Lake Billy Chinook

Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon.

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There is hardly any boat traffic on Lake Billy Chinook during the early spring or fall seasons. Weekends during the warm months can bring lots of water skiers, but even in mid-summer, week days can provide solitude for fly anglers in a spectacular setting. 

Chironomids and Flash-A-Buggers are the top flies as can be expected.  The following is some very good information about Lake Billy Chinook that I copied from the  U.S. Forest Service Web Site.  Additional information is provided by the Oregon State Parks DepartmentThe lake's name honors Billy Chinook a Wasco Indian who joined the John C. Fremont expedition in 1843. Lake Billy Chinook, created by Round Butte Dam fills the canyons of the Crooked, Metolius and Deschutes Rivers. Within

these three large arms is 72 miles of shoreline surrounding 3916 acres, average depth of 102 ft., with a maximum depth of 415 ft. Swimming around in all that water are plenty of fish! Lake Billy Chinook holds largemouth, and smallmouth bass, rainbow, brown and bull trout, kokanee salmon, whitefish, and a handful of suckers, minnows and dace.  Lake Billy Chinook is perhaps best known for its bull trout fishery. The top three state records have all come from this

Patty with a lake Billy Chinook Rainbow.

Mark with a Lake Billy Chinook Rainbow.

lake, the largest being 23 lb 2 oz. An angler will typically catch bull trout ranging from 14 to 20 inches in length. Although the bull trout is listed as a threatened species with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, current state angling regulations allow for one bull trout to be kept over 24 inches. To ensure a healthy population of these large trout continues for future anglers, Catch and Release is encouraged for all size classes. Kokanee is also a very popular fishery on this lake. These naturally reproducing salmon can range from 12 to 16 inches and be as big as 1 lb. Brown and rainbow trout are also fished for in this reservoir. Although they typically average 12-14 inches some browns have been caught near 10 lbs. Lake Billy Chinook is open year round to angling except the

Metolius arm, which is open from March first to October 31. A tribal angling permit is also required to fish the Metolius arm as well. Be sure to check the Oregon State Fishing Regulations for the most current seasons and restrictions. Remember there is a 10 mph speed limit in each of the arms above the bridges.  Lake Billy Chinook Boating Map.

A wild otter catches fish too.


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