Steelhead are Starting to Show Up

Clackamas River - Estacada, OR (Clackamas County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Some very early Clackamas brood stock winter steelhead are starting to show up and could be a sign of better fishing, especially with the recent rainfall lifting  river flows. Anglers should concentrate in the lower reaches of the Clackamas for their best shot at early winter steelhead. The Clackamas no longer has early returning hatchery winter steelhead brood stock programs so fish numbers will only increase as we go through winter. Keep an eye on Clackamas and Willamette Falls fish counts to follow fish movement into local rivers.
Hatchery coho are all but done with in the Clackamas. There are late run coho available – these are wild fish and offer catch-and-release opportunities.
Trout fishing is now catch-and-release only due to presence of wild steelhead smolts that could be impacted by anglers targeting trout.
USGS hydrological data for Dec. 12 shows river flows at 4,480 cfs water temperature at 38°F, and the gage up slightly to 3.75 ft. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park. Hydrologic data and river forecasts can also be accessed on the NOAA/National Weather Service NW River Forecast Center -- NW River Forecast Center.


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