Apply now for spring bear tags

New this year: All spring bear tags are controlled hunt only. The application deadline for controlled spring bear hunts is Sunday. Apply online, at a license agent or at an ODFW office that sells licenses.

Hunters have until April 15 to report their 2018 hunts

The deadline to report all 2018 big game and turkey tags has been extended until April 15 to give hunters more time to report under ODFW’s new licensing system.

Buy your 2019 license

ODFW’s new licensing system lets you decide how to carry your 2019 license, tags and other documents. You can choose paper documents that you buy on line and print at home, or purchase at a license vendor. Or, you can choose electronic and carry your documents on your smartphone.

FISHING

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR — Trout fishing can be tough, but some anglers are having success on some of the warmer days. Trout anglers have had the best success trolling lures in the deeper areas of the reservoir. Warmwater fishing should be decent as well. Try fishing for bass at the head of the reservoir and shallow structure in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours using a slow retrieve.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR — Trout fishing can slow as we head into winter. Some anglers are having success on warmer days, and a recent report indicates decent fishing with the anglers even catching a few juvenile coho and Chinook. In the last two years, Cooper has been stocked with coho and Chinook salmon juveniles. These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 salmon juveniles in the reservoir as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release salmon and trout less than 8-inches. Warmwater fishing should still be good as well. Try fishing for bass around aquatic vegetation in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours.

DIAMOND LAKE — There have been recent reports of folks fishing on the ice, and catching fish. Although recent warm weather might have made the ice unsafe. Follow ice fishing safety tips and proceed at your own risk. While ice fishing, anglers with a two-rod endorsement may use up to five rods.

FORD’S POND — This shallow pond supports populations of warmwater fish. As temperatures cool, bass should be showing up in that shallows making them more accessible for bank anglers. In addition to bass, there are other warmwater fish species that can make for a fun outing.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR — Galesville has been stocked several times in 2018 and should have trout from previous stockings. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. The reservoir is very low and fish should be kegged up. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Fishing for bass and other panfish should be decent. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp. Try a slow retrieve with a diving crank bait.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS — Fishing in the winter for trout in Hemlock and Lake in the Woods can be a little tough. Spinners or “plunking” with worms and/or PowerBait can be effective methods for fishing these lakes. Recent snow and cool temperatures may have slowed things down.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR — Recent cool temperatures and snow will likely slow fishing down.

LOON LAKE — Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass has been decent. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES — Bottomfishing has been good when the ocean lays down and anglers have been able to make it out. Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. Ocean salmon fishing is closed.

PLAT I RESERVOIR — Where access is available, anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and night crawlers.

TOKETEE LAKE — Fishing is open in Toketee year-round, but fishing can be pretty slow this time of year.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS — Lakes typically accessible from hiking trails and that were stocked in the last couple years are: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Pitt and Skookum lakes. These lakes can be tough to get to in the winter and with the cold temperatures, fishing will likely slow. Red Top Pond offers excellent bank fishing opportunities and was stocked around Labor Day with large rainbow trout. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-size trout from previous stockings in these waterbodies.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM — There have been some really good reports throughout the main. The current forecast has the river coming into shape by the weekend. All wild steelhead must be released in the Umpqua so please follow good catch-and-release techniques. Trout fishing will reopen in May 2019.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH — Steelhead fishing should be good and recent reports have anglers catching a good number. The peak for the North is in later February and March. Some of the North Umpqua and tributaries are open for trout (those above Slide Creek Dam): check the fishing regulations to see which areas are closed. Note that as of Oct. 1 fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless artificial fly.

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH — There some good reports throughout the South. The river is forecasted to drop back into shape and there should be lots of fish in the river.

WINCHESTER BAY — Fishing in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.

CRABBING, CLAMMING

RAZOR CLAMS — Given the lower than average abundances of razor clams on popular beaches, harvesters will need to actively pound the sand for razor clams to show. Harvesters should plan to be on the harvest area at least two hours before low tide and focus on sections of the beach that show exposed sand bars as these areas could have more clams showing than other areas. Reminder that the conservation area closure from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head will stay closed until at least March 1, 2019. The area from the Cape Blanco to the CA border also remains closed due to domoic acid.

