The Oregon Seal Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife mobile
 » ODFW Home    » Recreation Report
About Us Fishing Hunting Viewing License/Regs Conservation Living With Wildlife Education
Event Calendar Follow ODFW
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
Central Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

August 22 2017

 Central Zone Fishing

Fishing the South Twin Lake
Fishing the South Twin Lake
-Photo by Dean Guernsey-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • North and South Twin Lakes each were stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout, making this a great fishing opportunity.
  • Anglers are reporting much better rainbow trout fishing than the last few years at Prineville Reservoir, with fish averaging 16 inches
  • The entire lower Deschutes River is now open for trout fishing.
  • Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up on Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Reports of good trout fishing on Crane Prairie.
  • Recent sampling of Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake showed excellent winter survival with most trout in the 12 to 14-inch range.
  • Lost and Clear lakes are now accessible: Both have been stocked and each has received an extra load of trophy-size fish.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the weekly Recreation Report.


Anglers are reporting good catches of both stocked and carryover rainbow trout from 12-18 inches. Anglers should target the deeper water near the dam.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

Anglers may keep two fish per day.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has warmed past best fishing opportunities for trout. Good opportunity will return in late summer or early fall as temperatures cool.

CENTURY POND: rainbow trout

The pond is located ¼ mile west of the junction of USFS Rd 46 (Century Drive) and USFS Rd 4635.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked late this year, and should be in perfect shape for the weekend.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, largemouth bass, kokanee

Anglers report good fishing in the morning and evenings with the channel fishing fair during mid-day. Wild rainbow trout must be released. Only 1 trout over 20-inches per day.

CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee

Open to fishing all year. One lake trout per day, 24-inch minimum length.

CROOKED RIVER: redband trout, mountain whitefish

Angling opportunities for redband trout and whitefish are improving. Recent surveys indicate the trout population has rebounded considerably from 2016. Most fish are in the 8-12 inch range, with the occasional larger trout. We are excited to see this popular fishery coming back.

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for trout. No limits on warmwater fish.

The Deschutes River
Fishing the Deschutes River
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

DESCHUTES RIVER, MOUTH TO THE PELTON REGULATING DAM: redband trout, summer steelhead, whitefish

Special regulations are in effect for the Deschutes from Moody Rapids downstream to the Columbia River. For the period from June 16- August 31, 2017, only one hatchery steelhead is allowed in the adult salmonid daily bag limit. Unfortunately, due to expected low returns of spring Chinook in the Deschutes basin, spring Chinook fishing will remain closed in 2017. By permanent rule, Chinook fishing will re-open on Aug. 1.

Steelhead are numbers are low to date, but a few should be available in the lower river.

Anglers who catch a tagged hatchery steelhead with an orange anchor tag, are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-296-4628. Anglers catching a tagged wild fish should release it immediately without recording any information.

Counts at the Sherars Falls salmon and steelhead trap. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October. Trapping has ended at Sherars Falls for the season.

Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls: rainbow trout, brown trout

Open for trout all year. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures. No size or limits on brown trout and no harvest of bull trout.

Benham Falls upstream to Little Lava Lake:

Wild rainbow trout must be released. 2 trout per day (including brook and brown trout, kokanee, and hatchery rainbow trout.

DEVILS LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

Elk Lake
Elk Lake
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. 25 kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing for rainbow trout. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, kokanee, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill

Fishing should be good this year. The reservoir was stocked with 9,500 legal-size trout and 75 brood fish. Warmwater fish are plentiful but tend to be on the smaller side.

HOOD RIVER: Summer steelhead

Anglers are reminded that spring Chinook angling closed on the Hood River on June 30, 2017. Anglers will find a few summer steelhead available in the river. Water temperatures may limit fishing opportunity, as glacial melt will limit water clarity.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

Anglers report fair fishing in the morning and evenings. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for all species.


The lake has been stocked and should be good fishing. Bank anglers are having success along the dam.

