Weekend fishing opportunities
Crappie and yellow perch fishing has been good on McKay Reservoir.
Penland Lake has been stocked with legal-sized trout. These, and the fingerlings planted last year, should offer some good fishing.
Wallowa Lake continues to provide good fishing for rainbow trout and kokanee.
Chinook fishing opportunity in the Powder River below Mason dam.
Fly-Fishing for Trout, June 20, Frog Heaven Meadow Ponds near Ukiah
This beginner-level class will cover the basics of fly-fishing for trout. Registration is $40 and includes lunch, equipment and supplies. For more information contact Mary Hoverson (541) 962-1826 or mary.e.hoverson@ state.or.us
Fishing and Floating, July 18, Magone Lake near John Day
A beginner-level class that covers different types of watercraft (float tubes, pontoon boats and kayaks) and how to fish from them. Registration is $40 and includes lunch, equipment and supplies. For more information contact Mary Hoverson 541-962-1826 or mary.e.hoverson @state.or.us
GRANDE RONDE, WALLOWA, IMNAHA RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES: Streams in northeast Oregon opened for trout angling May 23. River flows are very high with runoff from snow melt and angling conditions are poor.
The Imnaha River from the mouth to Summit Creek Bridge and the Wallowa River from Minam State Park to the mouth of the Lostine River will open for spring Chinook angling on Saturday June 13. Daily limit is two adult and five jack (24 inches or less) adipose fin-clipped Chinook per day. Anglers must quit angling for salmon if they have retained two adults. Unmarked Chinook must be released unharmed.
Check river flows.
HONEYMOON AND TEPEE PONDS: Rainbow trout
Ponds on the Wallowa Whitman Forest are accessible and have been stocked with rainbow trout.
JOHN DAY RIVER: bass and channel catfish. Steelhead have moved into tributaries that are closed to fishing. Bass fishing will improve as snowmelt subsides. Channel catfish will not start biting for another month. Floatable flows (over 750 cfs) should last until the end of June this year.
Trout fishing in the upper John Day opened on May 23 and should be best on the Middle Fork and South Fork. Bass fishing on the upper John Day also opened May 23 but the bass fishing won't be particularly good until after July 1. The North Fork usually provides the best bass fishing in the upper river.
Stream flow levels at Service Creek KINNEY LAKE: trout
Kinney Lake has been stocked and is open for trout fishing. We expect good fishing for stocked rainbow trout.
MAGONE LAKE: trout
Magone is now accessible and ice free. The US Forest Service campground is open. Water temperatures are still low but fishing is improving.
MARR, VICTOR, AND WALLOWA WILDLIFE PONDS: rainbow trout. Wallowa Valley Ponds have been stocked and are providing fair to good angling for rainbow trout.
McKAY RESERVOIR: crappie, yellow perch, bass, trout Crappie and yellow perch fishing is good. The best bite has been in the late evening. Largemouth bass fishing has been fair to good, trout fishing has slowed as the water temperatures have warmed.
MCNARY, HATROCK and TATONE Ponds: Trout have been stocked, angling should be good for rainbow trout.
MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, crappie. The lake is open for fishing. Legal and trophy trout have been stocked. Fishing has been good.
PEACH POND: trout. The pond on Ladd Marsh was stocked for the four times with legals and some trophies. Fishing has slowed from the good weeks in May but there are still lots of fish in the pond.
PENLAND LAKE: trout. The lake has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow, and fingerling plants from last year should provide good angling.
ROULET POND: trout. The pond has been stocked 3 times with legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing should be good.
ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR, BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR, TROUT FARM POND, LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout. All are now accessible and have been stocked with legal-sized rainbow, plus many hold-over trout remain from last year. Fishing is fair now but will improve with warmer weather.
UMATILLA RIVER: spring chinook, trout. Angling has been slow for spring chinook, water temperatures have warmed and the bite has shut off. The return to Threemile Dam to date is 2,137 adult and 2,103 jack spring chinook. Bag limit: only adipose fin clipped spring chinook may be kept, two adults and five jacks per day and 10 adults per year. The area from Hwy 730 bridge to Threemile Dam May 22, from Threemile Dam upstream to reservation boundary located upstream from Highway 11 bridge at Pendleton, April 16-June 30. With dropping stream flows spring Chinook are being transported upriver above Pendleton. The upper Umatilla should be good for catch-and-release angling for rainbow trout.
UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: rainbow trout. The north Ukiah and south Walla Walla Ranger District ponds have been stocked and angling should be good.
WALLA WALLA RIVER: rainbow trout. Trout fishing is good.
WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee. Wallowa Lake has been stocked with rainbow trout and is providing good angling for kokanee and rainbow trout.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, brown bullhead. Willow Creek has been recently stocked and trout angling should be good. Crappie angling should be good as water temperatures increase. Anglers are reminded of the new angling regulation: catch-and-release only for largemouth bass.
NORTHEAST ZONE HUNTING
Spring turkey, bear, and cougar seasons closed May 31.
Learn outdoor skills at an ODFW sponsored clinic; see Outdoor Skills Web page for more information. Contact Mary Hoverson 541-962-1826 or email@example.com or Mark Newell 503-947-6018 or mark.newell @state.or.us for more information.
Dutch Oven/Outdoor Cooking, June 13, La Grande. Cost: $40. Shotgun and Sporting Clays, July 11, La Grande. Cost: $20 per adult, $10 per child.
Elkhorn Family Outdoor Day, Aug. 8, near Baker City. A multi-activity event with classes in shooting, archery, survival, outdoor cooking, camping and more. Cost: from $40. Don't forget to report your hunt results. Anyone who purchases a big game or turkey tag must report hunt results online or by phone for each tag. Reporting is required even if you did not fill your tag or go hunting. More information
Wolves in northeast Oregon
Wolves are protected by state law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters in northeastern Oregon need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall.
