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Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

October 25, 2016

 Central Zone Fishing

Kokanee Salmon
Kokanee salmon
-Photo by William J. Knox-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers report fishing is fair for kokanee at Crescent Lake
  • Fall River will be stocked with rainbow trout this week

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

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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.


Fall sampling indicated good numbers of 12 to 14 inch fish. Water level is higher than normal for this time of year.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

Pine Nursery Pond is located in northeast Bend between Purcell, Deschutes Market and Yeoman Road. From Hwy 97, take Empire Blvd exit, head east on Empire Blvd 1.5 miles, turn left on Purcell 1900 feet, turn right on Rock Creek Park Drive at sign to Pine Nursery Community Park.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

All wild rainbow trout must be released. Closed to angling after Oct. 31.

Lake Trout
Crescent Lake Mackinaw
-Photo by Amy Paine-

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

Open all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The water level will be maintained at winter levels since irrigation season is over. Fall is a great time to fish the Crooked, it is easily waeable and trout and whitefish are feeding heavily going into the winter months. As a reminder, bait is no longer allowed on the river and all trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be immediately released unharmed. Please report any tagged fish to the Prineville Office (541) 447-5111. Flows below Bowman Dam

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.

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

Water levels on the Deschutes are high with recent rain. The lower 50 miles of the river from White River downstream is murky. No reports of water clarity above Maupin. Steelhead and trout are typically found close to the banks in murky water. Once water levels stabilize, anglers can find steelhead distributed throughout the lower 100 miles of the river.

Counts at the Sherars Falls salmon and steelhead trap. Check the trap catch to see when fish begin migrating upstream of Sherars Falls.

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:

Closed to angling.

DEVILS LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

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

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Recent sampling by ODFW revealed numerous brook trout in the 12” – 16” range.

Rainbow Trout

Andrea with a nice rainbow trout she caught
-Photo by Douglas E Osbon-

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Anglers report fair trout fishing in the mornings. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Water levels may be fluctuating this time of year so check the levels before you head out. Trout are averaging 12 to 14 inches long. Some nice sized bullhead were caught on the south shore. Good numbers of bass and crappie were found along the rocky shoreline to the north but most were smaller individuals.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead

High water will limit success.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for all species.

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

Angling has been fair for bull trout. Opportunities should improve as adults return to the reservoir after spawning in the Metolius River tributaries.

Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook, Sockeye Salmon 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

Open year-round.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Fishing has been good for hatchery rainbow trout in the lake for both fly and spinner anglers.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

LAVA LAVE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

Conditions should be excellent for angler success at Lost Lake.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99. Closes to angling Oct. 31 above Allingham Bridge.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.


Angling 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. Angling season on Ochoco Creek closes Nov 1.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Fall sampling showed good numbers of healthy rainbow trout measuring up to 18 inches long. Good numbers of bass and crappie were found along the rocky shoreline near the dam but most were smaller, around 8 inches long. The water level at the ramp is low but irrigation season is over so the reservoir should slowly start to fill with fall precipitation.

Odell Lake
Odell Lake
-Photo by Kathy Munsel_

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

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

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Water levels in the reservoir should be improving with recent rains. Anglers should find good success on rainbows.

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

Trout fishing has been fair near the dam. Fishing for warmwater fish has been good, especially for smallmouth bass. The water level is low at the State Park ramp but the irrigation season is over so the reservoir should start to fill with fall precipitation.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Fishing for trout should be good as the pond was recently stocked.


No recent reports.


Open to fishing all year. Limit is two trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

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

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

rainbow trout
Jay's biggest rainbow on a fly!
-Photo by -Sarah Hanson-

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

Trout fishing should be improving, as the lake has cooled.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Fall sampling indicated good numbers of 12 to 14 inch long trout with some up to 18 inches available. Walton is open to angling year round, but access to the boat ramp may be closed by gate. Check with Ochoco National Forest at 541-447-6500.

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

The Deschutes Arm of Reservoir upstream of West South Twin boat ramp is closed to angling. Reservoir closed to angling after Oct. 31. Consult the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for additional information.

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  Central Zone Hunting


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.



Waterfowl season is open. Popular spots include Prineville Reservoir, where water levels are low, and the BLM portions of the Lower Crooked River. Most Canada geese in the district are found on private land, where permission is required to hunt.

Bear season open until Nov. 30 in all units. Bear are present throughout the district, but at higher densities on forest lands at higher elevations on the Ochoco National Forest. The better locations to scout would be on the more densely forested north slopes of the Lookout Mountain and Paulina Ranger Districts in the Ochoco Unit. Remember, check in of harvested bears is mandatory within 10 days of harvest, please check the synopsis for required parts and make an appointment.

