Oregon Coast Houseboats

More than 40 years ago, a family friend, Ben Ederer of Lakeside, built a rather fancy houseboat called the Tenmile Queen on South Tenmile Lake. The houseboat, with an impressive kitchen was mainly designed for restaurant-type meals and entertaining. As a young teenager who happened to be lucky enough to be aboard on the maiden voyage, all I could think of were the fishy-looking spots the that the large paddlewheel briskyly moved us past.

Forty years ago, I had the pleasure of the use of a houseboat on Siltcoos Lake for the weekend and it was wonderful. We caught lots of fish in complete comfort and the houseboat was easy enough to operate that my younger brother, Ethan, then only ten years old could easily maneuver the boat during the surprisingly wind-free conditions – and we caught lots of fish, mostly yellow perch to more than 13-inches.

The houseboats were rented out by Richard and Joella Collins who owned and operated Ada Resort and the only thing that I found irritating about using the houseboats were that we were not allowed to pass through any of the railroad trestles that crossed portions of the east side of Siltcoos Lake.

The hosueboats were built custom built on untreated logs and had a limited lifespan and when their rather short lifespan was over, the Oregon Coast was essentially devoid of large rental houseboats in a freshwater environment.

So on a recent fishing trip to Loon Lake, I was pleasantly surprised to see a large rental houseboat tethered to that portion of Loon Lake Lodge that used to be known as Fish Haven Resort at the upper end of Loon Lake. I later found out that the houseboat was 46 feet in length and that a smaller houseboat, 25 footer, was also available for rent. More details about the houseboats and their rental costs and available discounts can be found on the website for Loon Lake Lodge (loonlakerv.com).

Despite being less than 300 acres in size, Loon Lake is a wonderful lake for houseboats. It is relatively deep except for the upper end which has a five mile speed limit and the lower 90 percent of the lake is fairly deep and the houseboats are large enough to easily handle the wakes from the pleasure boats speeding around the lower end of the lake. Although only about 20 miles, as the crow flies, from the Pacific Ocean, Loon Lake lies in a mountain setting and has a decidedly non-coastal climate being much warmer and usually relatively wind-free.

When the houseboat rental cost is divided between several families, the cost can rival, or in some cases beat, the price of a nice motel – and you can’t catch a mess of sizable brown bullheads while dozing off in a regular motel room. In fact, a 22-inch brown bullhead was reported taken in 2011 by anglers fishing from one of the Lodge’s houseboats (see Oregon Fishing Forum -Southwest Section-Loon Lake). Rainbows trout are stocked in the lake and warmwater fish species present include largemouth bass, bluegills, white crappie and brown bullheads – and they are all capable of reaching good size.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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