North and South Santiam River: The earlier die-off of salmon and steelhead has receded somewhat with the cooler temperatures, but fish are still vulnerable so the 2 p.m. closure remains in effect.
Most Chinook and steelhead are currently in the upper sections of this river where water temperatures and conditions are better. A recent surge in migrating adults over Willamette Falls may provide some action in lower sections of the river as well. 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 p.m. until one hour before sunrise. As a reminder, angling for Chinook closes on Sept. 1, 2015.
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 adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing opened May 23. Anglers are allowed to keep up to 5 fin-clipped trout per day through Oct. 31.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the Mehama gauge is around 1,100 cfs as of Aug. 24
South - ter a long delay new Chinook and summer steelhead have resumed migration through the ladder at Willamette Falls. This pod of new fish should begin to arrive into the upper tributaries, including the Santiam River, within the next few weeks. There are many Chinook and steelhead already in the basin, with over 2,400 Chinook already recycled downstream from Foster dam.
Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam. Flows have already reached summer flow conditions, currently 760 cfs at Waterloo. They should remain low for the foreseeable future.