Coldwater Introduced Fish

  • These fish have been introduced to lakes, streams, and reservoirs by the ODFW in Central Oregon to have a more variety of fish.
  • These fish tend to have elongated bodies that average in length of 12"-30" depending on the species and their bodies are somewhat compressed. The adults tend to be found in water temperatures of 65°-75°.
  • Their color depends on habitat, size, sexual conditions, and whether they are in flowing or non-flowing water.
  • These fish tend to spawn in smaller tributaries of rivers, inlet or outlet of lakes. The spawning temperature is usually between 50°-60° F and will deposit as low aw 200 and high as 13,000 eggs.

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

  • LOCATION: Hosmer and East Lake
  • SIZE: The average length is 18" and 2-4 lbs but there have been larger fish caught at 7 lbs.
  • SPAWNING: They do not reproduce naturally in these lakes but are maintained annually by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Stocking info can be found at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/index.asp
  • HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: In streams they eat mainly the larvae of aquatic insects such as blackflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, and chironomids. Terrestrial insects may also be important, especially in late summer.
  • REPRODUCTION: They are stocked by ODFW.
  • IN CENTRAL OREGON: The original shipment of sea-run Atlantic salmon eggs was received from Gaspe Bay, Quebec, Canada in 1951. Atlantic salmon were stocked in many basin lakes, however, they failed to survive or generate fisheries in all but Hosmer and East lakes. In 1984, the Gaspe Bay Atlantic salmon stock was replaced with a landlocked stock from Maine, called Grand Lakes. Since 1984, this is the stock used at Hosmer Lake and at East Lake since 1990.
  • REFERENCES: Upper Deschutes River Subbasin Management Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Upper Deschutes Fish District, October 1996.

Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

  • LOCATION: Brook trout are an introduced fish species to Central Oregon and were first stocked in the early 1900's. They can be found in Allen Creek Reservoir, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Devils Lake, East Lake, Elk Lake, Hosmer Lake, Lava Lake (Big), Little Cultus Lake, Little Lava Lake, Sparks Lake, Three Creek Lake, Todd Lake, Wickiup Reservoir, Crooker River, headwaters of Deschutes River to Wickiup Reservoir, Fall River, and the Metolius River.
  • SIZE: The average length is 10-12" and the average weight is 5-6 lbs.
  • SPAWNING: Brook trout spawn in October and early November and redds are typically built in headwater streams and springs with spring-fed cold streams preferred. Eggs hatch in early winter and juveniles emerge from the gravel in the spring. Sexual maturity is reached at age 3 with size varying depending on productivity of the individual water.
  • HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: They can be found in clear, cool, well-oxygenated streams and lakes. If they are in streams or rivers they will migrate to deeper (15-27') waters like lakes or reservoirs when the water temperature gets too warm. They eat anything that will fit in their mouth like aquatic insect larvae, terrestrial insects, and even smaller fish.
  • REPRODUCTION: Sexual maturity is usually attained at age 3 years and can live as long as 8 years of age.
  • IN CENTRAL OREGON: Central Oregon has a history of producing large brook trout and the current state record brook trout of 9 lbs 6 oz came from the Deschutes River below Little Lava Lake
  • REFERENCES: Upper Deschutes River Subbasin Management Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Upper Deschutes Fish District, October 1996.

Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)

  • LOCATION: Deschutes River from Crane Prairie Dam downstream to Lake Billy Chinook, East Lake, Paulina Lake, and Crescent Lake, Cultus Lake, Lake Simtustus, Suttle Lake, Spring River, Fall River, Metolius River, Little Deschutes basin, Squaw and Tumalo Creeks.
  • SIZE: Average is 1-7 lbs and can get to 40 lbs (Wickiup Reservoir and East Lake).
  • SPAWNING: Brown trout spawn in rivers and streams during the fall (October-November) and prefer cold spring-fed streams. The eggs are deposited in a redd and the fry usually emerge in March.
  • HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Young browns can be found in open riffle waters but as they mature they prefer much cover and darkness which could be deeply undercut banks, log or brush jams, and areas under overhanging stream brush. Their appetite consists of other fish (especially hatchery stocks), aquatic and terrestrial insects, mollusks, and crustaceans
  • REPRODUCTION: They are generally sexually mature at 3 years of age with an average length of 15". These fish are very piscivorous (fish eating), and long lived which accounts for them reaching such large size.
  • IN CENTRAL OREGON: The largest brown trout are produced in Central Oregon with the current state record of 27 lbs 12 oz from Paulina Lake. East and Paulina lakes, and Wickiup Reservoir have produced brown trout in excess of 20 lbs. Brown trout up to 15 lbs have been taken in the Deschutes River.
  • REFERENCES: Upper Deschutes River Subbasin Management Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Upper Deschutes Fish District, October 1996.

Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki)

  • LOCATION: They can be found in Prineville Reservoir and Sparks Lake.
  • SIZE: Average length is 7-20" and weight of 2-3 lbs, up to 17 lbs.
  • SPAWNING: They spawn from early May to early June. They build nests (redds) in gravel of cold lake inlet streams. The young typically spend from 2-3 years in the stream before migrating to the lake at a size of 7 to 9 inches.
  • HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: They can be found in mountain streams, alpine lakes or untamed rivers surrounded by canyon walls, glacier-pocked mountain tops or virgin meadows and coniferous forests. It can reside in an undercut of a meadow stream or overhanging brush, boulders, and overhead whitewater. It moves from cover to feed at low light of morning or evening. They feed on insects, aquatic insect larva, small crawfish, minnows
  • REPRODUCTION: They are sexually mature at about 12" and 4 or 5 year of age.
  • IN CENTRAL OREGON: They can be caught on all standard trout lures and baits, but since their diet consists mostly of insects, fly fishing is especially effective.
  • REFERENCES: Upper Deschutes River Subbasin Management Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Upper Deschutes Fish District, October 1996.

Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush)

  • LOCATION: Odell, Crescent, Summit, and Cultus lakes
  • SIZE: The average length is 15-20"
  • SPAWNING: Lake trout spawn in the fall (October) when they move to gravel/cobble shoal areas. They do not build nests (redds), but rather broadcast spawn with the fertilized eggs settling in the crevices between the rocks. Eggs do not hatch until spring.
  • HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: They are piscivorous (fish eating) eating primarily whitefish, kokanee, tui chubs, other trout, and crayfish.
  • REPRODUCTION: Sexual maturity is generally reached at age 6 or 7. Hybrid's are produced by fertilizing lake trout egbgs with brook trout sperm.
  • IN CENTRAL OREGON: They have very long live span of 20 or more years and the largest fish caught was 36 lbs 8 oz from Odell Lake.
  • REFERENCES: Upper Deschutes River Subbasin Management Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Upper Deschutes Fish District, October 1996.

Top of page





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/recreation/fishing/?cid=stelprdb5278332