Howdy, I am a long time central Oregonian, life long bass angler and member of a local Bass Club. fishing here is getting rough. There are four Prime bass lakes here in central Oregon.
First is Davis Lake which is fly fishing only. (no limit on LMB, fish routinely trapped). It is not uncommon to find dead bass slick of killed LMB from fly fisherman on Davis. It used to be not uncommon to land 30 fish a day of 2-5 pound bass here. Now its mostly small fish.
Then there is Wickiup Reservoir, which averages best tournament sizes for Oregon. But, there is no limit on LMB. When Wickiup is lowered every fall, it forces the LMB into the channels. It becomes a slaughter of people taking coolers of bass out. A recent proposal to ODFW from the COBC was vehementally opposed by several organizations. It's very frustrating to see a guy walk off the lake with a 70qt cooler full of 3-4 pound fish.
The USFS has recently decided that the club bass tournaments on Wickiup, which currently are running 10 boats MAXIMUM. Must have the minimum insurance of $1 million and a $105 dollar permit. As a small non profit bass club this is painful to say the least. meaning we canceled all of our August tournaments scheduled for Wickiup because we couldn't afford it.
Crane Prairie, a jewel of a lake. gorgeous tree and lava rock filled lake. Very fertile, a very good habitat and an all around good lake. Bass here are given second place,to genetically altered sterile hatchery trout.
Prineville reservoir, a deep desert lake used to hold the state record for smallmouth. It is a deep rocky lake following a series of canyons up to shallow willow flats. COBC has done a lot of work with ODFW and cast for kids helping to improve fishing here. A recent proposal would basically drain the lake twice a year. No bass spawn!
Here in central Oregon we face a lot of bias from fly fisherman and trout anglers in general. Now with our Fish and Wildlife department and apparently the USFS, it's starting to feel like we are the picked on kid in class. Is there any other Bass club or group feeling the same? Are Central Oregon bass anglers being persecuted unjustly? Any help or advice would be appreciated!