ODFW needs hunters' assistance to establish wolves' presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to La Grande office (541) 963-2138 or online.
MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES
COYOTE hunting: Watch wind direction to help prevent giving away your location. Calling with game distress calls can be very successful. UMATILLA COUNTY
SPRING BEAR and TURKEY seasons are now closed.
COYOTE numbers are strong throughout the county. Using predator calls as a lure and moving call sights after 20 minutes is an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.
LADD MARSH WILDLIFE AREA
Bird hunting seasons are now closed.
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. GROUND SQUIRRELS are still very active and are mostly found on or adjacent to agricultural lands. Many landowners welcome hunters to help reduce squirrels in high density areas. Hunters need to secure permission before entering private lands.
Northeast Zone Viewing
Gilliam, Morrow and Wheeler Counties
Raptor viewing is good; watch the power poles. Most common are rough-legged and red-tailed hawks, but you may be rewarded with a ferruginous or a Swainson's hawk as they migrate into the Columbia Basin and foothills of the Blues. Bald eagles can be seen along the Columbia and major waterways of the area. Sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks can be seen along many of the waterways; Northern Harriers are found throughout the grasslands and American kestrels can be seen about anywhere. You may catch a glimpse of a prairie falcon in the foothills, and turkeys can still be seen above Monument. Try the Top road to the forest for the best chance of spotting them. Waterfowl can be seen along the waterways and wetlands in the area. This time of year they are building their nest site and will soon, if they haven't already, lay and incubate their eggs with young hatching about 28 days later. Union County Pronghorn Antelope can be viewed on Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, often along Pierce road and Hot lake Lane. Deer and elk can be seen around the edges of the valley. Deer fawns and elk calves will soon be appearing; these animals rely on hiding for survival and should never be handled. A doe or cow will feed away from her young and return periodically through out the day to nurse.
There are still many elk at the Anthony Creek feed site on the Elkhorn Wildlife Area. ODFW's Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, La Grande
NOTE: Please report any observations of banded sandhill cranes to the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area office (541-963-4954) or to Gary Ivey, Western Crane Conservation Manager, International Crane Foundation (541-383-2033). Please note the positions of the colors on each leg (right leg means the crane's right leg, no matter which way the bird is facing) along with the date, time and location of the observation.
The Tule Lake Public Access Area is open for the season. There are also numerous quality viewing opportunities from the roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.
Numerous duck species can been seen including mallards, pintails, gadwall, American wigeon, wood duck, ring-necked duck, scaup, redheads,ruddy duck and cinnamon and green-winged teal. Many broods of hatchling Canada geese are present and can be seen from roads and trails. Duck broods have also begun hatching and may be seen as they paddle for the cover of vegetation.
Several nesting pairs of greater sandhill cranes have successfully incubated their eggs and may be seen feeding in meadows with their young. The best places to observe these pairs are along Foothill Road and Hot Lake Lane. Numerous birds of prey can be seen utilizing the wildlife area. Red-tailed hawks have mostly hatched and the great horned owls have fledged. Swainson's hawks arrived from South America last month and have built or claimed nests and are incubating eggs. Northern harriers are present in high numbers and can often be seen in aerial displays or carrying nesting material as they, too, prepare for the next generation.
Spring offers many opportunities to observe uncommon species as seasonal migration and unsettled weather patterns can result species showing up outside their usual range.
Visitors are reminded not to approach nesting birds too closely to minimize disturbance during this critical season.
A few elk have been observed in the wildlife area near Pierce Road and others may still be seen on Glass Hill. Glassing the slope above Foothill Road in the morning may reveal elk high on the slope. Both mule and white-tailed deer are also using the slopes above Foothill Road. Foxes, coyotes and badgers may all be seen in fields and meadows and the task of raising young increases pressure to hunt.
Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, on or off leash. For more information on access rules for the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, please consult the 2008-2009 Oregon Game Bird Regulations or call the wildlife area (541) 963-4954.
Umatilla County Flocks of ducks and geese can be seen along the Columbia River and large reservoirs in the County. Elk will still be common along the upper open areas of the west slope of the Blue Mountains. Deer will be seen in herds from the valley floor to the upper Blue Mountains. The riverine and agricultural areas near the base of the mountains will be dominated by white-tailed deer. The desert and mountain areas will be inhabited primarily by mule deer. Elk can be viewed throughout the day while deer will be most visible in the first and last two hours of the day.
Gulls and raptors including bald eagles can be seen along the Columbia River. Visit local wildlife areas to see shore and marsh birds in addition to perching birds and raptors. Wood ducks, mallards and mergansers can be seen traveling in flocks up and down the river systems that have cottonwood trees along the banks.
Wallowa County Bald Eagles
Bald eagles are common in the Wallowa Valley now. Eagles are currently gathering along Prairie Creek 2-3 miles east of Enterprise, and can be observed from Highway 82. They can also often be observed from Highway 82 in the vicinity of the Wallowa River. The Wallowa River in the Minam canyon is another good place to observe eagles. Raptors
Several species of raptors, including red-tailed, rough-legged, and ferruginous hawks, can be observed during winter months in the Wallowa Valley. Most raptors can be easily observed from county roads. A good pair of binoculars will improve viewing opportunities.
Rocky Mountain Elk
Elk can be observed on the Wenaha Wildlife Area. Eden Bench, southwest of Troy, is a good area to view elk early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn sheep can often be observed along the canyon walls of the Grande Ronde River when driving both up and down stream from the town of Troy.