Oregon's Mann Lake

Kilchis

Active Member
#1
If you have been planning a spring trip to eastern Oregon's Mann Lake to chase trophy Lahontan cutthroat trout, well....forget it. The dewatered lake froze to within a foot of the bottom last winter, and over the summer dried up to a tepid puddle. The State has no water rights to the inflow stream, but a nearby ranch does. 'Nuff said?

I found this information on iFish, and it was confirmed by other sources. I'm just posting in hopes of saving somebody a very long disappointing drive.
 
#5
Kilchis,

I fished it for years and those days are sadly long gone.

Pyramid Lake north of Reno IS the place for Lahontans (Summit and Pilot strain). I know a guy or two who are outstanding guides.

If you want more info, PM me.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#7
Yup.... this is not an odd occurrence. It is indeed basically a large mud puddle that just happens to grow very large slug-cutts (our term for Lahontans because they fight so poorly) when the "lake" is replanted.

The State has invested too much to improve the lake area to simply walk away due to low water conditions.
The same thing happens to Chic every few years and the fishery always comes back. Such is the way of high plains shallow lakes.

Here's a slide show of Mann and Chic from years long gone by (back when things were good more often than bad). Mann is located at the base of the Steins Mountains and basically in the middle of nowhere -- and a little further -- and can be very cold and windy in March. Chic isn't far from Burns. Both are artificial fisheries so don't flip out over fish out of the water photos:

 
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MelW

Active Member
#8
It is indeed basically a large mud puddle that just happens to grow very large slug-cutts (our term for Lahontans because they fight so poorly)
I have been to Mann Lake twice and those Lahontans just stick their nose in the mud, when hooked, and dare you to muscle them out. The fight usually happens when they are close to your net. Wading in the mud can also be problematic.
 
#9
Yup.... this is not an odd occurrence. It is indeed basically a large mud puddle that just happens to grow very large slug-cutts (our term for Lahontans because they fight so poorly) when the "lake" is replanted.

The State has invested too much to improve the lake area to simply walk away due to low water conditions.
The same thing happens to Chic every few years and the fishery always comes back. Such is the way of high plains shallow lakes.

Here's a slide show of Mann and Chic from years long gone by (back when things were good more often than bad). Mann is located at the base of the Steins Mountains and basically in the middle of nowhere -- and a little further -- and can be very cold and windy in March. Chic isn't far from Burns. Both are artificial fisheries so don't flip out over fish out of the water photos:


I too have been following this. Unfortunately, Gene, it feels different this time around. Even after the phenomenal snow fall from two years ago, even though SE Oregon and the Owyhee mountains didn't get as much as the rest of the state or PNW got - it can't hold water any longer. The groundwater and the water tables are depleted and the lake just can't retain water. Also, it seems like the ranch on the inlet maybe taking more water than years past and ODFW has been trying to do some negotiations with the ranch on water usage. Good luck there :(. I hope I am wrong - but I think Mann Lake is well on its way to becoming just dried up lake bed near the base of the Steens Mountain and become part of Alvord desert

Here is the same article from the ifish site that provides some insight:

https://www.eastoregonian.com/sports...5641dc170.html

I have never caught a Lahontan in my life yet, it is on my bucket list and Mann was the lake that I wanted to target - but now plans have changed and I will be making my way up to Omak Lake this April to cross that item off my list.

Peach
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#10
You may be right.... it could be different this time. Too bad, really, while it is in the middle of nowhere, windy and cold it was a tradition with our group to hit Mann during the early spring because sometimes we'd hit it right and the catch rates was out of the park.

But it is what it is. I know Lost Lake on Santiam Pass finally became a non-fishery due to many years of low water... this could be the same fate for Mann.
 
#12
You may be right.... it could be different this time. Too bad, really, while it is in the middle of nowhere, windy and cold it was a tradition with our group to hit Mann during the early spring because sometimes we'd hit it right and the catch rates was out of the park.

But it is what it is. I know Lost Lake on Santiam Pass finally became a non-fishery due to many years of low water... this could be the same fate for Mann.
Oh BTW Gene - love the vid! My guess is most of those pics were taken in the mid eighties? The good news is that Chic is holding water the last couple of years and putting out fish again- it isn't that far from Beaverland - you should make the trip over for old time sake. I know I will be. ;)

Peach
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#13
My guess is most of those pics were taken in the mid eighties?
You would be guessing right.

Funny thing was, for years and years Mann was considered a "secret lake" regardless of that facts that anyone reading the regs could see there were large cutts in the fishery. It was not so much a secret as it was in the middle of nowhere and off waaaay off the beaten path.

Chic, on the other hand, is right next to a primary highway and as noted, is a big rainbow trout producer.... not very scenic but large trout can be found there from time to time.
 
#14
while it is in the middle of nowhere, windy and cold it was a tradition with our group to hit Mann during the early spring because sometimes we'd hit it right and the catch rates was out of the park.
.
Gene, your crew put Mann on the map. Perhaps y'all should pool your beer/coffee money and buy that damn ranch and its water rights!?
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#15
Our fly club did hold some outings there but we didn't really put it on the map. Bob Borden (founder of Hareline Dubbin') would park his motorhome at the lake for weeks during the spring and we'd meet him there. The lake was popular with folks from Boise because it wasn't located all that far from the city.

Because it is so far from Corvallis, my most frequent fishing buddies and I haven't fished it in years -- maybe decades.

The odd thing about Mann was it was best fished while wading close to shore and not from a floating device.
The cutts would cruise around the lake in the shallows so there was no need to fish far from shore.

There's other lakes much closer to Corvallis that we would buy (if we could) before we would Mann.
 

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