Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region
Deer Flat NWR
13751 Upper Embankment Rd Nampa, ID 83686
Phone: 208-467-9278
Fax: 208-467-1019


Crappie fishing at Lake LowellVisitors to Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge can fish at Lake Lowell or from the Snake River Islands. Limits and seasons are set by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, as appropriate. Contact them for current fishing regulations.

Lake Lowell Unit

Warning: A Fish Consumption Advisory has been issued by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare for Lake Lowell and the Snake River because of high mercury levels. See link for safe consumption levels.

Where can I fish? Try out the new, all-access fishing dock at the west end of the Upper Dam. All visitors are welcome to use it, but are asked to give priority to disabled users.

Lake Lowell is open to fishing all year. During waterfowl-hunting season, fishing is restricted to Fishing Areas A and B, 200 yards in front of the Upper and Lower Dams.

Some areas of the refuge are closed to human entry to protect wildlife. Watch for closure signs and check the map.

Can I fish from a boat? The lake is open to motorized boating between April 15 and September 30. Boat-launching facilities are available at the Lower Dam Recreation Area, Access No. 1, Access No. 7, and the east and west ends of the Upper Dam. Launching facilities are subject to closure due to low water levels. During the non-boating season, October 1 through April 14, human-powered boats may be used, but only in Fishing Areas A and B, 200 yards in front of the Upper and Lower Dams.

Largemouth bass (Duane Raver/USFWS)What kinds of fish can I catch? Game fish in the lake include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, bluegill, rainbow trout, channel catfish and brown bullhead. See a recent fish stocking report from Idaho Fish & Game.

Bluegill (Duane Raver/USFWS)Where and when should I fish? Fishing usually picks up in mid-May. Try for bass in flooded vegetation. As water temperatures rise, crappie and bluegill action increases. A prime spot for catfish and bullhead fishing is the shallow water in front of the Lower Embankment. Late in the season, fishing below the outlets of the lake is often productive. Return to top.

Snake River Islands Unit

Channel catfish (Duane Raver/USFWS)When can I fish? Fishing from the shore of refuge islands is prohibited during nesting season from February 1 through May 31.

How do I access the islands? The Snake River Islands can be accessed at a number of different boat ramps in Idaho and Oregon.

What are the regulations? Where the Snake River is the boundary between Idaho and Oregon, you may fish from the islands according to the regulations of the state for which you are licensed.

Where and when should I fish? Bank fishing for Catfish can be very productive when river levels fall in mid to late summer. Return to top.

Last updated: February 7, 2013