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Lake Billy Chinook

Contact Info
813 S.W. Hwy, 97
Madras, OR 97741
3997 acres / 6.2 sq. miles
Max. Depth:
415 feet
1945 feet
April to June


The lake's name honors Billy Chinook a Wasco Indian who joined the John C. Fremont expedition in 1843. Lake Billy Chinook, created by Round Butte Dam fills the canyons of the Crooked, Metolius and Deschutes Rivers. Within these three large arms is 72 miles of shoreline surrounding 3,916 acres, average depth of 102 ft., with a maximum depth of 415 ft. Swimming around in all that water are plenty of fish! Lake Billy Chinook holds largemouth, and Smallmouth bass, rainbow, brown and bull trout, kokanee salmon, whitefish, and a handful of suckers, minnows and dace

Lake Billy Chinook is perhaps best known for its bull trout fishery. The top three state records have all come from this lake, the largest being 23 lb 2 oz. An angler will typically catch bull trout ranging from 14 to 20 inches in length. Although the bull trout is listed as a threatened species with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, current state angling regulations allow for one bull trout to be kept over 24 inches. To ensure a healthy population of these large trout continues for future anglers, Catch and Release is encouraged for all size classes. Kokanee is also a very popular fishery on this lake. These naturally reproducing salmon can range from 12 to 16 inches and be as big as 1 lb. Brown and rainbow trout are also fished for in this reservoir. Although they typically average 12-14 inches some browns have been caught near 10 lbs.

Lake Billy Chinook is open year round to angling except the Metolius arm, which is open from March first to October 31. A tribal angling permit is also required to fish the Metolius arm as well. Be sure to check the Oregon State Fishing Regulations for the most current seasons and restrictions. Remember there is a 10 mph speed limit in each of the arms above the bridges.

As such a famous spot for fishing you're bound to run into competition. One common way of dealing with that is to grab the family or some friends and rent a houseboat. That way there's always the option of trying out different areas without having to pack up a camp site or drive around the lake looking for something convenient.


Smallmouth Bass
Black Crappie
Northern Pike
Kokanee Salmon
Brown Trout
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout
Fishing Methods:
Shoreline Trolling,Still-Fishing


3997 acres / 6.2 sq. miles
Max. Depth:
415 feet
April to June
Water Access:
Perry South Campground, Three Rivers Marina, Cove Palisades Restaurant & Marina, Deschutes arm, and Crooked River arm.
Camping Info
Monty Campground and Perry South Campground
Additional Details:

Bait/Lure Fishing Methods : Use of white corn with lures, trolling with worms, plugs, red wedding rings, troll in S-curves, and treble hook.

Fish the rivers (Deschutes, Metolius, and Crooked River) before they get to reservoir and work any submerged structures.


Water Features
  • Boat Ramp
  • Modern Restrooms
  • Stocked Fish
  • Picnic Areas
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Sewage Disposal
Water Activities
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Water Skiing
Water Services
  • Bait Shop
  • Boat Rentals
  • Concessions
  • Fuel Available
  • Motorboat Rentals
  • Restaurant

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Drive north from Bend on U.S. Highway 97 through Redmond and Terrebonne. Take left turn to Culver & follow the Cove State Park/Tour Route signs to lake.

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