There: Adjacent to Hwy 22, about 50 miles east of Salem.
-Photo by Jerry Corson-
Fisheries: ODFW releases 125,000 legal-sized rainbow trout between April and October, along with fingerling rainbow, kokanee and chinook. There are also brown bullhead, largemouth bass and pumpkinseed present in the reservoir.
Information: Submerged tree stumps at all elevations of the reservoir can be hazardous to boaters and skiers. Boaters should be careful in shallow areas. Strong winds blow up the canyon in the late morning and blow all afternoon, often making the main body of the lake quite rough.
Tackle & Techniques: Angling for rainbow trout is most successful in the spring, early summer and fall when surface temperatures are cooler. By mid-summer, trout releases are mostly in the North Santiam Arm where cold water is entering the reservoir. Troll for trout with a small spinner or a piece of nightcrawler behind the flasher. Bank anglers can toss spinners or fish with worms, PowerBait or salmon eggs floated off the bottom. By late July or August most of the kokanee may be 80-100 feet deep; downriggers are a advantage, but a heavier fishing pole with sufficient weight will work. Common techniques include jigging with buzz bombs or kokanee jigs— pink or red are effective—and trolling using a Ford Fender or other flasher with a spinner behind it and some white corn or piece of worm on the hooks. Anglers fishing off the dam in the spring do quite well fishing for salmon as they leave the reservoir. the hooks. Anglers fishing off the dam in the spring do quite well fishing for salmon as they leave the reservoir.
Facilities: There are several boat ramps and US Forest Service and state camping and day-use activities. ADA facilities are well-developed near the boat ramp at Hoover Campground on the North Santiam arm. Boat rentals and other amenities are available at Kane’s Marina and the Detroit Lake Resort.
Fees: Yes, for overnight and day
Additional Activities: The water warms enough that swimming and other water sports become the primary attraction from June through August, though fish resources are still plentiful. Nearby state parks: Detroit Lake State Recreation Area, North Santiam State Recreation Area.
ODFW South Willamette District Office — (541) 757-4186
Kane’s Detroit Lake Marina — (503) 854-3362
Detroit Lake State Park Visitor Center — (503) 854-9140