Cultus Lake is a popular lake in a beautiful setting and is wellknown for producing trophy size lake trout (mackinaw). Many lake trout in the 10 lb. range are taken each season. A 17.5 lb. lake trout was weighed in at Cultus Lake Resort in 1996. In addition stocked rainbow including larger holdovers and an occasional brook trout are caught near the mouth of Winopee Creek.
Cultus Lake is a natural glacier-formed lake located on the Deschutes National Forest off of Century Drive approximately 48 miles southwest of Bend. It lies at the base of the North of Cultus Mountain. Cultus is a recreational lake and is also popular for water skiing, sailing, jet skiing and boating.
Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed on this body of water.
For boat launch information see: Cultus Lake Boating Site
Lake and Pond Fishing
ODFW Management Policies for Cultus Lake
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife currently manages rainbow trout and brook trout at Cultus Lake for natural and hatchery production consistent with the Basic Yield Species Fish Management Alternative for trout. Mountain Whitefish and lake trout are managed for natural production consistent with the Featured Species Fish Management Alternative for trout.
What To Expect
- Vehicle Access: From Bend the most scenic route is to take Century Drive (FS Road 46) to the Cultus Lake turn off.
- Fishing Access: Cultus Lake fishing map page under construction
- Boating Regulations: See boating regulations.
- Fish Species Present: Lake Trout (mackinaw), rainbow trout, an occasional brook trout, and mountain whitefish.
- Physical Characteristics: Size: 792 surface acres; Depth: 80'-211'; Elevation: 4,668 feet
- When/How to fish: Best months for lake trout is May/June, September/October. Get a weekly fishing report from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Another site with information.
- Popular Fishing Methods: Bait, Lures and Flies
- Bait/Lure Fishing Method: Rainbow trout anglers often fish the southwest corner of the lake using power bait or worms. Also working the shelves along the northwest shoreline could be productive. Lake trout anglers often troll flashers with flatfish or plug type lures near drop-offs.
- Fly Fishing Methods: During the first few weeks after ice-out it is possible to catch lake trout in the shallows with dragonfly or leech patterns.
- Insect Hatch/Flies to Use:
- Camping Information: Cultus Lake Campground, Cultus North Shore Campground, and West Cultus Campground
- Resort Information: Cultus Lake Resort
Source: Upper Deschutes River Subbasin Fish Management Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Upper Deschutes Fish District, October 1996.