Winter Steelhead Fishing Conditions Continued to Improve

Clackamas River - Estacada, OR (Clackamas County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Winter steelhead fishing conditions continued to improve this past week as the river saw increases in both flows and temperatures. Despite almost no precipitation, the river level at the Estacada Gauge increased nearly a foot to 12.50 ft. at the Estacada Gauge, which was sitting at 11.68 a week ago.

Effort is increasing, too, as evidenced by anglers taking advantage of the improved conditions both by boat and from the shore, which are approaching ideal. Additional freshets will be welcome, as the river is still a little low and cokd. Most of the action seems to be focused on the lower river holes, including Carver, Riverside, Meldrum, and Clackamette.

While the river is low, there is enough water to attract rafters, and presumably fish, which by now should be distributed throughout the river. Although only two hatchery winters have been collected by Clackamas Hatchery. Of note, the hatchery also received its first summer steelhead of the year, a further indication of the season marching forward. Conditions should continue to improve in April and on into May when the first spring Chinook begin to show up.

USGS hydrological data forMarch 19 shows river flows at2,330 cfs water temperature up a several degrees to 42° F, and the gauge at 12.50 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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