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Old 03-03-2020, 09:25 AM   #1
saelee
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Default Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

It’s that wonderful time of year again where we pack up and head out for sleepless nights of fishing at Brownlee. My favorite time of year. If anyone has any info and could share some updates on the fishing, many of us would highly appreciate it.

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Old 03-08-2020, 02:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

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It’s that wonderful time of year again where we pack up and head out for sleepless nights of fishing at Brownlee. My favorite time of year. If anyone has any info and could share some updates on the fishing, many of us would highly appreciate it.
ive been wanting to learn what Brownlee really has to offer. Ive heard good things but yet to make a trip of it other then bank fishing years ago.. if you have insight you don't mind sharing I would appreciate it.. My wife is from Texas and misses catfishing.. im sure a time of year and the place are critical to success but only a guess.. any insight would be appreciated Thanks..
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:50 AM   #3
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What kind of info are you wanting? I usually do a combo trip of fishing and sage rats each year.
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:17 AM   #4
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ive been wanting to learn what Brownlee really has to offer. Ive heard good things but yet to make a trip of it other then bank fishing years ago.. if you have insight you don't mind sharing I would appreciate it.. My wife is from Texas and misses catfishing.. im sure a time of year and the place are critical to success but only a guess.. any insight would be appreciated Thanks..
Find some slow deep backwater that is warmer than the surrounding lake.
Plunk in some raw chicken liver and watch for your line to start moving.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:13 PM   #5
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I bank fished a cove on the main lake last June. 15-30 ft deep and wind sheltered, best bait I found was other fish parts. Didn't do great at about a fish every 40 min but a nice grade of fish averaging 4lbs.

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Old 03-11-2020, 06:28 AM   #6
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If you can find mormon crickets, they work great.

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Old 03-11-2020, 08:14 AM   #7
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Crappie gut's if you can find/catch them works best. It's a little too early for Catfish, we've done ok from mid to late April, but it really starts to pick up in May.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:52 AM   #8
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Only places I have had the best catfishing is in the flats or over by Farewell Bend. Worms always worked well. Seemed to get snagged more times than not.
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:45 PM   #9
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Crappie guts No.1 with night crawlers a very close second. When they go on the bite, they prefer water that moves a bit, helps carry the scent to them. You don't want the fish to have to stumble upon the bait.
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

Crappie filet are always good in moving water. Guts or night crawlers in calm water.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:19 PM   #11
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Crappie gut's if you can find/catch them works best. It's a little too early for Catfish, we've done ok from mid to late April, but it really starts to pick up in May.
Never too early for cats there. This is my buddy in February, a day trip from the bank.

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Old 03-16-2020, 09:24 PM   #12
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Nice bunch of cats.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:18 AM   #13
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Nice haul...some bigguns there. Wouldn't have thought it would be that active...
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:19 AM   #14
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P.S...if anyone happens to catch a go pro...it might be mine. Lost one a few years ago...
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:45 AM   #15
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I grew up catching cats in the snow there all the time. When the high lakes and rivers thawed my fishing moved up there. Cats in brownlee was a wintertime deal, maybe a few spring trips.

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Old 03-17-2020, 10:00 AM   #16
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Nice haul, Powder rv arm? We've never fished Brownlee in Feb, we fished the graveyard area over spring break once, weather was cold, windy, & rainy, caught mostly yellow perch, didn't see anybody catching much either, we left early after 3 days of miserable tent camping/fishing, never fished that early in the season again, could of just been bad timing on our part, probably would of better fishing if the weather wasn't so crappy? as I heard Crappie fishing can be good in March, just not worth the long drive for us to find out, mid April thru early May has always been good to us, weather, camping, & fishing, Catfish was never our primary target species, & we lost our favorite camping spot of over 30 years besides, we really miss tossing out a couple catfish lines with bells attached, watching, & listening from the MH just feet away from the waters edge, while drinking our morning coffee, wife was usually still in her robe.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:51 AM   #17
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I remember as a kid we would go over there for spring break...weather was usually horrible so we stopped that lol.

