Trout fishing opportunities abound in this zone, known for its high desert climate, sage-covered canyons, glacial peaks and mountain lakes. Anglers will find year-round trout fishing in the Deschutes, Metolius, Fall and Crooked rivers, while several central Oregon lakes and reservoirs are renowned for their trout and kokanee fishing – and their beauty. The Hood and lower Deschutes – both tributaries of the Columbia River – offer high desert fishing for Chinook salmon and summer steelhead.
These are the zone-wide regulations for the zone, but there are exceptions to these rules. Always check the current Sport Fishing Regulations to see if where you want to fish has any exceptions to these rules. In-season regulation changes for the Central Zone can be found here.
Trout (lakes and ponds)
Five fish per day, open all year, no more than one over 20-inches
Trout (rivers and streams)
Two fish per day, open May 22-Oct. 31, no more than one over 20-inches
Included in trout limits
Two adult salmon/steelhead per day (in aggregate), seasons vary – see regulations for the waterbody you’d like to fish
Five fish per day, no more than three over 15-inches
Anglers can take on native redband (rainbow) trout in renowned rivers like the Metolius and lower Deschutes, or target hatchery fish stocked in the area’s scenic, cold-water lakes that offer fine fishing throughout the summer. When winter arrives, anglers can enjoy a unique bull trout fishery on the Metolius River.
The lower Deschutes, a tributary of the Columbia River, hosts one of the most famous summer steelhead runs in the state. Early fish enter the river in July and anglers will still be catching steelhead as late as December. The nearby Hood River has the state’s eastern-most winter steelhead run from February to June.
Kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon and they can flourish in the zone’s deep, cold-water lakes. They are prized table fare, and popular fisheries include Crescent, East, Paulina and Odell lakes, Wickiup Reservoir and Lake Billy Chinook.
Where to fish
- Easy angling Oregon – Central Zone, features 16 family-friendly fishing locations.
- 50 places to go fishing within 90 minutes from Bend.
- Trout stocking map, locate nearby stocking locations, and find your way there, using these interactive Google maps. Combine with the weekly trout stocking schedule to plan for a successful fishing trip.
- Weekly Recreation Report, read up on the latest conditions where you want to fish. This is also the place to learn about great bass and warmwater fishing locations not listed on the trout stocking map.