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull, brown and rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass

Opportunities for 10-13 inch kokanee are excellent. Best success has been reported in the Metolius Arm. Bull trout are beginning to move toward the upper end of the Metolius Arm prior to spawning. Harvest limited to one fish over 24 inches. Tribal permit required for Metolius Arm.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Opportunities for 12-16 inch rainbow trout are good. The reservoir has been recently stocked. Tribal permit required.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

LAVA LAKE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and should be good fishing at one of Oregon’s most famous lakes. Additionally, Lost Lake received an extra stocking of trophy trout!

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Anglers report good fishing. Fishing is restricted to fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99. Catch-and-release for trout including bull trout.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Lake was stocked this week with 1,000 rainbow trout, making this a great fishing opportunity.


There are usually some nice-size trout in the creek during the spring.

Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only; two trout per day with an 8-inch minimum length. Trout 20-inches and greater must be released unharmed.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Opportunities for both wild and hatchery rainbow trout continue to be very good. Average size is 12-16 inches. Trout will be moving into the deeper water with the warm weather. Black crappie and smallmouth bass are also available.

ODELL CREEK: rainbow trout

Catch-and-release for trout including bull trout.

ODELL LAKE: lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. All tributaries to Odell Lake are closed to fishing. All bull trout must be released unharmed.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow caught in Pine Hollow Reservoir, Wamic, Oregon
-Photo by Rick Hargrave-

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked and fishing has been good, especially for trophies.

PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie

Anglers are reporting much better rainbow trout fishing than the last few years with fish averaging 16 inches. Despite a die-off earlier this year, opportunities for black crappie continue to be excellent. The reduction in numbers will increase growth and size of remaining fish.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Fishing should be good for the recently stocked trout.


No recent reports. Lake levels are likely dropping from irrigation withdrawals.


Pond will be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Open to youth only (17 years and under) and disabled anglers. Limit is two fish per day.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Lake was stocked this week with 1,000 rainbow trout, making this a great fishing opportunity.

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Fly fishing only, barbless hooks required.

SPRAGUE POND: rainbow trout

Turn at Cow Meadow sign off USFS Rd 40. Take first left at first dirt road and follow road to pond.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year. 25 kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Kolby Zurbrugg-

TAYLOR LAKE (Wasco County): rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Recent warm temperatures will limit success on rainbow trout, the lake should continue to offer good bass opportunity.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

The road to the lake is closed due to a large wildlife in the area. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service for more details. Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Angling for rainbow trout is excellent with both boat and bank anglers reporting good catches of 12-18 inch rainbow trout. All gear types are producing good results. Anglers are reminded no boat motors are allowed on Walton.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: kokanee, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Twenty-five kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

Back to the top

  Central Zone Hunting


Free pheasant hunts for youth hunters – Sign up now

Free hunts are being held in Madras and The Dalles (Tygh Valley). These events are only open to youth who have passed hunter education. (ODFW has many hunter education classes and field days available before the events.) An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but may not hunt. More info.

Long draw fire
The Long Draw Fire in southeastern Oregon burned in sage-grouse habitat.
- ODOT Photo -

Hunting and fire danger in Oregon
ODFW does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger. However, hunters may face restrictions due to fires burning on public land and reduced access to private lands during fire season. More info including list of private land closures

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.


Cougar are present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of public lands and better accessibility. Cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts and be sure to call first to make an appointment.

Coyotes can offer an exciting challenge. Both the Maury and Ochoco have sizeable areas of public lands that provide hunting opportunities. Hunters should use caution, be properly equipped and prepared for whatever the weather might bring.


Coyotes: Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. The best areas to find them will be near farm grounds on the eastern boundary. Look for them in early morning or evening and pay close attention to wind direction.

- Royalty Free Image-

Cougar: Cougars can be found in the same areas as deer and elk as they follow them through their migration routes.

Fall Black Bear: Bear season started August 1 and runs through November 30 in Eastern Oregon. Bear populations are healthy in the White River and Hood units, with populations more heavily concentrated in the Hood unit. Focus on fall berry patches and glassing open areas for your best shot at finding bears.

