Fishing season opened Thursday on a few of the high Cascade lakes, an unusual weekday opening.
Normally the season opens on a weekend.
There were a lot of boats on Crane Prairie and at Wickiup Reservoir for the first day of the fishing season on these two large lakes.
Despite the number of anglers, the fishing wasn’t so great.
“I was psyched up for opening day, but it was pretty slow,” said Mark Lamey, adding he fished for four hours without getting a bite.
He didn’t see anybody else catch a fish either.
“Wickiup Reservoir did get pretty low last year, and that could have hurt the kokanee run,” Lamey said.
John and Yvonne Tweet from Junction City were the only anglers who reported catching anything, other than a cold.
They landed a big brown trout that got the attention of a fisheries biologist.
It was the first fish the biologist had seen as part of a creel survey.
“Put the boat in, caught it right there. Then we fished for six hours after that and didn’t get a thing….”
Lingering snow limited access to just a couple of boat ramps.
Parking lots were full at Wickiup and overflowing at Crane Prairie.
“It’s busy,” said Deschutes County Marine Deputy Terry Miller. “People are ‘Jonesing’ to get out. People have been cooped up all winter.”
Law enforcement was on the scene, checking boats for required safety equipment and making sure anglers were prepared for the elements.
“Today we are looking for safety equipment and safe operation of the boats,” Miller said. “We’ll also be checking anglers to make sure they are following the fishing regulations, are licensed, and watching the bag limits.”
A similar opening day rush played out on Odell Lake.
Most lakes are open to fishing year-round though access is limited by snow.
Fishing in streams, such as the Deschutes River above Benham Falls, opens May 22.