Laurance Lake closed to all fishing until Oct. 16 during reservoir drawdown

THE DALLES, Ore. — Laurance Lake on Mt Hood National Forest is closed to all fishing through Oct. 15 to protect Threatened bull trout.

Laurance Lake is a water storage reservoir that supplies irrigation water for farm use in the upper Hood River Valley. Middle Fork Irrigation District will be draining it to low pool level to conduct dam safety testing and drilling this summer.

The closure is meant to protect bull trout, which are listed as Threatened on the federal Endangered Species Act. Under permanent regulations, Laurance Lake is closed to bull trout angling and all wild trout must be released. But the low water during the drawdown will make bull trout even more vulnerable to being caught and to mortality after release.

The reservoir is filled with water from the headwaters of the Middle Fork Hood River and has a small population of bull trout. These bull trout are isolated above Laurance Lake dam which has no fish passage, but historically migrated to the Columbia River for feeding and overwintering.

For the latest on central Oregon fishing regulations, visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/central-zone.