The bag limit is one bear per tag, except that it is unlawful to take cubs less than one year old or sows with cubs less than one year old.

Please refer to page 28 of the 2017 Big Game Hunting Regulations for information on specific season restrictions.

Hunters are required to check-in the unfrozen hide and skull, with proof of sex attached to an ODFW office within 10 days. Hunters are also required to provide the reproductive tract of harvested female cougars and bears. See pg. 42 of the regulations for details.

White River Wildlife Area

Archery Deer: General season runs from Aug. 26 thru Sept. 24. One buck with a visible antler may be harvested in the White River Unit. Most of the larger migratory bucks are summering at higher elevations but some resident bucks can still be found scattered throughout the wildlife area and bordering private lands. The cool wet spring produced and abundance of feed but the summer heat wave that we are experiencing has dried much of it up. The extremely dry conditions will make stalking bucks a little more challenging than normal.

Archery Elk: General season runs from Aug. 26 thru Sept. 24. The bag limit for elk is one elk. Elk can be found throughout the Wildlife Area. Look for areas with good food, cover, and water sources to help find tracks, scat, and other sign that elk are using the area.

Bear: Aug. 1 –Nov.30: The bag limit is one bear per tag, except that it is unlawful to take cubs less than one year old or sows with cubs less than one year old.

Please refer to page 28 of the 2017 Big Game Hunting Regulations for information on specific season restrictions.

Bears can be found throughout WRWA but you may be more successful locating huckleberry patches in the higher elevations within Mt. Hood National Forest. Locate food sources and search for tracks on dirt roads and trails. Scan canyon slopes and open areas to try and spot them feeding in early morning and evenings.

Cougar: Cougar season is open Jan. 1- Dec. 31 or until Zone Mortality Quotas have been met. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

Coyotes: Populations are good throughout the wildlife area. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Back to the top

 Central Zone Wildlife Viewing

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
Photo by Nick Myatt, ODFW


Red-tailed, rough-legged and ferruginous hawks, northern harriers, American kestrels, prairie falcons and golden eagles can be found throughout Crook County and are usually associated more closely with open/agricultural areas. Bald eagles and osprey can be found associated with water bodies. Northern goshawks can be located throughout the Ochoco National Forest.

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area: The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers access to view a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. Note: The exterior gates are now open, after being closed all winter to protect wintering mule deer. Vehicles must remain on open roads, designated by a green dot, and cross-country motorized travel is prohibited.

Deschutes County

At this time of year the hot weather conditions can make viewing wildlife challenging. Birds are more active in the early morning hours and many mammals will find a shady bush, hollow tree, burrow, or safe rocky area to escape the heat of the day. Even reptiles, that require the sun to bring their bodies up to “working temperature,” have to seek shade during the hottest hours, as they are unable to sweat or pant to shed heat. That said; if you are out and about during the heat of the day, the best places to see wildlife are wetlands, lakes, and rivers with robust riparian and emergent vegetation. This is generally true at any time of the year, but especially so when the thermometer rises and wildlife change their activity patterns to avoid temperature extremes. Like us, wildlife will look for a shady spot to gain refuge from the heat, and being flushed from their shelter to avoid contact with curious humans can cause them unnecessary stress; therefore, it is best to provide wildlife space and enjoy them from a distance with the aid of binoculars or a spotting scope.

Deschutes County is home to an impressive array of reptiles that includes 7 lizard and 8 snake species. Be careful if you come across a rattlesnake. Never try to pick one up and if you hear the warning rattle, but cannot see the snake, locate the sound and move in an opposite direction. At this time of year many reptiles are more active in the early morning and late evening hours.

Western fence lizards and sagebrush lizards can be seen through much of the day, but as previously mentioned, they will seek shade during the hottest hours. They can be found in many areas of Deschutes County, but good places to find them include sagebrush habitats with rocky outcrops. If you find yourself in open areas with volcanic soils or in pine woodlands, look for the diminutive short-horned lizards as they sit motionless near active ant mounts ready to enjoy a meal of their favorite six legged food.