Without a boat can be tough...but it can be done!

What place closed? cemetery area?
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:08 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies guys! Friends of friends went last week and knocked them dead. They came back with 3 coolers of catfish and 1 cooler of crappie fishing from the bank. Crappies are averaging over a 1lb and they were mostly black crappie. Also told me they caught a 2.5lb white crappie. Got the boat and I’m ready to go this weekend, but not sure how things are going to pan out with this shelter in place thing going on.
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:37 AM   #19
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Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:10 AM   #20
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Talked with Thorny at Hitching Post recently. Very little pressure and water was way down recently but now launching boats easy. Crappies running 10-13 inches. A few reports of people getting up to 30 or so. Trolling was working well. There is some nice weather coming up next weekend. Hitting these weather windows early in season has paid off in past. Prineville might be just as good soon. All we need is a few days of real spring. I am waiting to see how Prineville fishes before long drive East.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:51 AM   #21
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Gotta be able to get a boat on Prineville to effectively chase the crappies there
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:46 AM   #22
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I'm thinking I might just rent a boat in Richland in early May. Anyone else rented from that place in town? I'm sure I could catch small crappie on the bank...Will be my only trip of the year...gotta make it worth it. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:47 PM   #23
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I know the rules change by the hour but I did just see on the Idaho Power site that all their campgrounds, picnic areas and boat ramps are closed. I've always launched at Woodhead for the last 30 years and Farewell Bend before that. So as of now, we can still launch on the Powder River Arm and Farewell Bend or...?
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:23 AM   #24
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Isn't Farewell Bend a State Park? If so it's closed.
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:54 AM   #25
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So Swede's, Moonshine Mine, Spring, Hewitt, Catfish Junction are all options? I just don't want to drive 400 miles and not be able to launch, much less fish. Anybody?
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Old 04-01-2020, 10:38 AM   #26
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Not to shift focus too much but I have read that there are Walleye in Brownlee. Is this true or a rumor?


Thanks,


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Old 04-01-2020, 10:59 AM   #27
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Not to shift focus too much but I have read that there are Walleye in Brownlee. Is this true or a rumor?


Thanks,


Keoni
I personally have never caught one there or heard of any caught but I'm sure at some point somebody has illegally dumped some in over the years. There aren't any regulations or management for them. The locals would know better than me.
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:00 PM   #28
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Is The Hitchin' Post open for business?
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:03 PM   #29
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It was a couple weeks ago. It's the only grocery store for that community, so I doubt it will close.

