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Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

May 26, 2015

 Central Zone Fishing

Kokanee Salmon
Wan Teece of Enterprise with her kokanee.
-Photos by Jack Teece-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Kokanee fishing has been good in Lake Billy Chinook.
  • We’re getting reports of good fishing in Hosmer, East and Big Lava lakes, and Crane Prairie Reservoir.
  • The following are scheduled to be stocked this week: Lake Simtustus, East, Paulina and Walton lakes, Shevlin Youth Fishing Pond and the Deschutes River from Benham Falls upstream to Wickiup Reservoir.
  • In Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs, warmwater fish are getting more active as the weather warms up.

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.


The water is very dirty and fishing has been slow. Recent sampling showed many trout around 12 inches. Scent, flash and vibration will help the trout find your offering in the dirty water.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout

Limit is 2 fish per day, 8-inch minimum length.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond received an extra allocation of fish for a youth fishing event, and should provide excellent opportunity.

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

Anglers report good trout fishing. Trout daily catch limit may include one rainbow trout over 16 inches and one non fin-clipped (unmarked) rainbow trout. NOTE: Anglers who harvest one rainbow trout over 16 inches that is non fin-clipped have met both of these special regulations.

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

Anglers report fair fishing for kokanee and good fishing for lake trout.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

Fishing for trout and whitefish has been good. Anglers are reminded that trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed. Fish that are being released should not be removed from the water.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Lake is scheduled to be stocked this week with rainbow trout. No recent reports.
DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

No recent reports. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. NOTE: ODFW biologist will be capturing largemouth bass from the lake at night over the next two weeks. These fish will be released in various waterbodies throughout the state to enhance those fisheries.

Fly-fishing on the Deschutes
-Video by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

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

Anglers are reminded that steelhead fishing from the northern boundary of the Warms Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Dam closed Dec. 31. Trout season re-opened on this stretch on April 25. Recent reports of early hatches of salmon and stoneflies, should pique angler interest.

Steelhead and trout angling is permitted year round from the Reservation boundary downstream to the Columbia River. No recent reports lately on trout fishing, but the lower Deschutes around Maupin should be good.

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 Lower Deschutes at river mile 43. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

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

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

Benham Falls upstream to Wickiup Reservoir: rainbow trout, brown trout

This section of the Deschutes River opened to angling on May 23. Five trout per day, which may include 2 non fin-clipped rainbow trout. Scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout this week.

Wickiup Reservoir upstream to Crane Prairie: rainbow trout, brown trout

This section of the Deschutes River opened to angling on May 23. Two trout per day, 8 inch minimum length.

Crane Prairie Reservoir upstream to Little Lave Lake: rainbow trout, brook trout

This section of the Deschutes River opened to angling on May 23. Catch-and-release only for rainbow trout. Five brook trout per day.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Anglers report good fishing for rainbow and brown trout.

Cutthroat Trout
Cutthroat Trout
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Anglers report fair fishing for brook trout.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

River is scheduled to be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Downstream of the falls opened to angling on May 23. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout, spring Chinook

Spring Chinook are present throughout the Lower Hood River, with decent catch rates occurring in the last week. A few winter steelhead are still present, but their numbers are declining. Early summer sateelhead are also available. Good numbers of winter steelhead should continue into late April.

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

Anglers report good fishing with large trout being caught.

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

Fishing has been good lately, especially for kokanee. Opportunities for bull trout are expected to be good this year. 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 should be good for the recently released trout.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Opened to fishing April 25, 2015, it has been recently stocked and should provide excellent opportunities.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Angers report good fishing for rainbow trout with large fish being caught.

LAVA LAVE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent reports.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report. The lake may be accessible due to lack of snow; however, the lake is scheduled to be stocked the week of May 11. For anglers who can make their way to the lake, there is opportunity to catch holdover fish from last year’s stocking.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

No recent reports. Metolius River upstream of Allingham Bridge opens on May 23. Special fishing regulations apply to the Metolius River. All tributaries except Abbot, Lake, and Spring Creeks closed to fishing.

Special regulations in effect for this section.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

There is good bank access and fishing should be fair over the next few weeks.


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.

Smallmouth bass
Hunter Spriggs with his smallmouth bass.
-Photo by Evan A. Boyer-

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Fishing has been fair for trout that average 14 to 16 inches.

ODELL CREEK: rainbow trout

Odell Creek opened to angling on May 23. Catch-and-release for trout.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout

No recent reports. Closed to fishing for bull trout and any incidental caught bull trout must be released unharmed. All tributaries to Odell Lake are closed to fishing.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The reservoir has been stocked and good fishing has been reported.

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

Fishing for trout has been slow. Bass fishing has been good.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Trout fishing has been good.


The reservoir has been stocked and should offer good fishing this spring.


Open to fishing all year. Limit is 2 trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Lake is scheduled to be stocked this week with rainbow trout. There is good bank access and fishing should be fair over the next few weeks.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

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

The lake has been stocked and there should be a good opportunity to catch a limit of trout.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Anglers report fair fishing for brook trout.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing has been excellent for the recently released trout and recent sampling showed good numbers of 13-inch holdover trout. As a reminder, the bag limit includes only one trout over 20 inches per day.

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

No recent reports. Special regulations apply for this waterbody.

