SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout
As of June 3, flows were around 1,750 cfs at the Mehama gauge, with good fishing conditions. These flows are likely to drop another 100-300 cfs over the next couple of weeks. River levels best for fishing are at or below 3,000 cfs.
More fish are arriving daily in the basin but counts at Willamette Falls are below average for both spring Chinook and summer steelhead. So far they have counted just over 2,000 summer steelhead and 15,000+ spring Chinook at Willamette Falls. As of May 31, 945 hatchery Chinook and 100 summer steelhead have been counted at the Bennett ladders. Best bets for anglers are in the lower sections of river where the fish are thickest, such as between Green’s Bridge and Jefferson, or from Stayton to the take-out at Shelburn.
Meanwhile, the river is now open for trout through the end of October. Anglers can keep up to 5 hatchery trout per day, but any wild trout must be released unharmed.
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT: trout
This section of the river is open year-round for trout. It will be stocked this week with 3,000 trout. Most trout can be found from Marion Forks down to the mouth and are fairly well distributed. The river is flowing at around 800 cfs, which is about average for this time of year. Water may still be a bit milky-colored from snowmelt but will clear up over the next few weeks.
Anglers may keep up to five trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.
SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, bass, trout
Currently, flows are good and should hold steady at around 1,100. The summer steelhead run for this year has begun, and there are reports of catches in the river already. The counts at Willamette Falls as of May 30 are 2,089 summer steelhead and 15,279 spring Chinook. Many of these fish are destined for the South Santiam, but so far fewer than 50 summer steelhead have been counted at the Foster fish ladder.
Summer steelhead can generally be found throughout the upper basin below Foster Reservoir, especially above Waterloo Park. But this time of year new fish are migrating through the lower sections as well. Fishing is generally best when flows are below 3,000 cfs.
The entire river is now open to trout fishing through the end of October. Anglers may keep up to 5 hatchery trout per day, but any wild trout must be released unharmed.
This concludes our 2019 Santiam River Fishing Report.
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The Lunker’s Guide 2019 Santiam River Fishing Report