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Old 04-01-2020, 03:10 PM   #30
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The Motel....
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Old 04-01-2020, 05:42 PM   #31
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I sure hope so...Thinking I am going to have to cancel my trip...
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:20 PM   #32
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The Motel....
Motel and store are open. I don’t know about the cafe. I may head that way. There is talk about shutting down all of Lake Shasta.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:15 AM   #33
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Not trying to discourage anybody jonesing to go fishing, just keep in mind, low population areas really don't want crowds from high population areas right now, staying local is best, avoid any contact, & keep your distance no matter where you live.
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:45 AM   #34
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Not trying to discourage anybody jonesing to go fishing, just keep in mind, low population areas really don't want crowds from high population areas right now, staying local is best, avoid any contact, & keep your distance no matter where you live.
That is a reasonable idea. Fishing can be safe or risky in this environment. Golf is shut down in Southern California but open in Illinois and Oregon. A motel owner can open or shut his motel and Thorny has decided to keep his open. It may be a bad decision. How about camping in isolated areas? There could be issues there also. Some guidelines provided by governments need to be interpreted and followed with a dose of common sense.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:22 AM   #35
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That is a reasonable idea. Fishing can be safe or risky in this environment. Golf is shut down in Southern California but open in Illinois and Oregon. A motel owner can open or shut his motel and Thorny has decided to keep his open. It may be a bad decision. How about camping in isolated areas? There could be issues there also. Some guidelines provided by governments need to be interpreted and followed with a dose of common sense.
I've been hiking with my dogs every weekend the weather is not too wet, picked out a trail in the NF were only a few people use, 6 people on day, sometimes zero, recently the popular trail head to the west has been full, so the NF is closing it down, not sure where I can go this weekend, gonna give the FS a call today. Whats happening is people are flocking to less used places away from others looking for isolation, only to find many others had the same idea, & now a once isolated place is crowded. I/we will not crowd Brownlee, Owyhee, or Prineville this year, may not go fishing at all this year, but it's only April, we'll see how this all plays out, others will have to make their own personnel decision(s), if anywhere is still open?, like said this can change daily, probably a good idea to check before you go anywhere at this time.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:09 AM   #36
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Fishing can be done safely. Distances can be maintained. I will certainly fish many of those lakes mentioned. Golf at some locations limit one person per cart. Zero % risk is near impossible outside a bubble. We can share reports here on fishing conditions and crowds. If things look at all risky, just go back home. I expect crowds to be low in many spots and fishing to be proportionately better. If I get sick, I will stay home for sure. You can’t make up missed fishing seasons. I am geared up for exercise , fresh air and great fishing.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:25 AM   #37
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If I was to go it would be by myself in a float tube, kayak, or raft from bear cr arm, but not planning on gong fishing without my lifetime crappie fishing partner, we were going to go to Prineville res this year, wife said she did not want to take the chance, as she fits within the most vulnerable group category, SP closed a short time after she made her decision anyway, this is her one & only fishing trip the past two years, she's not capable of float tubing anymore, if she doesn't go, I'm not going. I'm mostly a Saltwater fisherman, was going to go surf perch fishing with my daughter soon, she said she did not want to take the chance of catching the virus & bringing it home to her mother, so were not going, she already bought her sportsman pack, but has only fished for trout locally a few times so far, I have not bought my F or H license yet, & may not, Halibut starts up in a month, I have a long time crew mostly from the Portland area that I fished, hunted, & worked with for over 30 years, looks like all boat ramps will be closed, so early season Halibut fishing is out, Salmon, & Tuna fishing usually starts up the end of June to early July, looks unlikely at this time as well, Bow hunting is questionable as well, I'll/we'll save the Crappie for you die hard's, no pun intended.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:07 AM   #38
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You might give a call to nice folks at Catfish Junction near farewell bend. RV park, boat ramp, bait (including Mormon crickets). I'm sure they can give you accurate information about fishing and lodging now.
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Old 04-03-2020, 11:00 AM   #39
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It's still too early to make the call on going or not. If I can't go early May I will reschedule for fathers day weekend hopefully.

Baltz - You still going?
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Old 04-03-2020, 05:26 PM   #40
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PRESS RELEASE: COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CLOSE SNAKE RIVER ROAD

Today, County Commissioners temporarily closed the Snake River Road, beginning at the intersection of Sass Road outside of Richland, and continuing to the intersection of E. 5th Street in Huntington. Access will continue to be provided for local residential users. The closure order currently runs from April 3 - 17, 2020.

Visitors from outside the area have been frequenting recreational sites along the rivers, disregarding campground closures and Oregon’s Stay Home Save Lives Order, including social distancing and the limitation to only necessary travel. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Baker County’s highest priority is protecting the community by limiting the spread of the disease and impact to our rural healthcare and emergency services.

The order states, “Baker County is a rural community possessed with limited emergency medical and healthcare capability, and is determined to follow medical guidance and do everything in our collective power to protect these vital community assets during a predicted surge of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The County Commissioners ask residents to observe the Stay Home Save Lives Order to protect the health and safety of our community.

