This large reservoir on the Middle Fork Willamette River, also known as Lookout Point Lake, has largely been a drive-past spot for most anglers, but in recent years it has quietly become a new walleye fishery.
While still a modest angling opportunity, walleye have been caught in Lookout Point Reservoir for a number of years by recreational anglers. Also, scientists in 2013 were studying predatory fish (such as northern pikeminnows) in this reservoir and also in Foster Reservoir. These are spots where biologists look to recover spring Chinook salmon but have extra challenges in the form of predatory fish species that like to eat young salmon; they reported in their findings that they caught 29 walleye during fish sampling, among other native and non-native fish.
Walleye are a very popular (and super tasty) gamefish in the Midwest and also have become quite an excellent fishery in the Columbia River, but if you live in the southern Willamette Valley or Central Oregon, it might be time to learn how to catch these oversized perch closer to home.
The reservoir is over 4,300 acres at full pool and stretches for at least 10 miles just north of Oregon Highway 58, a popular route between the Eugene-Springfield area and Central Oregon. It’s only an hour southeast of Eugene and just upstream from Dexter Reservoir and the community Lowell. It’s a little over an hour’s drive from Highway 97 in Central Oregon.
The reservoir hasn’t been managed as a prime fishing destination. While it has a fair number of rainbow trout and a few cutthroat trout in it, those natives come in from the Middle Fork Willamette and not in larger numbers via Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocking trucks. (For stocked trout, try the smaller Dexter Reservoir just downstream.) These trout grow to decent size at Lookout Point but are not densely populated.
The reservoir also has self-sustaining populations of several other non-native gamefish in addition to walleye, especially largemouth bass, crappie and bullhead catfish. Fishing for these species may at times be worthwhile as well and they can reach very good size here.
Walleye love nightcrawlers, and many walleye anglers will use a bottom-bouncing rig and worm harness to bring the bait down to walleye holding along the bottom and sometimes near ledges.
Walleye also eat smaller fish. While yellow perch are a favorite prey elsewhere, these fish apparently aren’t in Lookout Point. However, there would be small salmon, trout, pikeminnows and other fish available. Crankbaits that imitate smaller fish and dive down to the bottom can catch walleye. Jigs, sometimes tipped with natural baits, also can be effective. (We have an article related to walleye fishing in The Dalles Pool that offers some walleye tips that might translate to Lookout Point.)
There is lots of camping available in the wider Willamette National Forest and in the Middle Fork Willamette River corridor, including Black Canyon Campground just upriver from the reservoir.