SANDY RIVER: Sandy River water levels are extremely low, even lower than a week ago. The glacial melt is also setting in with hot weather turning the river a sandy, milky color resulting in very limited visibility. Angler effort has been light due to the poor fishing conditions, with only a scattering of folks out in the early morning hours.
Steelhead returns are low this summer but a few fresh summer steelhead should be in the river from Cedar Creek downstream, with the best areas for hooking steelhead being near Cedar Creek, Dodge Park, and Revenue. Theres also been a few spring Chinook caught in the lower river.
If youre targeting spring Chinook, get going early in the morning and concentrate your efforts in the lower river below Dodge Park. Springers are acclimated near the mouth of the Bull Run River and dropping flows should cause fish to begin to hold below Dodge Park. Several dozen of these fish have shown up in the ODFW trap on the Bull Run River so there are Chinook around.
USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on July 14 shows flows down again this week at 343 cfs with a gauge reading of 7.77 feet. The water temperature is down a bit due to cooler nights at 62°.
Sandy Hatchery Cedar Creek temperatures are down this week following the recent rainstorm. This weeks temperatures ranged from a low of 59° and a high of 62°, compared to a low of 63° and a high of 70° F the week before.
North Fork - Due to warm water temperatures (over 65° F), adult Chinook salmon are dying in the Santiam River Basin. If you see a dead adult salmon in the North Santiam, South Santiam, Little North Fork, or mainstem Santiam River, please call the ODFW Corvallis District Office at (541) 757-4186. District staff are monitoring river conditions and tracking the locations of dead salmon.
Most chinook and steelhead are currently in the upper sections of this river where water temperatures and conditions are better. To avoid adding stress to these fish, anglers are encouraged to fish early in the morning or late in the evening and to land fish quickly. If practicing catch and release, avoid taking fish out of the water and minimize handling as much as possible so that these fish can conserve enough energy for spawning in the fall. The North Santiam below Detroit Reservoir was included in the statewide salmon and trout angling closure from 2:00pm until one hour before sunrise.