Aaron Mercer Reservoir


Can anyone provide up to date info on Aaron Mercer reservoir, including what organization has authority regarding access and use? A google search led me to the City of Dallas website's "Rickreall Watershed page", which informs readers that boats are not allowed with an explanation why. It refers readers to Hancock Forest Management website or phone number. The phone number is not in service (according to my cell phone provider, I mention this because I have the same issue with the ODFW tip line which works fine for other folks). The web site only covers 3 management areas located in WA. I used the "contact us" link to send an email inquiry, but have yet to receive a response.

Yesterday I tried to access it using 2 different routes. Google maps directs users to Martin Rd., which I took first, but shortly after passing the Robb Mill Rd. fork, I encountered a sign that in effect stated no unauthorized access, it was in poor condition, but there was enough visible to understand the message. I tried an alternate route via Black Rock Rd to Rickreall Rd, but just past Camp Tapawingo, I encountered Weyerhauser property that restricts public motorized access.

Inability to access the reservoir aside, it was a fun exploration adventure. I fished quite few spots on the Little Luckiamute river (got skunked), and ended up on Rickreall Creek in Nesmith Park catching 6" Pike minnow on my 5 WT.


Well-known member
In the past, you could either walk or ride a bike through the Dalton Rock property and they would open it to vehicles during deer season. It was a couple of miles up to the lake. I heard that the city of Dallas was going to buy the property around the reservoir, maybe they already did. I don't know if there are any new restrictions since then. Sorry I don't know the latest but I suspect the City of Dallas would be the place to check.


I've fished there several times. The road / gate is ONLY open, during the month of November. And it is patrolled, by State Police. You cannot pass the gate, until one hour before sunrise. They won't let you in, any earlier.

For the remainder of the year from the Dalton's quarry gate, it is a 6 mile, one-way, trek on FOOT or non-motorized BICYCLE ONLY! NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES OF ANY KIND, are allowed. Some dumb ass started a forest fire up there, back in the day. So we are LUCKY that it is open, at all!

As of last year--and due to more asshats, who have vandalized and trashed their private property--ONLY float tubes are allowed. NO other floating device, of any other kind is allowed. Only float tubes, and bank fishing is permitted.

All of this information came directly from Troopers, from Fred Braun at the City, and the property management company. I don't recall the name, of that company. But I believe that Fred, has those details.

The lake has native cutties, and some ILLEGALLY introduces smallies. So when you do go up there; feel free to remove as many legal smallies as your are allowed. They eat the cuttie's fry, which bugs me to no end. And do NOT keep, any of the native coho! I don't recall if coho retention is legal, or not. But PLEASE release them, if it is legal.

This water used to be PRIME, for large native cutties. But because of all of the crap mentioned above; it no longer contains large trout. Ruined by crowds, who don't give a damn about our fish, their habitat, nor the rights of PRIVATE property owners.

OK...rant over...


Thanks for responding troutdude. If I understand you correctly, I should be to get info directly from ODFW/OSP Wildlife, and/or City of Dallas, and I could have driven passed the sign to find the gate you mentioned above? I would gladly help with the small-mouth population within the ODFW confines, they are supposed fun to catch, and good to eat out of clean water.


You're welcome.

However, you misread my comments. The lake is technically open year round. However, you are NOT allowed to drive into the lake at all--except for the month of November. If you want to go now; you will have to walk in 6 miles. Then walk back out, six more miles back to the gate. The ONLY other option, is to ride a non-motorized bicycle all 12 miles in and out.

Neither ODFW, nor anyone else will open the gate for anyone right now. The gate is NOT open at all until November; and for ONLY that one month. Only in the month of November, are any motor vehicles allowed past the gate.

There are also ABSOLUTELY no fires allowed either; nor any other open flame. ALL flames, are STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

In short, you are wasting your time. Unless you are willing, to hike in all 12 miles (or can ride a bicycle that same distance). Otherwise, you will have to wait until November--when the gate is open, and vehicles are allowed to drive in.


td, I think you misread my statement. I asked if I can ODFW & City Dallas for INFO, and DRIVE PASSED THE SIGN to GET TO THE GATE? As I stated in the original post, there was a sign stating something to the effect of "Authorized Entrance Only". The reason I never mentioned the locked gate is the fact I did not see a gate, locked or otherwise. There were heavy trucks exiting from beyond the sign, which why I asked you if I could drive beyond the above mentioned sign to find the locked gate.

I get it, you want folks to abide by the rules to prevent further restrictions, because it sucks when bad apples spoil a cart.

Thank you for your effort to this point.

Tight lines.


Sorry for any confusion, on my part.

I forgot about the gated entrance, being open during working hours. No. There is not any admittance, past that gate. The gate in question, is the one that is just off the paved Ellendale Road, quickly onto Robb Mill Road, and finally onto the gravel of Martin Road. Rickreall Crick (hey, I'm an Oregonian...LOL); is on the left at the gate.

If you go any further--than that gate / signage; you'll be subject to arrest. The property owners absolutely forbid vehicles, past that gate.

One time, back in the day, the gate was open. So, I dared ventured past that sign--with the honorable intent to find the first person that I saw; and ask about permission. Instead; I got a stern ass-chewing, the minute my foot hit the ground! I immediately apologized; and nearly burned rubber into the gravel to get outta Dodge! All because...I was doing exactly what you have been doing...reading maps, driving all around on those backroads, looking up websites, making calls, etc. etc.

I also attempted, one time, in November--to go past that gate/sign. At the first pullout, sat a State Trooper. His spotlights were trained on me, as I rounded that corner. After telling him that I just wanted to have my lines in the water, at "first legal" light...and a radio check of my cred's...he sent me back to the gate/sign, to wait until 1 hour before sunrise.

So there, you have it. Your unOFFicial Mayor of OFFsville, is a criminal. But at least I behave myself; when the alternatives are butt ugly!

Hope that I've helped. Tight lines,



Thanks for the clarification :thumb:
​​​​​​I have at least 2 more trips to WOU to transfer my daughter's stuff before summer break, so hopefully I can make it out there. If not, she returns in the fall. If I have enough advanced warning I will send you a PM, maybe we can hoof in together. I would like to meet you and some other OFFers that have helped me with info since I moved to Oregon.

Thanks again!
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