Recreation Report for September 19 - Fall Migration Underway

Highlights From The Week's Recreation Report

Stock photo

Stock photo

Basin Fishing

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Trout fishing was excellent this past weekend at Blue Lake in the Gearhart Wilderness.

  • Balm Creek Reservoir is holding a fair amount of water this year, as well as a fair number of trout in the 8- to 15-inch range.

  • Fishing for yellow perch can be excellent in the Lower Williamson River, Pelican Bay of Upper Klamath Lake and Crystal Creek, if you can find them!

  • Fishing for brook trout is excellent this time of year in the Upper Sycan, Upper NF and SF Sprague, Upper Williamson, Long Creek and a few high elevation lakes.

  • Recent rains are great news for fish and the cooler temperatures this weekend should create better fishing and more importantly catching.

BLUE LAKE (Gearhart Wilderness): 
hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing this past weekend was great. Anglers were using lures and flies behind a bubble to catch fish in the 8- to 14-inch range. The trail has been cleared and hiking a few miles into the wilderness is an excellent way to warm up the ol’ ticker.

Best option to catch a ton of trout is with a float tube or other flotation device. Fly-anglers can troll wooly buggers, prince nymphs and cast dry flies such as damsels. Bait and lure anglers can also catch plenty of fish. These fish are really looking at natural forage, which means fishing with flies can be fantastic! This is one of the best lakes to fish in Lake County at this time of year.

Bring mosquito repellent! And please camp at least 100 feet from the water’s edge.

redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

Crappie fishing is slow. Best fishing is from a small boat. Larger boats cannot be launched at the reservoir as there is no boat ramp. Best fishing is near the dam and near the overhanging willows. The southeastern part of the reservoir is on BLM property. The reservoir is also fed by water from Deming Creek.

Access is available off the FS 34 (Dairy Creek road) and 335 roads near Bly. Much of the reservoir is on private property so please respect this area.

Read more fishing reports


Klamath County Big Game

General deer and elk bow: 
Seasons open Aug. 24 and run through Sept. 22. Weather conditions have been warm and dry. Hunters may increase opportunity near water sources or dried up stream beds. Look for fresh sign on roads and trails going between bedding and feeding areas. Areas with past wildfires -- such as the Oregon Gulch fire in the Keno Unit and the Berry Point fire in the Interstate Unit -- can provide a flush of vegetation attractive to deer and elk.

Fall black bear:  
Season opened Aug. 1. Hunters have until Sept. 27 to purchase a fall bear tag. Best bear prospects are in the Cascades or in the Interstate Unit. Look for food sources, scat, or a good water source to increase chance of success. Remember to check-in any harvested bears at an ODFW office. Be sure to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars within 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way. The reproductive tract is required for any female cougars taken.

Hunting opportunities are available throughout the district. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species. Please consult the annual Big Game hunting regulations for further information.

Ground squirrel:
Hunting is good on nicer days. Best prospects are in pasture and hay fields. Be sure to ask permission before entering private land.

Test your identification skills with ODFW’s new Coyote and Gray Wolf ID Quiz.

Hunters: Sept. 27 is last day to buy bear and cougar tags
Even if your primary target is deer or elk, carrying a bear and/or cougar tag let’s you take advantage of unexpected opportunities. While you’re at it, check out our 10 ways to be a better cougar hunter.

9 Tips for tagging fish and game
1) Log in to the MyODFW app before you lose cell reception. The MyODFW app works without cell reception, but you need to be logged in for your profile to come up and to be able to use the app out of cell range.

Note that the original version of the app released in December 2018 automatically logged users out after six months. So, if you haven’t used the app in awhile you may need to login again -- even if you never logged out.

Forgot your username or password? Follow the system prompts on the ODFW Licensing System page to recover them, or contact ODFW by phone or email for help.

2) Update and sync your app before leaving cell range. Go to the Google Play store on Android devices or the App store on Apple devices. Update your MyODFW app or hit “Open” to be sure you have the latest version.

Once you’re logged in, click the three lines on the upper right corner and hit “Sync Account” to be sure the app is fully synced and has your latest information.

Read more


Game Bird

Mountain quail:
Season opens on Oct. 5 for Klamath County even though season opened on Sept. 1 in western Oregon.

Mourning dove:
Season opens Sept. 1 and continues through Oct. 30. Best prospects are near agricultural areas and water. Be sure of your identification before you hunt these birds which are smaller and darker than the Eurasian collared dove.

Forest grouse: 
Season opens Sept. 1 and continues through Jan. 31. Best prospects are in the Cascade Mountains for both blue and ruffed grouse, although there are fair numbers of blue grouse in forested habitat in eastern Klamath County. Hunters are asked to provide a wing and tail from each grouse harvested and drop them off at the Klamath District Office on Miller Island Road.

Eurasian collared-doves:
There are lots of opportunities to hunt these non-native game birds. Season is open year-round with no bag limit restrictions. A hunting license is required.

Klamath Wildlife Area:
Dove season is open and continues through Oct. 30. Youth Waterfowl Hunt: Sept. 21-22, the Miller Island Unit is open only to youth waterfowl hunters.


Wildlife Viewing

Fall bird migrations make for great wildlife viewing
The fall migration of ducks, geese and other birds is underway across the state. Both serious birders and casual viewers look forward to this annual passage. Don’t miss out. Track down your binoculars and read the zone reports to find a great viewing spot near you.

Migratory shorebirds including white-faced ibis, great egrets, sandhill crane, and black-necked stilts have arrived in the Klamath basin.

The Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges offer excellent viewing opportunities. An auto tour route is available on the Lower Klamath NWR just south of Stateline Road. 

Bald eagle nesting is well underway. Bald eagles generally nest near the top of very large conifer trees. Nests are usually close to waterbodies. You can see osprey soaring and searching for fish along rivers and major waterbodies.

The Link River trail below Upper Klamath Lake is an excellent place to view many species of wildlife including deer, river otter, muskrat, mink, buffleheads, goldeneye, great-blue heron and great egret.

Deer fawns are still with does and are common throughout the basin.

Information provided by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Klamath County Event Center.png

The Recreation Report is brought to you by the Klamath County Event Center. Mark your calendar, The fall auction is coming October 26.

See what is happening this weekend,