BAY CLAMS — Bay clamming is open along the entire Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California border. During fall and winter, low tides generally occur in the evening. While clams can still be harvested, make sure you are familiar with the area before venturing out on the mudflats in the dark.

CRAB — Recreational crabbing is open along the entire Oregon coast. Crabbing in the Coos Bay estuary and lower Coquille estuary have been very good. Boat crabbers are doing well setting their pots near the jetties. Dock crabbers are picking up some legal Dungeness crabs on the docks in Charleston and at Weber’s Pier in Bandon. Central coast crabbing in Alsea and Yaquina bays has been moderately good, especially by boat. In addition to Dungeness crab, another Oregon native present in some of Oregon’s estuaries is the red rock crab. Crabbers can retain 24 red rock crabs of any sex or size. Some crabbers in estuaries may encounter non-native European green crab in their catch this year. While they look similar to Oregon’s native shore crabs, they can be identified by the three prominent bumps between the eyes and 5 spines down the side of the carapace. The daily catch limit for European green crab is 10 crab of any size or sex.

WILDLIFE VIEWING

WATERFOWL — There have been a few collared geese seen within fields around Douglas County. Bird watchers can try to read the collar information and report that info to: https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/index.cfm. Sharing this information will earn the reporter a certificate and information about where and when the goose was originally collared.

GAMEBIRDS — Coveys of California quail are common on the Umpqua Valley floor usually associated with blackberry cover and water. Mountain quail are going to be found in the coast range and Cascades around brushy forest openings. Many blue and ruffed grouse are found in mid to high elevation forested areas in our local mountains. Wild turkeys are very common throughout the Umpqua Valley, usually on private lands in oak savannah habitat. Most pheasants are found in central Douglas County associated with pastures and ranches.

DEER — You can see Columbian white-tailed deer and black-tailed deer throughout much of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands in strong numbers.

ELK — Viewers can see Roosevelt elk taking advantage of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands. Large herds of elk nightly visit many local grass producers, and there are good chances to see them during early morning and evening hours as they move between food and cover.

ACORN WOODPECKER — Look for this loud and vocal woodpecker in Roseburg at River Forks Park, N. Bank Mgt. area and Whistlers Park. Since this woodpecker is a hoarder, look for signs of a granary in the bark of large pine trees that are used to store insects and acorns in cracks and crevices.

HUMMINGBIRDS — Most hummingbirds will be looking to migrate south to warmer climates this time of year. If food is reliable, some species, such as the Anna’s Hummingbird, will hang around locally. Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food using a 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio, but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

MIGRATING BIRDS — Many species of birds have migrated or are starting their southward migration so look for species congregating at roosts and feeders or in the air just before or during migration. Some migratory species to watch are: ospreys, turkey vultures, swifts, swallows, cedar waxwings, and some species of flycatchers, warblers, finches and shorebirds.

WINTER RAPTORS — Many different raptors are starting to move into the Umpqua Valley for the season. These birds of prey will winter in the valley and can be viewed by traveling rural roads and watching trees, perches and fence lines. Watch for bald eagles, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, harriers, kites, peregrine falcons, kestrels and more as they hunt and hunker down in our valley’s moderate winter climate.

BIG GAME HUNTING

ELK — Several controlled elk hunts are ongoing. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units.

COUGAR — Look in areas adjacent to agriculture and within areas of higher concentrations of deer. When fresh tracks are found, set up and call with either mouth or electronic predator calls. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

COYOTE — Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon.

GAME BIRD HUNTING

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES — These non-natives are expanding throughout Douglas County. These birds have no protections in Oregon, so there are no closed seasons and no limits to their harvest. Target Eurasian collared-doves around agricultural areas and forest openings where food sources are abundant.

This report has been edited to fit the allotted space. To view the full report visit MyODFW.com.

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Sports Reporter

Sanne Godfrey is a sports reporter for The News-Review.

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