Coming soon – New ELS launches Dec. 1

ODFW will launch a new modernized electronic licensing system (ELS) on Dec. 1 for the sale of 2019 licenses and tags. Customers will be able to:

· Buy license/tags online at MyODFW.com

· Carry documents and tag animal/fish with app on your smartphone (works offline)

· or buy online, print paper license/tags at home

· or buy paper or electronic tags from a license sales agent

ODFW recommends you hang onto your hunting/fishing license until you verify your new account.

FISHING

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR — Was last stocked the week of Aug. 27. Trout fishing should be good with the cooler water temperatures. Trout anglers have had the best success trolling lures in the deeper areas of the reservoir. Warmwater fishing should be good as well. Try fishing for bass at the head of the reservoir and shallow structure in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR — Was last stocked the week of Aug. 27. Trout fishing should be good with cooling temperatures. Cooper was also stocked in the last two years with coho salmon juveniles. 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 — Fishing continues to be good at Diamond Lake, although fishing pressure is light. Trolling is an effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results. Most successful anglers are targeting the south end of the lake.

FISH LAKE — All boat ramps at the lake are inaccessible. Anglers fishing from shore, or from inflatables or personal watercraft should have very good fishing at Fish Lake this fall. Water clarity has improved. Anglers may be walking their vessel through mud to get to deeper water.

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 this year and should have lots of 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. Fishing for bass and other panfish should be decent. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS — Hemlock and Lake in the Woods should be good for fishing trout with recent stocking. Spinners or “plunking” with worms and/or PowerBait can be great methods for fishing these lakes.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR — Brown trout fishing should improve as they move into the shallower arms of the reservoir to get ready for spawning.

LOON LAKE — Loon Lake should have plenty of trout from recent stockings including trophy-size trout. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass has been decent. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES — Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is now closed for the remainder of the year. Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here. Salmon fishing is open through Oct. 31 from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain with a limit of two salmon per day. But salmon anglers are limited to fishing inside the 40 fathom line. The Elk River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Season starts on Nov. 1-30. The Nearshore halibut season is open seven days a week through the earlier of the attaining the quota or Oct. 31. As of Oct. 14 there is 33 percent of the quota remaining. For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Oct. 14 there is 33 percent of the quota remaining.

PLAT I RESERVOIR — Plat I should have plenty of trout from earlier stockings. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Where access is available, anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua — Fall Chinook fishing opened on the Smith River Aug. 1 from the mouth to the head-of-tide at Spencer Creek and in the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to the head-of-tide at Johnson Creek. There have been reports of good Chinook fishing in the Smith River tidewater. Steelhead fishing will open on Smith River above head-of-tide at Spencer Creek Dec. 1.

TOKETEE LAKE — Fishing is open in Toketee year-round, and should be decent for fishing this time of year. Water levels can fluctuate making launching boats difficult so contact the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531 for lake level information.

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 are great options for fishing before winter snows start. 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. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM — Fall Chinook fishing has been slow with only a few reports of success, but more fish have been moving into the river recently. Large numbers of fresh hatchery Chinook have been seen in the Salmon Harbor area. We have also been hearing that coho fishing has been excellent but please remember that only fin-clipped hatchery origin coho may be harvested. Please also follow good catch-and-release techniques of unclipped coho. Smallmouth bass fishing is good throughout the main. Trout fishing closed on Sept 16.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH — Chinook fishing closed on July 1. Summer steelhead fishing has been slow throughout the North Umpqua. Some of the North Umpqua and tributaries are open for trout: 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 — The annual closure of the South Umpqua and Cow Creek began Sept. 16 and continues through Nov. 30. Tributaries to the South and Cow Creek also closed Sept. 15 until the opener in May.

WINCHESTER BAY — Fishing in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Chinook and coho are being caught from the shore at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point.

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.

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.

MUSSELS — The entire Oregon coast is open to mussel harvest.

CRAB — Oregon’s bays are experiencing a high volume of crabbers as we move into fall. Most bays report variable catch success. Crab are filling out their shells, providing good quality meat. 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. Crabbing in the autumn and winter can be fun and rewarding. The next two to three months are often considered the best time of year for crabbing. Crab generally molt during the summer and as they grow into their shells over time, yield bigger crab filled with tasty meat. 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. This year, large numbers of non-native European green crab have also been reported from Oregon’s bays and estuaries. 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. In addition to the recreational ocean crabbing seasonal closure from October 16 — November 30, bays, estuaries, beaches, tidepools, piers, and jetties from Cape Blanco to the California Border are also closed due to domoic acid. Be sure to observe weather warnings and bar restrictions and use your best judgement for a safe and enjoyable experience.

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.

Reptiles — Western fence lizards, alligator lizards and western skinks are active. Look around rock outcrops and landscaping bricks for these lizards warming themselves in the sun. As you prepare to mow lawns and work garden areas, be careful of garter snakes and lizards that may be hiding under the tall grass and yard debris. Western pond turtles are basking on logs, branches, and rocks in sunny areas of rivers, off-channel ponds, and other wetlands. Please report sightings of turtles here.

Osprey — Ospreys are flying above rivers or lakes looking for fish in the water. This time of the year look for male ospreys diving into the water capturing fish, and taking them back to the female on the nest.

BIG GAME HUNTING

Elk — Several controlled elk hunts are ongoing, the General Coast Bull Elk seasons open up November 10th – 13th for first season and November 17th – 23rd for second season. 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.

Deer — General western deer rifle season runs through November 2nd with a youth only weekend November 3rd and 4th. Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately-owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. There are some nice bucks being taken despite the dry conditions. With upcoming rains and the onset of the rut, hunting should only get better through the remainder of the season.

Black bear — Even with the dry conditions, hunters have been taking some good bears this year. Most bears in recent weeks have been seen and taken by hunters targeting deer and elk. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades.

Cougar — The cougar season is currently open. 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.

Western gray squirrel — Squirrel season is open through Nov. 7. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas with oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission before hunting on these lands.

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. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

GAME BIRD HUNTING

Grouse & quail — Hunters can expect an average hunt year. Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. For quail, success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail.

Mourning doves — Hunters can expect an average year. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and our county, and they are not part of the mourning dove bag limit.

Fall turkey — The season is from Oct. 15 – Dec. 31. There are 4,000 first come-first serve tags available for this Western Oregon hunt, with tags going on sale Sept. 20. Hunters can expect a good year. The 2018 summer chick counts showed good production with excellent carryover from the last year. Most turkeys are on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. Good turkey numbers can be found on National Forest lands around Toketee in the Diamond Lake Ranger District and around Tiller in the Tiller Ranger District. These birds are enjoying great higher elevation oak savannah habitat and are producing well. These populations are supplemented yearly through releases of turkeys removed from private lands, where they were causing property damage and general nuisance.

Waterfowl — The regular goose and duck seasons are open in Douglas County. Significant rains are needed to bring this waterfowl season into full swing.

Crow — Crow hunting season starts Oct. 1. This is a statewide hunt that is normally associated with agricultural grain damage, however these birds will be found everywhere hunters choose to travel. Hunting crows can help to refine your shotgun skills as well as provide an extra source of meat for the table. Make sure that you know the difference between crows and ravens. Ravens are a protected bird in Oregon with no open hunt season. For a great commentary on crow hunting in Oregon, see a recent Facebook post from Scott Haugen on the subject.

Eurasian collared-doves — These non-natives are expanding throughout Douglas County. These birds have no protections in Oregon, so there are no closed seasons for these invasives 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 space. To view the full report go to MyODFW.com

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Sports Reporter

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

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