You are hereUS / Oregon / Oregon Lakes / Lake Information for Crater Lake

Lake Information for Crater Lake


Crater Lake is a caldera lake located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly 4,000 foot (1,220 m) deep caldera that was formed around 5,677 (± 150) BC by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.

On June 12, 1853, John Wesley Hillman was reportedly the first European American to see what he named "Deep Blue Lake" in Oregon. The lake was renamed at least three times, as Blue Lake, Lake Majesty, and finally Crater Lake.

Crater Lake is known for the "Old Man of the Lake", a full-sized tree that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for more than a century. Due to the cold water of the lake, the tree has been rather well preserved.

While having no indigenous fish population, the lake was stocked from 1888 to 1941 with a variety of fish. Several species have formed self sustaining populations.

The commemorative Oregon State Quarter, which was released by the United States Mint in 2005, features an image of Crater Lake on its reverse side

Facilities and Parks: 

Private boats or flotation devices are not allowed on Crater Lake.

Cleetwood Cove provides about 1/4 mile of rocky shoreline for angling. Wizard Island is also open while boat tours are running. Fishing is allowed from park boat docks except when a boat is within 200 feet of the dock.

Fishing Description: 

All waters within Crater Lake National Park are open to fishing unless otherwise indicated below.
May 20 through Oct 31; however, see Lake Regulations below.

Fishing is allowed in the park from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

All waters are restricted to use of artificial lures and flies only. No organic bait of any kind can be used in Crater Lake National Park. This includes live or dead fish, power bait, and fish eggs or roe.
There are no restrictions relative to size, number, or species taken.

The lake can be fished year-round except when seasonal limitations prevent safe access. The only access to the lake is by the Cleetwood Trail located on the north side of Crater Lake.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Pack out your catch. Cleaning fish in the lake is prohibited.
Kokanee Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) are a dwarf, landlocked form of sockeye salmon. Kokanee are the most abundant species in the lake, estimated to have a population well into the hundreds of thousands. An average kokanee is about 8 inches long, but some grow to as long as 18 inches.

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are less abundant than the kokanee, but are typically larger. The largest documented rainbow trout from Crater Lake was a 6 1/2 pound, 26 inch long specimen caught by the park research team. Most rainbows average 10 to 14 inches.

Rainbow trout and kokanee salmon populations are stable in the lake.

Directions to Lake: 

The closest airports are located in Klamath Falls (60 miles from the park) and Medford (80 miles from the park).

From the North (Summer):

From Roseburg - Route 138 east to the park's north entrance.

From Bend - Route 97 south to Route 138 west to the park's north entrance.

From the North (Winter):

The park's north entrance is closed in the winter and spring. Dates can vary, but typically the north entrance is closed from early November to mid-June. Please call park dispatch for the latest road status (541)594-3000.

From Roseburg - Route 138 east to Route 230 south to Route 62 east to the park's west entrance.

From Bend - Route 97 south to Route 62 north and west to the park's south entrance.

From the South (Year Round):

From Medford - Route 62 north and east to the park's west entrance.

From Klamath Falls - Route 97 north to Route 62 north and west to the park's south entrance.

Brown Trout
Chinook Salmon
Rainbow Trout
Salmon Family
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Crater Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Get Wett Incorporated
  • 20300 Highway 62 - Shady Cove, OR
  • (541) 878-3866
    Meridian Sail Center
  • 2412 Hawkins St - Klamath Falls, OR
  • (541) 884-5869

Vacation Rental

    Crater Lake Lodge
  • Mazama Campground - Crater Lake, OR
  • (541) 594-2255

Cast Your Vote

Your vote has been recorded.

Hot Lakes