Plan to fish, hunt or look for wildlife this weekend? You’ll find the latest information on conditions and sightings for the places you want to go in the weekly Recreation Report. Be sure to check out the latest regulation updates 
(especially for fishing) at the top of each zone or area update.

Highlights from this week’s Recreation Report:

Best bets for free fishing weekend (Feb. 17-18)

  • Lingcod fishing has been “melt-your-face-off-hot” on the Oregon coast.
  • Mid-February is when winter steelhead fishing really starts picking up on the Clackamas and Sandy rivers. So if you haven’t been out yet, this would be a good weekend to start.
  • Coos County beaches have been giving up redtail surfperch when the surf conditions allow. 
  • Fly-fishers will want to catch the mid-afternoon hatches on the Fall, Crooked and Metolius rivers.
  • Several waterbodies have been recently stocked with trout including Walling, Junction City, EE Wilson and Cottage Grove ponds, Walter Wirth Lake, Alton Bake Canoe Canal and Dexter Reservoir in the Willamette Zone; Big Creek Reservoirs, Siltcoos Lagoon and Cleawox, Munsel, Carter, Dune and Alder lakes in the Northwest Zone, and Cooper Creek Reservoir and Lake Selmac in the Southwest Zone.

Take a hunter education class or field day

Get a jump on the upcoming hunting season and take your hunter education course now. There are several ways to take a class, all require a field day for hunters under 18. Register for classes and field days online. Hunter education is required for all hunters 18 and under, and is required for adult hunters in many popular, nearby states.

Take the family fishing

Each year, ODFW hosts dozens of family fishing events throughout the state to introduce kids and their families to the fun of fishing. These events are free, and we’ll even provide the gear and instruction you’ll need for the day. Check out the Workshops and Events page for an event near you,

Start planning your 2018 hunt

Though the controlled hunt deadline is still months away, it’s not too early to start planning your 2018 deer and elk hunts. You’ll find the harvest, population and point summary statistics you need to develop your tag application strategy on the Big Game Hunting page.

HUNT TO HOME: What to do after the hunt

Two-part class March 3 and 17.

Jackson County’s OSU Extension Master Food Preservers and the Oregon Hunters Association are offering a two-day, hands-on class about safely handling your game after the hunt at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point.

On March 3 you’ll learn to eviscerate, skin and cool an animal, and on March 17 how to home butcher, wrap for the freezer, pressure can and make your own jerky. Cost is $20 for one class or $35 for both. More information and contacts.

More information about the Recreation Report

What is the Recreation Report?

It’s a weekly compilation of updates from dozens of fish and wildlife biologists throughout the state organized by activity and by area or zone to make it easy to find the exact updates you’re looking for.

How to Use the Recreation Report

  • First, pick an activity report from the choices above – fishing, big game hunting, crabbing and clamming, game bird hunting, wildlife viewing – then on the next page select the zone or area where you’d like to go.
  • For example, want to know how the fishing has been on the Crooked River near Prineville? Select the Fishing Report, then pick the Central Zone, and finally find the Crooked River update in the alphabetical list of waterbodies.
  • Or, you’re wondering about the pheasant hunting near Biggs. Select the Game Bird Hunting Report tab above, then select the Columbia Area and look for pheasant hunting.
  • Finally, just want to know where the best opportunities are right now for fishing, hunting or viewing? Select an activity report and scan the area or zone updates to see what opportunities appeal to you.

Header photo by Kathy Munsel