Communities, Front Page, Outdoors

Outdoor report: Fishing is looking good but snow may still be an issue in some areas

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Big Marsh Creek in the high lakes area is accessible for fishing. Check the regulations and happy fishing! Rob DeHarpport photo

By ROB DEHARPPORT/for The Herald  —  The Memorial Day holiday weekend is almost here. Signifying the beginning of Summer for many pursuing outdoor activities. However, the forecast includes possible rain and even a snow squall or two in the higher elevations.

Good success with Mackinaw at Odell and Crescent Lakes

Fishing success continues to vary from lake to lake in the Cascade High Lakes. Odell and Crescent Lakes continue to produce good results for anglers focused on Mackinaw (Lake Trout). Kokanee fishing at Odell continues to be a challenge. It seems to be a pattern that began three years ago. Many anglers prior to three years ago were consistently catching their limit of Odell Lake Kokanee, especially in May. That now seems to be a rarity.
Perhaps the predatory Mackinaw population has impacted the Kokanee? Or maybe it’s another example of unintended consequences of the US Fish and Wildlife Service listing the Bull Trout as a Threatened Species?
In an effort to enhance the Bull Trout in Odell Lake, Trapper Creek habitat was altered to “enhance” Bull Trout spawning and reproduction. Consequently, we’ve witnessed a steady decline in the Kokanee spawning in the creek in recent years. The results are becoming clear to seasoned and frustrated Odell Lake Kokanee anglers.
Hills Creek and Lookout Point Reservoirs have been good for crappie and walleye.
Halibut season has opened at the coast with great success.
At Cultus Lake last weekend, several Mackinaw over 10lbs were caught during the annual Mackinaw Tournament. Rob DeHarpport photo

Other high lakes have reports of good fishing as well

Crane Prairie Reservoir has been good for Trout and Kokanee recently. Although the water temperatures have hit 60° in parts of the lake. Focusing on the cold-water inlet areas should continue to be good.
Wickiup is essentially burnt toast since the lake has been drained each of the last three summers due to irrigation and another threatened species of frog downriver. Strange, how this species of frog was very prevalent along the shoreline of Wickiup just a few years ago. One must wonder what’s happened to those Wickiup Reservoir frogs since the lake has “dried up” in the last three years?
Paulina Lake had been stellar for Kokanee anglers since the road was opened. Campgrounds and boat ramps are buried in snow. Boat launching is limited to the resorts boat ramp at this time. East Lake should be accessible soon.

Check out your favorite campground before you go

Many campgrounds are closed for Memorial Day weekend due to our April snowstorms and the fact that dangerous tree assessments have not been finished at many Campgrounds.
Know before you go. Check the Deschutes National Forest Facebook page for a list of closed campgrounds. Safe travels! And enjoy the outdoors wherever you go.
Rob DeHarpport was a long-term resident and former mayor of Westfir. Rob now lives in the Crescent Lake area and is The Herald’s reporter for the Outdoor Report. Rob DeHarpport photo

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