While a lot of attention is paid to recreation opportunities in Bend that occur on the surface of the Deschutes flow, one of the best ways to spend a relaxing afternoon doesn’t have to include submerging in the river at all.

The Deschutes River is home to many species of fish, and some of the most idyllic fishing spots reside in public Bend parks. In addition to river fishing, the Bend Park & Recreation District also features fishing ponds at Pine Nursery Park and Shevlin Park that are stocked by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

When the nearby lakes are busy and super-low water levels create more challenges this summer, consider heading to the river or even a pond.

Before you pack the tackle box and hit the water, it’s important to brush up on all state angling license regulations because they apply at all park district locations.

Even the most seasoned fishing enthusiasts should check Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website for the latest and greatest information as regulations may change.

It’s also important to plan ahead for other river uses and choose your location carefully. We’re in the height of floating season, so I recommend steering clear of the most popular put-in and take-out locations to avoid any user conflicts or safety concerns.

Deschutes River Access

For Deschutes River fishing, access is available at the following parks. You can use the website park locator at bendparksandrec.org to filter parks and learn more.

• Drake Park, 777 NW Riverside Blvd.

• Farewell Bend Park, 1000 Southwest Reed Market Road.

• First Street Rapids Park, 1980 Northwest First Street.

• Miller’s Landing Park, 55 NW Riverside Blvd.

• Pacific Park, 1236 NW Wall Street.

¶ Pioneer Park, 1525 Northwest Wall Street.

• Riley Ranch Nature Reserve, 19991 Glen Vista Road.

• Riverbend Park, 799 SW Columbia Street.

• Sawyer Park, 62999 O. B. Riley Road.

Fishing ponds in parks

The park district has two fishing ponds if you want a mellower experience away from the river. Current regulations at both ponds allow for a limit of two fish per day, eight-inch minimum length.

Pine Nursery Park, 3750 NE Purcell Blvd.

Stock: rainbow trout, blue gill and bass.

Ages: open to all ages

Shevlin Park, 18920 Northwest Shevlin Park Road.

Stock: rainbow trout

Ages: Open to youth, 17 years and under, and anglers with disabilities. Youth aged 12 to 17 must have a youth fishing license.

Note: During events at Aspen Hall, fishing is allowed only on the pond’s east bank, across the bridge from Aspen Hall.

The low water and raised temperature conditions will continue, so keep in mind the stress this causes the fish. Consider frequency of fishing and how you contribute to the health of the river habitat.

If all you take home are stories, photos and some peace and quiet, it will still be a good day of fishing.

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Julie Brown is the communication and community relations manager for Bend Park & Recreation District.

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