Madras, OR 97741
- 3420 acres / 5.3 sq. miles
- Max. Depth:
- 11 - 20 feet
- 4445 feet
- June to August
Home of the famous "cranebows”, Crane Prairie Reservoir is one of the top producing rainbow trout fisheries in Central Oregon. Rainbow trout here average 2 inches of growth a month during the summer. The record rainbow to date weighed over 19 pounds, with abundant rainbows in the 4 to 10 pound range. Crane Prairie Reservoir is a Wildlife Management Area. Osprey, bald eagle and many waterfowl frequent the area.
Crane Prairie Reservoir is located on the Deschutes National Forest and is a large, shallow impoundment on the upper Deschutes River approximately 30 miles southwest of Bend and is accessible from Century Drive (Forest Service Road 46), and Forest Roads 40, 42, and 4270. Crane Prairie was a natural meadow in which the Deschutes River, Cultus River, Cold Creek, Quinn River, Deer Creek, and Cultus Creek Converged. Crane Prairie Reservoir was first created in 1922 by rock filled dam and reconstructed by Bureau of Reclamation in 1940. The inundated trees and five square miles of shallow water coupled with cool water inlets makes Crane Prairie Reservoir a very rich and productive aquatic system producing numerous trophy size rainbow trout.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife currently manages rainbow trout at Crane Prairie Reservoir for natural and hatchery production consistent with the Featured Species Fish Management Alternative for trout. Mountain Whitefish, brook trout, and kokanee are managed for natural and hatchery production consistent with the Basic Yield Management Alternative for trout. Largemouth bass shall be managed for natural production consistent with the Basic Yield Management Alternative for warmwater fish.
Bait/Lure Fishing Methods : Trout anglers often fish in the channels using, power bait, worms, dragonfly nymphs with a bobber or floating the bait up with a marshmallow. Trout anglers often troll lures, plugs, and flies in the channels successfully. Bass anglers fish with lures, by trolling, jigging or casting.
Map + Directions
From Bend the most scenic route is to take Century Drive (Forest Service Rd 46).