Woahink Lake’s glassy surface and murky water hide a secret. The lake doubles as an obstacle course for recreational scuba divers and is home to several mock shipwrecks, a yellow submarine, and an 18-foot plastic shark, Mary 18, named for the dispatch call sign of fallen Eugene Police officer Chris Kilcullen.
With warmer waters and lower stream flows, both of which favor the sedentary smallmouth, they’ve made it into the salmonoid spawning beds high up in the north and middle forks of the John Day. There, they benefit from “prey naiveté,” meaning salmonoids have no instinctual fear of the non-native bass. So anglers who want to have the most impact should concentrate their efforts in the upper reaches of the north and middle forks of the John Day.