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.

Mourning Dove season closes Oct. 30. Hunters are reminded that Eurasian-collared doves are unprotected and can be taken year round.

Grouse Season opened Sept. 1 and includes both Blue and Ruffed Grouse w/ a daily baq limit of 3 of each species. Blue Grouse are typically found on semi-forested ridge lines, while ruffed grouse can be found along creek drainages.


Black Bear: Bear season is Aug. 1-Nov. 30. Bears can be found by glassing open areas. Look for areas with recent bear activity and berries or wild cherries to increase your chance of success. Remember that all harvested bears must be checked in to an ODFW office, unfrozen within 10 days of harvest. Placing a stick in the mouth of harvested bear is encouraged for easier tooth extraction.

Waterfowl: Duck and goose seasons both opened Oct. 15. Season dates are Oct. 15- 30 and Nov. 2- Jan. 29. Not many birds are around this early in the season but should start showing up as we get more storms up north.

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Upland birds: Early bird surveys indicated bird numbers appear to be higher than last bird hunting season. Forest Grouse and Mountain Quail hunters are encouraged to put a wing and tail feathers in one of several “grouse wing barrels” located throughout the White River and Hood Units. Hunters looking for areas to hunt can explore the UCAP properties and public properties in the Deschutes and John Day river canyons.

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.

Cougar: Cougars can be found in the same areas as deer and elk as they follow them through their migration routes. Calling with fawn in distress can be effective this time of year. Cougars have large home ranges so remember to be patient and persistent.

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.


A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas. Camping is allowed only in designated areas.

Elk: The first general season for modern firearm is open Oct. 26-30 (Rocky Mtn elk). This is a bull only hunt.

Upland Bird: Forest Grouse and Mountain Quail are open now and run through Jan. 31. Forest grouse and mountain quail numbers are poor within the White River Wildlife Area but can be found in other parts of the White River Unit. Pay close attention to the 2016 game bird regulations for all bird hunting.

Chuckar, Hungarian Partridge, pheasant, California quail, and the controlled turkey season opened Oct. 8. These seasons close on Jan. 31 with the exception of pheasant which closes Dec. 31 and the controlled turkey hunt Oct. 23.

Waterfowl: Duck, Coot and Merganser – Season in Zone 1 is now open and ends Oct. 30, and will re-open Nov. 2. The daily limit is 7, please read exceptions within the regulations.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese
- Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

Goose – Season for eastern Oregon is now open and ends Oct. 30 and will re-open Nov. 2. Please refer to the regulations for bag limit.

Waterfowl hunting is scarce on the wildlife area but ducks and geese can be found on some of the bodies of water on the wildlife area such as Baker pond, Smock Reservoir, and the Cody ponds.

Mourning Dove: Season closes Oct. 30. The daily bag limit is 15. Mourning doves seem to be more spread out this year than in past years, but can be found in most areas near water and grain fields.

Black Bear season open until Nov. 30. Black Bears can be found on the wildlife area in the oaks looking for dropped acorns, but the best chances of finding bears will be at higher elevations above the wildlife area. Focus hunts near natural food sources such as berries, nuts and insects, as well as near water.

Eurasian Collared Doves are UNPROTECTED with no season or bag limit restrictions. Hunters only need a hunting license to harvest these birds. Often found in urban areas, make sure you are outside city limits when discharging a weapon.

Cougar is open all year 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: Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. Using distress calls can be quite productive throughout the winter. 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 attention to wind direction.

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 Central Zone Wildlife Viewing

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
Photo by Kathy Munsel, 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.


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). 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, Golden Eagles, and Osprey.

Migrating American White Pelicans can be observed this time of the year along the Columbia River from the confluence of the Deschutes River upstream to The Dalles Dam.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow.

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys
-Photo by Rick Swart-

White River Wildlife Area

The wildlife area is home to many game and nongame species. Look for wild turkeys foraging for acorns or the occasional bear or cougar as they move throughout the wildlife area.

A variety of songbirds are moving through the wildlife area this time of year and can be found near watering holes and places with good food and cover.

It is 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, northern harriers, and the occasional prairie falcon can also be seen hunting their prey.

Lewis’s woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, flickers, western meadowlarks, Steller’s jays, scrub jays, gray jays, Townsend’s solitaire, horned larks, golden-crowed kinglets, Western Bluebirds and robins are all at home on the Wildlife Area. There have also been lots of magpies spotted flying around this year. (10/4/2016)

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