappie fishing is slow right now. Bass fishing is good, but catch and release only until June 30.

SNAKE RIVER, HELLS CANYON DAM TO THE STATE LINE: Open for spring chinook from Dug Bar Boat Ramp to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam. Two chinook per day, barbless hooks required. Fishing is fair to good. Approximately 1,000 steelhead were trapped below the dam and were stocked in Hells Canyon Reservoir for angling opportunities.

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