McDowell in a down cycle?


Active Member
I fished McDowell on Wednesday and had the lake all to myself. I think I know why. Fishing was the poorest I have seen there since the rehab. It is a far cry from the lake that Fishtolive, Mike Ediger and I fished a few years back. On that gloomy fall day the 3 of us probably hooked over 100 fish with most of them in the 16"+ range and plenty that were much bigger. That was right after the rehab, the fish were big and strong and very aggressive.

On Wed I caught only 3 fish over 12" and they did not look well fed, were not deep and wide and strong but instead slender and listless. It appears they have been on a diet of low fat chironomids and Slim Fast. There were lots of small fish also in the 10" range. I have fished the lake several times a year for the past 12 years but was sorry to see it producing so poorly. Maybe it was just me having a down day or an incoming cold front or whatever but the lack of decent sized fish was a disappointment.

If your experience has been different PM me and let me know if I am wrong but at this point the lake doesn't look worthy of a spring visit next year.



Active Member
I would suggest calling the regions WDFW office and talking to the person who manages that region. This fall I needed some info and was able to pull up every ODFW regional offices phone number and speak directly to the person in charge. I also stopped at a regional office in eastern Oregon last spring and talked to a bio about all the plans for future management in the area and also found out where all the trout plants came from and failed projects (and why) and future projects. Also where the biggest rainbows might be and which lakes would produce them beings they test net every spring for trout counts and size. These people seemed to "WANT" to be helpful and were weather I liked the plans or not at least I found out what I needed.