Regional Reports-West

Oxbow Reservoir

In 1994, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game embarked on a program to develop a quality smallmouth bass fishery in Oxbow Reservoir, a 1,150-acre impoundment on the Snake River 30 miles northwest of Cambridge. With a slot limit and catch-and-release rules, the program has been a success. The average smallmouth in Oxbow is one to three pounds, with a few fish that push five pounds. The fishing gets going in April and holds up until the weather turns hot sometime in July. The lake is long and narrow and lined with rubble and sheer rock walls. Successful anglers seek out rock piles that spill into the lake and cast tube baits and small crankbaits. The reservoir also offers spring rainbow-trout fishing, catfishing is picking up and there's a good population of crappies. There are launch ramps and picnic and camping areas. A resident season license is $21.50; nonresidents pay $51.50. One-day nonresident licenses are $7.50; each additional day costs $3. Contact: Idaho Department of Fish and Game (208-334-3700).