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Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

July 22, 2014

 Central Zone Fishing

The Deschutes River
The Deschutes River

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing on Mt. Hood’s Lost Lake should continue to be good throughout the summer.
  • Early season summer steelhead fishing on the Deschutes has been good from the moth to Macks Canyon.
  • Wlaton Lake was stocked with trout last week and fishing should be good.
  • Bass fishing has been excellent in Haystack Reservoir and Lake Billy Chinook.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014 anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.

2014 trout stocking for the Central Zone

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.


No recent reports but the water is probably pretty warm, which will limit success.

Anglers will have the best luck fishing early in the morning when water temperatures will be the coolest.


Current regulations allow for a limit of 2 fish per day, 8-inch minimum length for trout.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fishing might be slowing down due to warmer water temperatures.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

Clear Lake has been stocked and should be a great place to catch recently stocked legals, trophies, and hold overs.

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

Anglers report good fishing with reports of large rainbow being caught. Closed from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise.

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

No recent reports.

Redband Trout
Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Recent sampling showed abundant populations of redband trout and whitefish. There were excellent numbers of 12 to 14-inch trout with several over 18-inches captured. Anglers are reminded that trout over 20 inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

No recent reports.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Anglers report fair fishing. Restricted to fly fishing only with barbless hooks.

DESCHUTES RIVER, Mouth to the Pelton Regulating Dam: spring Chinook, steelhead, redband trout, whitefish

Steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes from Macks Canyon downstream to the mouth has been good for the early season.  Dam counts at both Bonneville and The Dalles have been good. If good numbers of steelhead continue up the Columbia River, expect good fishing in the Lower Deschutes.

No recent reports on trout fishing, but fishing should still be good for anglers fishing the early morning and evenings.

The Deschutes remains open for adipose fin-clipped Chinook through July 31, 2014 from the mouth of the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls. The catch limit is two adult adipose fin-clipped salmon per day.

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.

Check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Middle Deschutes. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

Lake Billy Chinook to Bend: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent reports. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

Bend to Wickiup Dam: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent reports

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, kokanee

Anglers report good fishing with reports of large rainbow being caught. Catch-and-release for all rainbow trout that DO NOT have an adipose-fin clip.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

River was stocked last week with rainbow trout. Anglers report fair fishing. Restricted to fly fishing only with barbless hooks.

FROG LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and fishing should be good.

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

Fishing has been excellent for bass. Trout fishing has been slow.

-Photo by Derek Wilson-

HOOD RIVER: winter steelhead, trout

The Hood River closed for fin-clipped Chinook on June 30, 2014

The mainstem and most tributaries are open to catch-and-release trout fishing.

A few hatchery origin stray, along with wild summer steelhead are entering the river, and should provide anglers with some opportunity. Anglers are reminded that all non fin-clipped steelhead must be released.

HOSMER LAKE: Atlantic salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat

Angers report fair fishing. Restricted to fly angling only with barbless hooks.

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

Fishing has been excellent for bass.

Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Fishing for rainbow trout has been fair in the upper part of the reservoir. Anglers report catching many pikeminnow.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Anglers report fair fishing for rainbows and brook trout.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report, but anglers should find good success throughout the summer.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Anglers report fair fishing.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

No recent reports


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

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Trout fishing has been fair but will become more difficult as summer progresses. Bass fishing has been excellent.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout, rainbow trout

No recent reports. Twenty-five kokanee per day (no size limits) in addition to other trout species catch limit. Trout daily catch limit may include only 1 lake trout, 30 inch minimum length.

The Oregon Health Authority issued a health advisory for Odell Lake on July 21 due to high levels of blue-green algae in the lake. OHA recommends avoiding swallowing or enhaling water or water droplets from the lake. With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Odell Lake and enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing and bird watching. Oregon health officials recommend that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, because toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. For more information about the advisory and recommended precautions, go to the OHA website.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Catch-and-release for all rainbow trout that DO NOT have an adipose-fin clip.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The reservoir is warming up and has been stocked.

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

Fishing has been slow for trout but the fish that have been caught have been large. Bass and crappie fishing has been good.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Anglers are reminded that fishing is limited to kids 17 years old and younger. There is also a 2 fish bag limit.


No recent reports, but irrigation withdrawls will likely limit good fishing.


Two trout per day, 8 inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing has been fair with reports of decent-size rainbow trout being caught.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Fishing for rainbows will be slow due to hot temperatues, but anglers can shift their efforts to largemouth bass.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Anglers report fair fishing. Lake was stocked the week of July 15.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing has been good. The lake was stocked the week of July 15.

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

Anglers report fair fishing.. Twenty-five kokanee (no size limits) in addition to other trout species catch limit. Closed from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise.

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  Central Zone Hunting


Wolf coyote identificationWolves 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. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; 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. Remember 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.

Ground squirrels are active in agricultural fields throughout Crook and Jefferson counties. Higher numbers are in Crook County on private lands along the Crooked River between Prineville and Paulina. Permission from landowners is necessary to access and hunt these lands.

Coyotes can offer an exciting challenge and will be closely associated with deer and antelope during the fawning time of year. 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.


Coyote –There are high numbers of Coyotes in Hood River and Wasco Counties.Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. Success can be increased if you locate dogs the night before hunting with a howl call and come back to that area with a predator call in the early morning.  Be sure to ask permission to hunt private lands. Limited opportunities may also be found at White River Wildlife area, and on lower elevation forest service lands.

