One of the state’s fishing gems is located in the central part of Oregon along the Crooked River. The river begins at the confluence of the South Fork Crooked River and Beaver Creek, and is actually a 125 mile long tributary of the Deschutes River. Flowing northwards from the Bowman Dam towards Prineville, this river is a popular spot for anglers.
Today sections of the river are protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, but for many years the Crooked River was fought over by agricultural interests. Even so, the construction of the Bowman and Ochoco dams have altered the river from its original state as a spawning ground for Chinook salmon. With their passage to the sea blocked, their habitat was compromised.
Today native redband trout still flourish in the Crooked River, but hatchery trout are the overwhelming demographic. It’s also conveniently positioned next to campgrounds and pull-out access points as it wanders next to a 20-mile stretch of the Crooked River Highway.
With such easy access to a milieu of recreational activities (camping, fishing, hiking, and driving, or bicycling), thousands make it down to this scenic spot yearly. There is no cost to visit the recreational area by the Crooked River, but $8 single/$16 dollar group camping fees apply.