ODFW Recreation Report: January 18

 Stock Photo | Photo by  Clark Young

Stock Photo | Photo by Clark Young

Highlights from this week’s Recreation Report:

Report your hunt -- Win a tag

The mandatory reporting deadline for hunts that end Dec. 31, 2017 is Jan. 31, 2018. Hunters who report on time are entered to win a special big game tag -- you'll choose to hunt deer, elk or pronghorn in an expanded area and for an extended season. We'll draw three winners in June. There are several ways to report, including online.

Spring bear

The application deadline for the spring bear controlled hunts is Feb. 10.

Learn rifle skills for big game hunting

ODFW and the Oregon Hunters Association are hosting a Rifle Skills and Knowledge Workshop in Canby on Saturday, Feb. 3. We’ll provide the gear, ammo, instruction and lunch. Learn more and register.

Turn in your combined angling tag

Even if you didn’t harvest a salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut in 2018. Our biologists use this data to better manage these fisheries. Anglers can use this data to see where fish have been caught over the years.

Tags can be turned in to any POS agent or at any ODFW office located throughout the state. The tags also can be mailed to any ODFW office.

2018 Free Fishing Days

On these dates you won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon that’s open to fishing (crabbing or clamming):

  • Feb. 17-18
  • June 2-3
  • Sept. 1-2
  • Nov. 23-24

Oregon offers year-round fishing

Even in the winter. Some of the highlights from this week’s Recreation Report include:

  • Winter steelhead fishing in coastal and valley rivers.
  • Ice fishing for trout and yellow perch in Northeast Oregon.
  • Winter fly-fishing in the Deschutes, Crooked, Fall and Metolius River.
  • Fishing for rockfish and lingcod has been good outside of Coos and Winchester bays.
  • And while not exactly fishing, the winter months can be excellent for crabbing along the Oregon Coast.

Winter steelhead water watch

This time of year, water conditions for winter steelhead fishing can vacillate between too low and clear, and too high and muddy. Successful anglers will 1) adjust their gear and tackle for current conditions, and/or 2) be ready to hit the water when water conditions improve – usually once water levels start to drop after a good rain.  Check out the zone reports for your best bets.