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ODFW Recreation Report

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12/15/2022 08:44 AM PST

Last minute gift-giving

If your holiday gift-giving list includes hunters, anglers or other outdoors people, consider a big game raffle tickets, a fishing license or a wildlife area parking permit. It’s like gifting a year’s worth of outdoor adventures. Learn about ODFW more gift-giving ideas and how to buy them.

Recreation Report holiday schedule

Speaking of holidays, here’s the holiday calendar for the Rec Report:

Dec. 21 – update with some prognostication for the next two weeks.
Dec. 28 – no Rec Report.
Jan. 4 – Rec Report resumes.

Best bets for fishing

Don’t let winter weather keep you from hitting the water – frozen and not. Some anglers wait all year for winter steelhead and ice fishing, and right now is one of the best times of the year to go crabbing.

If you’ve been waiting for winter steelhead season, it’s here! And anglers have been landing early returners in several coastal and Willamette Valley rivers. If you haven’t ever tried winter steelhead fishing, here’s your introduction. If you’re looking to up your game, we’ve got these tips for winter steelhead fishing.

As winter cold has set in, anglers already are enjoying ice fishing in some parts of the state. Ice fishing can be a great way to continue fishing through the winter – if you can’t beat it, enjoy it. Right? If you’ve never been, here are some tips to get you started.

December is a great month for crabbing on the Oregon coast. And if you like crab over the holidays, why not catch your own? A shellfish license is only $10, crabbing from docks and piers is easy and accessible, and you can even rent the gear you’ll need. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to get started.

Ideas for winter wildlife watching

Most resident birds and mammals don’t hibernate for the winter, and neither should you. Winter can be an excellent time to watch for some of Oregon’s native species. Here are a few ideas:

Over 25,000 gray whales pass by Oregon shores during their winter migration. You can see many from shore. Check out the prime times and viewing locations.

Migrating waterfowl and other birds are gathering in large flocks in coastal estuaries and lakes up and down the Oregon coast.
Heavy snow in the hills is pushing elk herds to lower elevations where they’re easier to see. Several wildlife areas, including Jewell Meadows and Dean Creek, offer excellent viewing opportunities.

The 123rd Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count is coming up Dec. 14 – Jan. 5. What a great reason to bird watch in the winter. Find out how to participate.

Report your hunt

If you purchased a tag for a 2022 hunt, you must report by Jan. 31 – even if you didn’t hunt or were unsuccessful. Information from hunters who did not hunt or did not harvest an animal is as important as from those who did take an animal. Find ways to report.

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