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  Central Zone Hunting

tom turkey

A tom turkey
-Photo by Mark Kirsch-


Spring bear and turkey hunting close May 31.

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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.


Spring turkey season closes May 31 Winter conditions were mild and turkey survival appears to have been good. Public hunting opportunities abound on the Ochoco National Forest in the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly WMUs. Consult with local land management agencies on travel management rules. Resource damage can occur this time of year with offroad travel due to moist soils.

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.

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.


Spring Bear – Controlled Spring Bear Open April 1st – May 31st Spring weather arrived early this year, allowing bears to come out of hibernation early and in good shape. Hunters should focus on clear-cuts, meadows and grassy slopes where bears are feeding on fresh tender shoots of grasses and forbs. Good optics and patience glassing these areas are key to a successful hunt.

White River Unit- Bear numbers are good in the White River unit. Despite healthy bear numbers, success rates have been fairly low in the spring and hunters tend to have a tough time finding bears for this hunt. The edges of the major drainages, such as the White River, Badger and Tygh Creeks, should be good places to find bears in the eastern edge of the unit. Areas south of Mosier provide plenty of open areas in the northwestern portion of the unit.

Hood Unit- Bear densities are good in the Hood Unit. Focus on higher elevation areas with grassy slopes and good vantage points.

Turkey- General Spring Turkey Open April 15th- May 31st. Turkeys can be found throughout the White River Unit with many public land hunting opportunities. The dispersed turkeys can be difficult to locate during the season especially after pressured by other hunters. The key to a successful turkey hunt is good pre-season scouting. Identify where they roost, travel and feed and you will be more likely to bag one of these wary birds. The White River unit came in third overall in terms of turkey harvest last year, but remains a heavily-hunted unit with lower success rates per hunter. Be aware of other hunters in the area and take necessary safety precautions.

There are high numbers of coyotes in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties. Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. 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.

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 throughout the year can be 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. Don’t forget to pick up a 2015 tag.


SPRING TURKEY opened April 15.

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.

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

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.

Vehicle Access: 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 is 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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

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 Wildlife Viewing


The Ochoco National Forest in wintertime is a great place for fresh air, scenery and deciphering animal tracks. Bring your snowshoes and be prepared to encounter tracks of many shapes and sizes. Also, be prepared for severe winter weather and driving conditions. 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 walk-in access to view a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. The area is closed to motor vehicle access each winter until April 15. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. 12/29/14.

Western Fence Lizzard
Western Fence Lizard
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Deschutes County

Weather conditions in the high desert are unpredictable at this time of year. Night time temperatures can dip below freezing and it’s not unusual to experience the occasional snow squall during the day. However, nice days and warmer conditions are also on the menu, and that encourages reptiles to venture out from their rocky winter residence. A good way to tell if it’s warm enough for reptile activity is to touch the rocks. If they feel warm, you can expect to see lizards around rock piles and snakes around ponds and wetlands, where you are also likely to see small packets of Pacific tree frog eggs attached to vegetation below the water line.

Wickiup and Crane Prairie Reservoirs are good areas to see bald eagles, common loon, horned grebe, and tree swallows. Both bald and golden eagles can be seen at Smith Rock State Park in north east Deschutes County, and yellow-bellied marmots (a favorite food item for golden eagles) will be active on warm sunny days. Other good birding locations include Camp Polk Meadows, located a few miles north east of Sisters on Camp Polk Road, where a wide variety of birds can be seen this time of year. Visitors to the meadows are likely to see American kestrel, great horned owl, multiple warbler species, kingfisher, Virginia rail, Wilson’s snipe, California quail, hairy and downy woodpeckers, pygmy nuthatches, mourning doves and western bluebirds to name just a few.

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 the city. Other opportunities to view a diversity of bird species (and other wildlife) without leaving Bend can be found along the trails that follow the Deschutes River. 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.

Other wildlife viewing areas 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), where you can expect to see Canada geese, American widgeon, green-winged teal, bufflehead, ring-necked ducks, northern shovelers, lesser scaup, common and Barrow’s goldeneye, multiple gull species, and various grebes including horned, eared, western, and Clark’s, along with deer, rabbits, and a variety of other mammals, reptiles and amphibians. 4/27/15

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). California bighorn sheep can begin lambing in early April. Look near large cliff complexes for a single female, called a ewe, below rimrocks. Bighorns ewes will isolate themselves in these cliff complexes before and after they lamb to provide protection from predators. A single ewe with her lamb can be the hardest time of year to see, so bring good optics and have patience scanning these areas and you may witness a lamb nurse from its mother.

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. A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river. 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.

White River Wildlife Area

The deer are starting their move back up to the summer ground most of the bucks have lost their horns by now and you may see a few that are starting grow their new antlers. They are starting to lose their winter coat and may look shaggy with patches of hair missing. This doesn’t always mean they are sick.

Roosevelt Elk
Antlerless Elk
- Photo by Robert Mutch -

Elk are being seen around the Wildlife Area in groups of 50 to 60 animals and sometimes more than 100 animals. When the weather is cold or snowy they can occasionally be seen from the viewing site off Rock Creek Rd./Hwy 48. You will have to get up early in the morning just before daylight or later in the evening to see them. These elk are wild and do not normally stand around very long after they have been spotted.

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 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. 3/09/15.

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