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Old 04-04-2020, 09:19 AM   #41
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PRESS RELEASE: COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CLOSE SNAKE RIVER ROAD

Today, County Commissioners temporarily closed the Snake River Road, beginning at the intersection of Sass Road outside of Richland, and continuing to the intersection of E. 5th Street in Huntington. Access will continue to be provided for local residential users. The closure order currently runs from April 3 - 17, 2020.

Visitors from outside the area have been frequenting recreational sites along the rivers, disregarding campground closures and Oregon’s Stay Home Save Lives Order, including social distancing and the limitation to only necessary travel. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Baker County’s highest priority is protecting the community by limiting the spread of the disease and impact to our rural healthcare and emergency services.



The order states, “Baker County is a rural community possessed with limited emergency medical and healthcare capability, and is determined to follow medical guidance and do everything in our collective power to protect these vital community assets during a predicted surge of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The County Commissioners ask residents to observe the Stay Home Save Lives Order to protect the health and safety of our community.

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Wish I saw this notice before I arrived at Moonshine Mine to a "Boat Launch is Closed" sign at dusk Thursday night. I wasn't going to turn around after almost 400 miles so I drove Snake River Road to Huntington and every single launch was closed too. I figured the public ramp next to Catfish Junction might be open but it was closed too. I went on the BLM site and found the Idaho parks were open so I camped at Steck Park at 11pm. In the morning I found the boat launch was a good 40 feet from the water and unusable but I did find a very sketchy spot next to the railroad bridge that was risky but I'm stubborn so I put in.

Now, for a report. I was targeting bass and using deep diving crankbaits when I hooked a large fish that I fought for over ten minutes before it came undone. Figuring I inadvertently snagged a carp or catfish I kept fishing. Then it happened again and I landed a 40 inch flathead that was easily 25 pounds! It took the lure in the mouth too. I took some pics and released it and within an hour lightning struck twice and I caught another flathead that was within an inch of the first one! There were catfisherman up and down the river on both sides not catching anything. I never did get a bite from a bass or crappie. When I lost my hot lure and had my transducer break I quit for the day knowing I might have a hard time getting my boat out of the water. I did but it was sketchy and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. My boat is small and I'm not very smart.
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:24 PM   #42
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Sounds like a great day full of adventure!
Beats sitting home- Amazing what can be found just by not listening to the doomsayers or following the Slice of lemmings.......
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:51 PM   #43
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Here’s some pictures of my cats. The first fish a guy from the bank took for me and the second fish nobody was around so I opted for selfies.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:12 PM   #44
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Nice fish. Wish I was there.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:04 AM   #45
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

Nice fish! I have never caught a flathead before and have fished that bridge. That's a long trip for sure! Did you tow? I swear I always blow a tire on my trailer on the way back and I am coming from Portland area.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:46 AM   #46
shinnookums
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Nice fish! I have never caught a flathead before and have fished that bridge. That's a long trip for sure! Did you tow? I swear I always blow a tire on my trailer on the way back and I am coming from Portland area.
They were my first ever flatheads too. Knew they were in there but never caught anything but channel cats and bullheads. I did tow and I did blow a tire but it was on my Jeep. I stupidly drove 400 miles home on a donut spare because I didn’t feel like waiting another day for Les Schwab in Weiser to open.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:06 AM   #47
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

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They were my first ever flatheads too. Knew they were in there but never caught anything but channel cats and bullheads. I did tow and I did blow a tire but it was on my Jeep. I stupidly drove 400 miles home on a donut spare because I didn’t feel like waiting another day for Les Schwab in Weiser to open.
Yeah, I have heard they're there as well. I believe I caught a blue once some years back. I keep hoping one of those sturgeon will stop by haha. Glad you made it back safe. Yeah...I have stopped there before lol. Bearings got hot so had them re-packed.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:48 AM   #48
Bill Rogue V.
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

We have channels, blues and flatheads down here in our Rio Grande and Pecos River impoundments. I have not yet purposely fished for cats, but hope to fix that soon.
Nice feesh, Shinnookums!
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:41 AM   #49
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

First I've heard of Flatheads in there. Kinda cool. I caught a big Blue one day while dropping a Crappie jig to the bottom in deep water along a rock cliff. Ton of fun on 4lb and six foot rod. Usually use Steelhead gear when targeting Channel Cats but light outfits add a ton of fun to fishing.



