Front Page, Outdoors

Outdoor report: A mix of snow and chilly weather is keeping a damper on the high lakes experience

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A chilly Odell Lake sunrise Rob DeHarpport photo

By ROB DEHARPPORT/for The Herald  —   We have a “good news- bad news” scenario in the Central and Southern Cascade region near the Highway 58 corridor for outdoor enthusiasts and anglers. In the good news department. Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is open up to Lava Lake. Joey Frazier, the owner of Lava Lake Resort, reports that they are open and the ice left the lake two days ago.

Lakeview Mountain photographed from Odell Lake last weekend. Photo by Rob DeHarpport Rob DeHarpport photo

Further south, Diamond Lake Resort reports an ice-free Lake as well. The docks have not been installed due to  inclement weather. Paulina Lake remains blocked by snow. However, Deschutes County road crews are working to clear the snow and anticipate a tentative road opening on May 12th at 8:00 am.

The entire Cascade Lakes highway is slated to open on May 16th at 8:00 am. For updated reports on Paulina and Cascade Highway roads visit www.deschutes.org/road.

Deep snow in areas still a concern

A report two weeks ago from Deschutes County road crew said 8′ snow drifts were slowing the road clearing work near Devils Lake. The deep snow will be with us for some time at the higher elevations.
If traveling, beware of lingering ice on the roads and keep an eye on the weather prior to traveling in the Cascades. Additional snow is predicted over the next several days.  More than a foot of snow may hit above 5000′ elevation.
It’s obvious that many High Lake Campgrounds will continue to be closed until the snow melts. Sunset Cove Campground at Odell is partially open along with the boat ramp. The gate near Crescent Lake Campground is open. However, access to the Campgrounds on the south side of the lake is blocked by snow.
A dusting of snow greeted Clay Jones of Oakridge and Rob DeHarpport at Odell Lake Resort last Friday morning. Rob DeHarpport photo

Fishing is improving at Odell and Crescent Lakes

Fishing has been good at Odell and Crescent for Mackinaw anglers. Kokanee fishing at Odell has been tough for most anglers targeting the Kokes. This is probably due to the water temperature recently topping the 40° mark. Large schools have been located with sonar by many boaters, mostly on the east end of the lake. However, these schools are also being chased by hungry Mackinaw. And, they are moving quickly, and seem to have a case of “lockjaw” making for some frustrated anglers.
The good news is the fishing should improve as the weather improves, along with access to many high lakes. Also, mosquitoes have yet to appear in full force due to colder temperatures.
A Bald Eagle was photographed last weekend along the snow-covered shore of Odell Lake, most likely enjoying a Kokanee for lunch. Rob DeHarpport photo

Our early April snow has re-created what used to be normal Springtime conditions. We should be thankful and remember that this is how it used to be prior to the seven years of drought that has plagued the entire western United States. Make plans accordingly. Check in with the many resorts or the US Forest Service on their Facebook pages for the most recent conditions.

Be prepared for any sort of weather and be sure to let someone know of your travel plans. Good luck and tight lines!
Rob DeHarpport was a long-term resident and former mayor of Westfir. He now lives in the Crescent Lake area and is The Herald’s reporter for the Outdoor Report. Rob DeHarpport photo

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