North and South Santiam River: North - Recent rains and water releases from storage dams are causing river levels to remain high and difficult to fish. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge; as of Nov. 28 the river flow at Mehama is at 9,300 cfs, and is expected to stay high over the next week.
The most recent counts at Bennett dam fish ladders indicate that more than 5,400 hatchery steelhead and over 600 coho salmon have passed into the upper river above Stayton so far. When the bite is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to hatchery steelhead.
Anglers may keep up to five hatchery trout from the mouth to Big Cliff dam through Oct. 31.
North Fork - Regulation changes for 2016 makes this section a year-round fishery. The river was stocked one final time in early August with 3,000 hatchery rainbow trout. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.
South Fork - Recent rains have brought flows back up and with more rain in the forecast, conditions will remain challenging over the next week. Current flows as of Nov. 28 are approximately 10,700 cfs as measured at Waterloo. Winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by January.