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April 15 through June 30, 2020 sport harvest opportunities allowed for returning hatchery spring Chinook salmon in the Hood River.

Effective February 14th, retention of white sturgeon is prohibited on parts of the mainstem Columbia River.

Effective Feb 1 through June 30, 2020, retention of hatchery Chinook salmon is allowed on the mainstem Umpqua River.  Retention of wild Chinook salmon is prohibited.

Effective through March 31, 2020, all steelhead fishing is closed from McNary Dam to the OR/WA border.

Effective through April 30, 2020, the daily bag limit is one hatchery steelhead.

Steelhead, fall Chinook and coho bag limits reduced to one per day through April 30, 2020.

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.

February 19, 2020

Highlights from this week’s Recreation Report:

Best bets for weekend fishing

  • Conditions are dry and clear in coastal rivers, and likely to remain so into the weekend. But there are fish throughout the systems and anglers continue to catch steelhead.
  • Last week, Saunders Lake got 30 excess hatchery steelhead, which should spice up any trout anglers diet.
  • Lost Creek Reservoir remains a good bet for late winter/early spring trout fishing, especially now that both the Tekelma and marina boat ramps are accessible.
  • The small bump in river flows this past weekend should have winter steelhead starting to show more in the Galice Area of the Rogue.
  • Steelhead fishing continues to be hot on the Chetco and it’s been picking up on the lower Rogue.
  • In Krumbo and Malheur reservoirs, fishing has been good for trout up to 20 inches.
  • Now that ocean conditions have calmed down, anglers have been catching a nice assortment of rockfish.
  • If you prefer to fish with your feet on the ground, surfperch fishing from the beach can be good this time of year.

Tell us what you think of Oregon’s big game hunting seasons

Before we start proposing changes for the 2021 big game seasons, we’d like to hear from our resident hunters. You can comment through March 3.

Tell us what you think.

Join ODFW on a herptile walk at Denman WA on Feb. 29

Yes, herptile – a geeky word blending herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) and reptile. Join an ODFW wildlife biologist for a short, guided hike to look for reptiles and amphibians on the Denman Wildlife Area near Central Point

Find more information.

Best bets for wildlife viewing

Spring is a great season for wildlife viewing – birds are migrating, mammal are emerging from hibernation and the weather makes you want to be outside. Here are a few opportunities for the weekend and beyond!

  • “Peeps” are migrating a little ahead of schedule on the north coast. These sandpipers and other small shore birds are difficult to identify due to small size and subtle differences in plumage. So grab a good bird guide and optics, and go test your bird ID skills.
  • Most years, herring come to spawn in Coos Bay in the early spring. These swarms of fish attract a variety of birds that congregate to feed on the herring and their eggs. See the SW viewing report for some viewing tips.
  • Spring bird migration is well-underway at the Klamath Wildlife Area – sandhill cranes and Say’s phoebe are now common sights, and the first western King bird of the year has been spotted.
  • At Summer Lake Wildlife Area, early migrating pintail and American wigeon ducks are gathering in the thousands, migrating swans number 2,000-3,000 (with more on the  way) and the first Belding’s ground squirrels have emerged (look for yellow-bellied marmots to peek out soon).
  • Sandhill cranes will be arriving at Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area any time now. Until then bald eagles are visiting the area and large flocks of American robins are searching out any remaining fruit from last fall.

Plan to take your camera with you? Be sure to check out our 12 tips for better wildlife photos.

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Premium Hunts are your chance to draw a second tag in addition to your controlled or general season tag. Application deadline is May 15, but you don’t have to wait ‘til then to apply.

Learn more about Premium Hunts.

Header photo by Kathy Munsel