Today would be a great day to be there.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:25 AM   #50
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

I've heard of Flathead there but never seen one. Of course I don't get over there much! Didn't know there were blue's in there. Starting to think once the pup's are gone I might need to load up and go over there again. Love it over there but a really long trip!
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:46 AM   #51
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Bill....I've caught some nice and big flathead and channel cats at bosque del Apache wild life refuge south of socorro in your next of the woods. Sorry for the highjack.
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Old 04-07-2020, 01:44 PM   #52
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

It's been a long time since I think I hooked & lost a Sturgeon at Brownlee, early to mid 80's, never actually saw it or saw any Sturgeon caught there, but heard of some 70's stories from old timers, I have no reason to not believe them, I had a few break me off that seemed way too big to be a Catfish, but with no visual, it's just another big fish lost story.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:27 PM   #53
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

I've seen them caught at the burnt River, but that was in the '90s. Late one summer they had a problem with an algae bloom which got all the dissolved oxygen. I saw a bunch of four to six foot sturgeon dead. Very sad. I'm talking like 8 to 10. They are there.

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Old 04-07-2020, 05:03 PM   #54
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

PRESS RELEASE: SNAKE RIVER AREA ORDER CHANGES
Today, Incident Commander Mark Bennett approved modifications to yesterday’s order for the Snake River area. Based on input from the community, the order has been amended to prohibit camping and overnight use in public areas along the Snake River corridor between April 4-18. The order does not restrict camping on private property. Snake River Road will continue to be open to the public, and the corridor is open to day fishing.

County officials have received numerous complaints about visitors from outside the area disregarding existing recreation area closures and social distancing standards at sites along the river. Local residents have voiced concern about the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 to the local community from visitors not following the existing standards for health and safety, and asked County officials to take action.

Baker County continues to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The order states, “Baker County is a rural community possessed with limited emergency medical and healthcare capability, and is determined to follow medical guidance and do everything in our collective power to protect these vital community assets during a predicted surge of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mark Bennett says, “The Commissioners heard helpful questions and concerns from the community about yesterday’s order, and we appreciate the input. I’ve approved changes to address some of the concerns we heard while still emphasizing the need for social distancing as a measure to protect our communities, especially Richland, Halfway, Oxbow and Huntington. While the original intent was not to restrict local access to the river, some of the questions we received showed how additional flexibility in the language of the order was needed. We want to emphasize that this order is temporary, and will be lifted when the situation allows recreation to continue and not put our residents at risk. Thank you to everyone for your patience as we work through this uncharted territory together and focus on taking care of each other.”

Yesterday’s order from the County Commissioners temporarily closed the Snake River Road from April 3-17, 2020. That order has now been modified.

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PRESS RELEASE: COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CLOSE SNAKE RIVER ROAD

Today, County Commissioners temporarily closed the Snake River Road, beginning at the intersection of Sass Road outside of Richland, and continuing to the intersection of E. 5th Street in Huntington. Access will continue to be provided for local residential users. The closure order currently runs from April 3 - 17, 2020.

Visitors from outside the area have been frequenting recreational sites along the rivers, disregarding campground closures and Oregon’s Stay Home Save Lives Order, including social distancing and the limitation to only necessary travel. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Baker County’s highest priority is protecting the community by limiting the spread of the disease and impact to our rural healthcare and emergency services.

The order states, “Baker County is a rural community possessed with limited emergency medical and healthcare capability, and is determined to follow medical guidance and do everything in our collective power to protect these vital community assets during a predicted surge of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The County Commissioners ask residents to observe the Stay Home Save Lives Order to protect the health and safety of our community.

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