Wickiup Reservoir, Oregon

Wickiup Reservoir, Oregon

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The reservoir covers an area on the Deschutes River which was known as the Wickiup's. It was a camping area for Native Americans during the fall. Wickiup Dam was started in 1939, and was completed in 1949. Wickiup Reservoir is very rich, highly productive, relatively warm water and cooler deep channels generate some of the finest fishing in Central Oregon. Wickiup is renowned for its brown trout over 20 pounds and normal catches in the 5 to 8 pound range. Many large brown trout are brought into Twin Lakes Resort to be weighed and photographed, but most people never see the largest fish they hook. Long distance releases are routine. Wickiup also has a reputation for good numbers of kokanee and coho salmon and decent populations of rainbow trout, brook trout, whitefish, and the unwanted chub. Large numbers of fishermen and women are entertained here each year. At full pool, Wickiup Reservoir covers 10,000 acres and is the largest of all the Cascade lakes. Located along the Deschutes River, it is the second irrigation reservoir on the Deschutes, about six miles downriver from Crane Prairie Reservoir.
The largest trout each year are usually caught the first two weeks of fishing season when the big browns are ravenous after a long winter under the ice. There are some true giants in here; a former state record brown trout from Wickiup weighed 24 pounds, 14 ounces. A brown trout caught opening day of 1998 weighed over 26 pounds. Larry Marecek of Salem caught the monster brown using a rainbow-colored Rapala. They are mostly natural reproduction, although fingerlings are stocked every spring. Numbers are excellent.
There are anglers here whose lives are dedicated solely to fishing for the brown trout at Wickiup. One should try using lures or plugs that imitate fleeing baitfish to entice these predatory browns.
Wickiup experiences extreme water fluctuations due to irrigation draw downs. Over half of the reservoir’s water can disappear over the fishing season. The deepest point in the reservoir, at the intersection of the Deschutes and Davis Channels, is 60 feet maximum depth. Heavy draw downs and very low water does not seem to have any adverse effect on the fishery. In fact, the brown trout may be even fatter after having their finny food source concentrated for them.
A boat is necessary to fish most effectively at Wickiup, although early in the season shore fishers do all right. The best boat ramp is at the west end of Gull Point Campground with another good one just east of the camp­ground. The character of the shoreline at Wickiup is as variable as the water level. At full pool, Wickiup is a beautiful, pine-edged lake, with some willows and sandy beach areas. At low water, steep soil and gravel banks drop abruptly to the water. Other banks become mucky hazards. Obstacles emerge at low water including many stumps and structures added in the Deschutes and Davis arms by ODFW.

Information Source: Deschutes National Forest



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