bull trout

This bull trout was landed in the Crooked River Arm of Lake Billy Chinook.

Fishing Lake Billy Chinook during the late fall and winter is a lot like fishing Lake Billy Chinook in the spring — only about 30 degrees cooler. This time of year most anglers at Lake Billy Chinook are fishing for kokanee. Other anglers troll for bull trout in the Deschutes or Crooked River arms. The Metolius arm contains the highest population of bull trout of the three river arms of Lake Billy Chinook, but it is closed to angling until March 1 of next year, and a Warm Springs Indian Reservation tribal permit is required to fish there when it opens. The Crooked River arm holds its share of bull trout and offers anglers a chance to land rainbow trout as well. Anglers are allowed to keep one bull trout longer than 24 inches per day on Lake Billy Chinook. Rainbow trout longer than 20 inches and kokanee exceeding 16 inches must be released. There are no limits on bass or brown trout.

Directions: From Bend, travel north on U.S. Highway 97 about 35 miles to Culver. Make a left turn at the Cove Palisades State Park sign and follow signs for about 8 miles to the lake.

Reporter: 541-383-0318, mmorical@bendbulletin.com

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