Vegetated margins of ponds and lakes are great places to find treefrogs, western toads, and long-toed salamanders. Late summer is the time when most amphibian species change from tadpoles and larvae into mini frogs and salamanders. One site that usually has an abundance of newly changed tree frogs and western toads is Sparks Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway, but be careful where you step as they can sometimes be found carpeting areas in the hundreds or thousands.

Excellent places to visit and increase your chance of seeing wildlife include any of the Cascade lakes and reservoirs, such as Wickiup, Davis, Elk, and Crane Prairie. Lower elevation sites include Smith Rock State Park at Terrebonne and Hatfield Lakes (just northeast of the Bend airport) where you can expect to see a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds and multiple gull species, along with deer, rabbits, and a diversity of other mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Bird watching is not just limited to wild places. Residents and visitors to Bend can see a wide variety of birds along the trails that follow the Deschutes River in Bend or watch Vaux’s swifts flying over the former Bend library (at 507 NW Wall St.) and disappearing into the chimney at dusk.

Whether you’re interested in song birds, water birds, or raptors and prefer remote or urban birding experiences, directions to a list of great birding locations can be found at East Cascades Audubon Society web site. 8/1/2017


The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherars Falls (along Hwy 216). Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing. Sheep can also be viewed from The Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area access trail on the east side of the river by hiking up from the mouth of the river. Sheep can be seen about as low as river mile 7 or 8.

Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and Osprey.

Great wildlife viewing opportunities also exist on The Woosley Tract of Lower Deschutes Wildlife area. Many unique bird species can be found throughout the area. Bighorn sheep also can be found using the area. It can be accessed through BLM lands at the mouth of Oak, Ferry, or Ward canyons. You will need a boat to access the area, which provides a very remote experience, with usually very few other people around, if any. Please call The Dalles district office at 541 296 4628 with any questions about accessing the area.

White River Wildlife Area

Deer can be observed commonly throughout the wildlife area, providing ample photo opportunities. Bucks antlers will be in velvet for the next few weeks. In late August and early September bucks can be seen with shredded, often bloody velvet hanging from their antlers as they begin rubbing their antlers on shrubs and trees to remove the velvet.

Bull Elk
- Royalty Free Image-

Elk can be found throughout White River Wildlife Area, often seen traveling back and forth from bedding to feeding areas. Large herd bulls will soon be moving in to gather cows for the rut and can be heard bugling in the early morning and late evening. This year’s spring weather has produced healthy stands of grasses, forbs, and other browse making the elk more dispersed.

Bald and golden eagles and various other raptors, such as northern harriers, American kestrels, red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, are commonly observed. Other birds to keep an eye out for are Lewis’s Woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, western bluebirds, horned larks, western meadowlarks, Townsend’s solitaire, Flickers, and lots of robins.

Other animals that can be seen on the area are coyotes, badgers, bobcats, bears and cougars. These animals are very secretive and are hard to locate. You may get to see a coyote scavenging for mice in open pastures and fields but the other animals are much harder to find. Consider yourself lucky if you get to see one of these cautious animals.

With the warmer weather be mindful that wildlife are trying to escape the heat in the middle of the day, so if you see something hiding in the shade please observe from a distance. 8/14/2017

Back to the top

Zones: Northwest | Southwest | Willamette | Central | Southeast | Northeast | Snake | Columbia | Marine

Facebook Twitter RSS feed YouTube E-mail Sign Up

About Us | Fishing | Hunting | Wildlife Viewing | License / Regs | Conservation | Living with Wildlife | ODFW Outdoors

ODFW Home | Driving Directions | Employee Directory | Social Media | | File Formats | Employee Webmail

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at:
Share your opinion or comments on a Fish and Wildlife Commission issue at

   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 08/23/2017 9:48 AM