Lake Simtustus, the 7-mile reservoir behind Pelton Dam, offers fishing for several resident species, including kokanee
, rainbow trout
, brown trout
and bull trout
. Rainbow trout have dominated over the years, and the reservoir has a reputation for producing some very large trout. Each spring, a few rainbow trout and bull trout as large as 20 pounds are caught from Lake Simtustus.
Currently, about 25,000 fin-marked summer steelhead are stocked as rainbow trout in this reservoir. Steelhead are used instead of hatchery rainbow so that if they move downstream through the dams, they are likely to keep moving to the Ocean, and not stay in the lower Deschutes River where they would compete with wild trout.
With the exception of a few smallmouth bass, there are no warm-water game fish in Lake Simtustus. This is partially due to a large population of northern pikeminnow that occupy the warm shoreline habitat.
Lake Billy Chinook
Lake Billy Chinook, the reservoir behind Round Butte Dam, extends up the canyons of three tributaries: the Crooked River, the Deschutes River and the Metolius River. Wild kokanee are the most abundant game fish in the reservoir. Although fish use all three tributary rivers to spawn, the largest concentrations are found at the head of the Metolius arm.
Bass are also numerous in the lake, providing good angling during summer months. Lake Billy Chinook supports a trophy bull trout fishery during the spring, with a minimum size limit of 24 inches.