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This was taken looking down the reservoir from our camping site at the beautiful Woodhead Park which is on the Brownlee Reservoir.
Woodhead Park is an Idaho Power recreational facility located on Brownlee Reservoir a few miles above Brownlee Dam. Woodhead Park was built in 1959, remodeled and expanded in 1995. The park was named for Ed Woodhead, the chief engineer in the construction of Brownlee Dam. Woodhead Park Campground is situated across a few rolling hills on the Idaho side of Brownlee Reservoir. The mountains on both sides tower over the park. They are dirt covered, not the rocky, cliff covered slopes you will find deeper in Hells Canyon. Fishing, camping, water sports, and wildlife watching are the main attractions in this area.
Brownlee Reservoir is the uppermost reservoir of the Hells Canyon complex, which is a series of three Idaho Power dams built on the Snake River to generate electricity. Brownlee Reservoir is by far the largest, covering 15,000 acres. The reservoir is long and narrow, featuring rocky steep shorelines. Since the reservoir is the border between Oregon and Idaho, anglers should note, that with a license in either state, they can use facilities of either state to put in or take out boats, as long as they do not fish from the shore, dock or a docked boat in the state which they do not hold a license.
Brownlee Reservoir is among the most heavily fished waters in Idaho. Healthy populations of warm water fish such as smallmouth bass, catfish and crappie are especially popular. Brownlee has produced four state record gamefish; the flathead and bullhead catfish, and the white and black crappie. Perch, bluegill, largemouth bass and stocked rainbow add to the diversity of this fishery.
Southern end access to Brownlee Reservoir can be made at Farewell Bend State Park, on the Oregon side, and Steck Park near Weiser on the Idaho side. Spring Park Camp on the Oregon side is nearly directly across from Steck Park. The north end of the reservoir is best accessed through Cambridge, at Woodhead Park near the dam. These areas have good to excellent dock and ramp facilities for boaters and provide some shoreline access. Other shoreline access is limited by rough terrain.
The Brownlee Reservoir is located near the Midwestern Idaho and southwestern Oregon borders. The reservoir is in the Snake River canyon, in a hilly and semiarid region (Ebel & Koski, 1968). The reservoir is also a ground for salmon spawning and used for recreation and domestic water supply. The reservoir is through-flowing, since it has a relatively short residence time that varies from 15 to 70 days. The three major tributaries are the Snake, Powder and Burnt Rivers. The reservoir has turnover periods in the spring and in the fall.
May 30th, 2013
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