Central Oregon Viewing Report 4/01/09
Apr 03,2009 00:00 by ODFW


The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. Programs are included with paid admission, The Dalles

Raptor Interpretive Program
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays (except holidays). Meet in the Discovery Center River Gallery. See and learn about Ferguson, the Bald Eagle. You will also get an up-close experience with a smaller raptor presented by museum personnel. 11 a.m. For more information,

Oregon is Indian Country Exhibit, March 8-29

A special exhibit of Oregon’s Native American heritage. The exhibit was produced by the Oregon Historical Society in partnership with Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes.

Prineville Area

Resident ducks and geese are to pairing up in preparation for nesting along the Crooked River and Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area. Big game are moving from winter ranges to higher elevations. Good viewing for mule deer, antelope, and elk remains in many areas. The access road along the north side of Prineville Reservoir through the wildlife area remains closed to motorized access, but offers great viewing opportunities for walk-in access.

Directions to the wildlife area: From Prineville, take Paulina Highway 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Juniper Canyon Road at the Prineville Reservoir State Park sign. Take Juniper Canyon Road 12.5 miles to Prineville Reservoir State Park. Access to the wildlife area is a primitive dirt road in the northeast corner of the state park. Visitors also may continue southeast along Paulina Highway for 15 miles (from Prineville) and turn right at the bottom of the hill after passing Eagle Rock near milepost 14 onto the signed wildlife area primitive roadway. For more information, visit ODFW’s Web site.

Wildlife Viewing Road Trip

For good viewing experience of wintering big game, drive from Prineville east along the Crooked River to the Paulina Ranger Station. To take this trip, turn south off Highway 26 at the east end of Prineville onto the Paulina Highway (Hwy 380). Proceed east on the Paulina Highway through the small communities of Post and Paulina. The best viewing for hunting birds of prey will be between MP 20 and 50. Approximately four miles east of Paulina proceed north to Paulina Ranger Station using Puett Road. Pay particular attention during this section for wintering deer, elk, and pronghorn using the western slopes of Powell Mountain visible from Puett Road. This drive is suitable for cars and is approximately 180 miles round trip from Prineville. Drivers should be prepared for a 6 – 8 hour trip.  Bring warm clothing, binoculars, spotting scope, a camera, snacks and your favorite warm beverages. Food and fuel is available at stores in Post and Paulina.

The Dalles

Spring is here, and neotropical migrants are right behind it. This is a great time of year to take a hike in the Columbia River gorge. The gorge is host to many migrant songbirds in the spring, as well as a great place to find wildflowers and other wildlife. The Mosier Twin Tunnels provides a great hard surface trail to avoid the spring mud. For more information visit Oregon State Parks Web site.

A few eagles are still being seen along the Columbia River. The best viewing areas for eagles are at Government Cove near Cascade Locks, and near Mayer State Park. For directions and more information on Mayer State Parks.

The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is now hosting a raptor interpretive program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays except holidays. Visitors will get to see the Center’s Bald Eagle up close and personnel, as well as learn about other raptors in the program. For more information on the raptor program, visit the Gorge Discovery web site.

White River Wildlife Area

Elk are still near the feed sites on the area. The best viewing opportunity is generally found in and around the headquarters of the wildlife area or from the view site off of the 48 road.

Visitors to the area can see a wide variety of birds, including Lewis’ Woodpeckers, Cooper’s hawks and pileated woodpecker’s. Deer are using the feeders throughout the area. Visitors are asked to maintain some distance between themselves and wintering deer to reduce disturbance to the animals.

From The Dalles, travel 34 miles south on Hwy. 197 to the blinking light at Tygh Valley. Turn right into Tygh Valley and follow the signs to Wamic on Wamic Market Road. Continue straight ahead on Dodson Road rather than follow the sharp curve. Continue on Dodson Road through three 90-degree turns. Turn left on the gravel road 1/4 mile past the last curve, and continue 1-1/2 miles to the cattleguard and area signs. The wildlife area headquarters is located 1/2 mile past the cattleguard. For more information, visit ODFW Web site.

Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area

Many different species frequent the Deschutes Canyon at this time of year with opportunities to view a wide variety of waterbirds, passerines, deer and bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep are a common site in the canyon. One of the most popular spots to view Bighorn rams is across the river from Jones campground, along the Mack’s canyon access road.

Many different bird species are present in the Deschutes Wildlife Area, including osprey, kingfishers, great blue herons and waterfowl. ODFW’s Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area is located in The Dalles. Directions and more information about the Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area.