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I like to fish, I like to camp.
Usually when fishing at some of the lakes I frequent, I stay in a regular "designated" campsite, usually along with what seems to be hundreds of my most annoying and ill- mannered friends. (No really, for the most part it's OK, but not a "get a way from it all" experience.)
But I have always wondered about "undesignated" boat camping on some of the larger lakes in central Oregon. Is it possible to just load up the boat with all the fishing and camping gear, and cruise around until I find a nice spot and setup up camp for a few days? Or is this kind of thing frowned upon? It seems to me if it was allowed, people would be lining the shoreline,and I guess the trash and possible erosion, etc., wouldn't be nice to see. Will I have some ranger or cop give me grief for attempting to do this? If anybody has any info, let me know!!

Mike!!!
 

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Oh, I also meant to say that if it's county land or yer not sure who has stewardship, do a Google search like "Lake Odell permitted", and keep swapping in legal words like "authorized" "prohibited" "right of way". Eventually you'll hit the actual laws that govern the land - these are public documents and most counties post em online. In the header of the document you can find the office that drafted it, and even the names of people to contact in that office. I've found most of these folks are quite excited to get a phone call and talk about the region.
 

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Just an FYI for your camping/fishing logs - try the mouth of the John Day River - there is a park (only accessible by boat) approx. 4 miles upstream for camping and even further up is the narrows. We have camped and fished at the narrows as well as the park. These places were great because not too many people and the fishing for smallmouth and catfish was great.

One note of caution - there is a sandbar in the middle of the river that will get you if your not watching. I'd ask the park range at the mouth for direction to overt this hazard.

Good luck in finding that low populated shoreline - most of the time you will need to stay below the high water mark to avoid conflict with property owners.
 

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Another place to think about is Cultis Lake over near Bend. On the back side of the lake are some nice camp sites that are on a nice beach. An other thing is if you are in a wilderness area you can camp any where you want and you can even have camp fires. Pay attention to the conditions as there are times that you would not want a fire even if you are allowed.
 

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Mike,

I have camped at Paulina Lake 50 or so times and never had to stay in the main campground. Just aim the boat directly across from the southwest campground and you will find about 5 camp spots that are only accessible by boat or walking.

FF
 

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i heard they were going to close those camp sights (boat access) at cultis lake ,i seen a group get a ticket over there for not being in the designated spot . i think all the high lakes you are suppose to be in a designated camp sites with a fire pit .... we do it at green peter all the time they have some spots with fire pits and some with out , you dont get bothered by anyone which is nice .... good luck
 

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Get a bigger boat and just sleep on it, I do it all the time in a 20 footer. Just love getting away from everyone even at the remote sites, because ill- mannered friends have boats too.
 

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I have boat camped FREE on Wickiup/Crane/Billy Chinook/Deschutes River/and Smith. $11 per night that the USFS charges for pit toilets is just WRONG. Bring a shovel and a roll of toilet paper.
 

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I don't have any specifc info for you, but I believe it all falls to the type of land you are on (national forest, county land, etc).

I do a lot of 4x4 camping in the backcountry, and i've found the best info comes from the Rangers on Forest land. Hit a topo map and try to track down the nearest functional ranger station and look up the phone number on Google. I've found calling the general information lines for most State and National forests gets a very helpful person, but they're used to answering questions about tourist activites. If you can call the Rangers that are actually driving the roads everyday, you can get the rules and usually a list of really great spots to visit.

I don't know of anyplace that allows the construction of new fire rings, so you might want to invest in a portable fireplace if there's room on your boat.

TinnedFish
 

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I have seen people across the lake at both timothy and clear lake...I am told that it`s national forest and ok to do so? with all the campers over there must have been true.
 
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