-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Cougar – Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations, or in canyons near bighorn sheep. Using predator calls in early summer is also highly effective 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. See pg. 42 of the regulations for details.


Vehicle Access: Last year, new rules took affect that prohibit all recreational ATV use on the Wildlife Area, also camping is only allowed in designated camping areas. A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas.

Cougar – Open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Cougar can be found on White River Wildlife Area but are seldom seen. The annual migration of deer from higher in the Cascades will entice cougars to follow. Use weather to your advantage; look for tracks in snow, mud, and dirt.

Coyote – There are many coyotes prowling about this year. 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.

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 Central Zone Viewing


The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) north shore road opened to motorized traffic on April 15. The WMA offers camping, shoreline angling and opportunities to see 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 and at Prineville Reservoir State Park office.

Spring waterfowl migration is nearing its end. Resident nesting species such as mallards, gadwall and cinnamon teal are still numerous, but will be harder to locate as nesting begins. American wigeon, shoveler, green-winged teal and wood duck can still be seen, but are less common as most have migrated through. Numerous Canada Goose broods have been seen and can be found throughout Crook County.

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Shorebird migration is in full swing a few that have been seen include American avocets, black-necked stilts and killdeer. Common loons, pied-billed, eared and western grebe, American white pelicans, Caspian terns and a variety of gull species can also be seen around Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs.

Spring passerine migrants continue to increase in diversity and numbers as the season progresses. Common bird species that can be seen this time of year include American robin, common flicker, red-winged and brewers blackbirds, western kingbirds, American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain bluebirds, spotted towhees and tree, cliff and rough-winged swallows.

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.

Deer, elk, and antelope become harder to find this time of year as they become more secretive as fawning/calving nears. 5/20/14.

Deschutes County

At this time of year, warmer weather conditions in the high desert can make viewing wildlife challenging during the day. Birds are much more active in the early morning hours. Many mammals will find a shady bush, hollow tree, burrow, or safe rocky area to escape the heat of the day, becoming most active in the mornings and evenings. Even reptiles that require the sun to bring their bodies up to “working temperature” to hunt and digest prey will keep out of the sun for much of the day, again being most active in the early morning and evenings. Some species, such as rattlesnakes, may remain active all night during the hottest periods of the year. However, if you are out and about when it’s hot, the best places to see the greatest variety of 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 temperatures heat up and wildlife in drier habitats change their activity patterns to avoid extreme temperatures. Excellent places to visit and increase your chance of seeing wildlife during the day 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 the Deschutes River, especially in areas that have off river ponds such as those found on the west side of the river near Slough Camp Ground.

Both bald and golden eagles can be seen at Smith Rock State where potential eagle food sources, yellow-bellied marmots and ground squirrels can also be seen. Bird watching is not just limited to wild places, as residents and visitors to Bend can watch an osprey pair nesting adjacent to the Parkway that runs through Bend and Vaux’s swifts can be seen flying over the former Bend library at 507 NW Wall St., and disappearing into the chimney at dusk.

Scan the skies for a glimpse of large birds with a “V” shaped wing pattern and you are likely to be looking at turkey vultures. Northern pintails, mallards, common mergansers, great blue herons and many other wetland bird species can be found throughout the counties y water bodies, and Steller's jays, white-headed woodpeckers, junco’s, sparrows, ravens, spotted towhees, hairy woodpeckers, cedar waxwings and red-cross bills are just a few of the species that can be found in the Deschutes National Forest and BLM-managed lands.

Good sites to look for birds include forest edges surrounding meadows and wetland areas. Those with patience and stealth may be rewarded by the call and possible sighting of a Virginia rail moving through thickets of cattails. Specific birding destinations to consider include Tumalo Reservoir (west of Highway 20 between Sister and Bend), Pelton Dam wildlife overlook and Lake Simstustus (Deschutes River northwest of Madras), and Hatfield Lakes (just north of the Bend airport). 7/07/14

Wasco and Sherman counties

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 Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216). Lambs are up and active with ewe groups. Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing.. 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, and Golden Eagles.  Most species have just finished nesting for the year so keep an eye out for newly fledged juveniles.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river also.  It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active.  Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow.

Outdoor enthusiasts should always be aware of current fire restrictions and take extra precautions. 7/21/14

White River Wildlife Area

It is best to look for deer early in the morning or in the evening hours grazing in fields and pastures. They can also be found in clear cuts in the mountains at this time. Bucks are well on their way to growing new antlers. Some can be seen with 3 and 4 points on them already. The does are being a little secretive right now because they are getting ready or already have had fawns. In a few weeks the fawns will be following mom around fairly often. Remember: If you see a fawn or other wildlife baby leave them alone and don’t move them, the mother is out looking for food or water and will be coming back to get the baby soon.

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
-Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

Most of the elk have moved up to their summer grounds except for the local herd that roams the Wildlife Area. They can still be seen occasionally crossing a road or feeding out in a field or meadow. Like the deer the bull elk have lost their antlers and growing their new ones fast. The cow elk will be having calves soon. They usually are born a little later than the deer fawns.

It’s also possible to see bald and golden eagles on the Wildlife Area. Other raptors such as red-tailed hawks and rough-legged hawks are common sights. American kestrels and northern harriers are also easily seen hunting for food.

Lewis’s woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, flickers, western meadowlarks, Steller’s jays, scrub jays, gray jays, Townsend’s solitaire, horned larks, and robins are all at home on the Wildlife Area. There have also been lots of magpies spotted flying around this year.

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese. 6/3/14

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