New state, possible world record mountain whitefish caught on Deschutes River

Deschutes River- Lower - Maupin, OR

5 pound 12 oz, 24-inch long mountain whitefish with a 14 inch girth.
Photo Credit: ODFW

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff
1-12-2022
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BEND, Ore.—Alex Dietz of Bend was fly fishing with an egg pattern on the Deschutes River outside Warm Springs on Dec. 19, 2021 when he hooked a 5 pound 12 oz, 24-inch long mountain whitefish with a 14 inch girth.

"My fishing buddy Jason Schreiber saw that I had a big fish on and came over to check out what was going on," Dietz explained. "We took pictures of it and kind of laughed about it for awhile.

I was getting ready to let the fish go when we realized this thing could be a state record."

Dietz is almost exclusively a catch and release angler—but he kept this fish, bringing it to Newport Avenue Market in Bend for an official weigh-in on an Oregon Dept of Agriculture scale as required under the record rules.

ODFW certified the fish as the new state record mountain whitefish on Jan. 7, 2022 (beating the previous record, a 4 lb 14 oz mountain whitefish caught at Crane Prairie Reservoir in 1994 by Roger A Massey).

The mountain whitefish might actually be a world record as the current record is a 5 lb 8 oz whitefish taken by Albert Woo in 1995 from Albert's River near Calgary according to the International Game Fish Association. Dietz is submitting the information to the IFGA to be certified.

Dietz grew up in Bend and has been fishing since he was in high school. He usually targets trout and steelhead and again, releases just about everything he catches. This record fish is being taxidermized for display at his home.

Beating the record is extra special because Dec. 19 was the first time he'd been fishing since he and his wife Andrea welcomed their first child, a baby girl, on Nov. 15, 2021.

"December 19 was the first time I got the green light from my wife to go fishing, so big thanks to her too," Dietz said.

Mountain whitefish are a native migratory fish in Oregon and are distributed throughout most the Western United States and Canada. These fish are typically found in cool mountain streams, but also occur in lakes. Mountain whitefish have a subterminal mouth which helps them feed on a variety of food items that occur on the bottom of streams such as immature mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies, which the Deschutes River has in abundance.

"We have known for a long time that the lower Deschutes River has an abundance of mountain whitefish which anglers frequently catch while angling for trout," said Jason Seals, ODFW Deschutes District Fish Biologist. "However, we never suspected that the Deschutes could have the state and possible world record mountain whitefish so this was a great surprise."




More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, January 6th

Gerber Reservoir: The reservoir is frozen. Ice thickness is unknown
John C Boyle Reservoir: The reservoir might be partially frozen
Upper Klamath Lake: The lake is frozen except near the outlet
Klamath River - Upper - OR: Klamath River Report
Lake Of The Woods: Ice thickness is unknown but currently not safe for ice fishing
Willow Valley Reservoir: The reservoir is low and likely frozen
Applegate Reservoir: The only useable boat ramp at Applegate Reservoir is the French Gulch Boat Ramp
Applegate River: As of Wednesday morning, the Wilderville stream gage was reading 1,280 cfs and dropping
Arizona Pond: This pond received a sizeable batch of fresh rainbow trout over the holidays
Ben Irving Reservoir: Reservoir is likely murky and may inhibit certain methods.
Chetco River: Steelhead fishing has been really good
Coos River: Steelhead anglers have been catching hatchery steelhead
Coquille River: The rivers are currently high and muddy
Diamond Lake: The last report said the ice was not quite thick enough to start fishing on
Elk River: Steelhead fishing should be excellent
Emigrant Reservoir: Emigrant is close to deadpool
Fish Lake : The current lake level is 35 percent full and the lake is filling slowly
Galesville Reservoir: The reservoir has started to fill again but it is still very low
Garrison Lake: Bank anglers can find access at the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Earlier in the week is that there’s about 6 inches of snow over about 4-6 inches of ice covering the lake
Hyatt Lake: Expect winter weather conditions for the weekend and a frozen lake
Illinois River: The Illinois is known for having a run of some earlier running winter steelhead
Pistol River: Steelhead are spread throughout the river
Rogue River- Lower: Steelhead fishing has been really good
Rogue River - Middle: Middle Rogue may start seeing some winter steelhead finally show up
Rogue River- Upper: Upper Rogue River Report
Rogue River- Upper (Above Lost Creek): Expect winter weather and lots of snow
Sixes River: Sixes River Fishing Report
Tenmile Lakes: A few hatchery steelhead have been caught in Tenmile Creek last week
Umpqua River: Umpqua River Report
Winchuck River: Anglers can expect to find steelhead scattered throughout the river
Alsea River: Winter steelhead fishing is off to a great start on the Alsea
Kilchis River: Kilchis is usually one of the first rivers to come back in shape
Necanicum River: It is peak time for the hatchery winter steelhead run on the Necanicum
Nehalem River: The Nehalem River is predicted to hit minor flood stage on Thursday
Siletz River: Winter steelhead fishing has been good on the Siletz
Siuslaw River: Winter steelhead typically start showing up in the Siuslaw system in early December
Trask River: The Trask is predicted to peak above “action” stage after Thursday’s storm
Wilson River: The Wilson River was starting to produce some steelhead over the New Year’s weekend
Clackamas River: Winter steelhead can now be found throughout the Clackamas River
Detroit Reservoir: Detroit Reservoir Report
Sandy River: Winter steelhead can now be found throughout the Sandy River
Crooked River: Anglers report fair winter fishing in the Crooked River
Fall River: Anglers report good fishing in late morning and afternoon once water temperatures rise
Metolius River: Anglers report hit and miss blue wing olive hatches and fair fishing
Grande Ronde River: Grande Ronde River Fishing Report
Wallowa River: Walloa River Report
Snake River- Below Hells Canyon Reservoir: Steelhead are available throughout the Snake River
: ODFW Recreation Report

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Umpqua River

1-4-2022
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