CLACKAMAS RIVER: It was another week of very low flows on the river accompanied by record heat and leading to poor angling conditions. The river will continue to be a drift or pontoon boat fishery with conditions too low to try and navigate in a sled safely, so boaters beware of partially submerged boulders, gravel bars, and logs. Experienced low water anglers have been able to pick up a few summer steelhead in the morning hours from Gladstone upriver to McIver Park while spring Chinook fishing has been poor at best.
The boat fishery above Rivermill Dam has produced an occasional fish with anglers finding some action on summer steelhead and a rare spring Chinook when working the water just above the log boom or trolling a bit further upstream from the dam. Boat anglers can access the lake from a boat ramp in McIver Park.
Over 570 hatchery springers have made it up into the PGE trap below North Fork Reservoir; these fish were previously being recycled back downstream to provide additional fishing opportunities but are now transported to Clackamas Hatchery for broodstock and future spawning. A good number of wild spring Chinook have also made it to the trap with that number approaching 2,550 fish passed upstream.
A great summer steelhead run is continuing with over 2,200 hatchery summers reaching the North Fork Trap. A number of these fish were getting recycled downstream but recently theyve been stocked into Faraday Lake for anglers to enjoy. Clackamas Hatchery at McIver Park has their water system back online and has had a large number of summer steelhead and over 700 Chinook swim in this summer.
Anglers should note that the summer float season is now going strong so theyll be sharing the river with rafters and tubers during the warm weather. On the busy days it becomes an early morning fishery just to avoid the recreational user crowds.
Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on private property. If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimers off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps.
USGS hydrological data for August 22 shows river flows nearly unchanged at 656 cfs, with a gauge reading of 10.35 feet and the water temperature steady near 65° F. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.