Area Status: Open
From April to October, the reservoir is used to store and regulate delivery of irrigation water to users in the North Unit Irrigation District. Water is present yearlong but may be iced over in cold winters. A viewing and fishing platform over the water is located on the northwest side near the dam. Willow thickets are present on the southeast side. Rock cliffs form the north shoreline, but that area is accessible only by boat or on foot.
Haystack Reservoir was named after a butte to the south, the dam was constructed in 1956-1957 which is earth filed. The terrain-surrounding Haystack is plain, consisting of sage and irrigated pastureland that is typical of high desert landscape. The fishing is sometimes slow but with the warmer weather and the magnificent view of Mt. Jefferson it can make the trip worthwhile. Haystack is open year round for fishing but check with the ODFW for any unusual regulations. It often freezes over in the winter, the ice is usually very thin due to the lower elevation of the lake and consequently the ice fishing is poor but with ice-out a viable fishery emerges.
Also, see the Haystack Reservoir Campground and Day Use Area, the Haystack Reservoir West Shore Campground, and the Haystack Reservoir South Shore Group Campground.
Caution: Expect lots of human activity through the summer, culminated by a drag-boat race event held annually during the third week of August.
For boat launch information see Haystack Reservoir Campground, (when water is low the ramp cannot be used) and also on the west side a boat ramp which is near the dam.
From Madras, Oregon:
At the junction of Hwy 97 and Hwy 26, travel south on Hwy 97 for 7.7 miles to Jericho Lane.
Turn east onto Jericho Lane and travel 1.3 miles to Forest Service Road 7130.
Turn south onto Forest Service Road 7130 and travel 0.6 miles to Haystack Reservoir.
Total Distance: 10 miles.
Estimated Time: 15 minutes
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information