Can salmon and steelhead get up above the North Fork dam?

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pancakesnarfer
Went up today to check out the fire damage and to fish and saw what were either the biggest brown and bull trout I've seen or were salmon. it was a school of about 15 and they were pushing 30 inches and were probably 8 pounds at the most. couldn't get them to bite anything but I've never seen fish that big past the north fork dam. I've attached a still image if anyone could help identify them.
 
brandon4455
brandon4455
Those are spring chinook if I’m not mistaken
 
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Irishrover
Irishrover
Chinook with adipose fin intact are sorted out and allowed up past the North Fork dam. Clipped fish are returned to the hatchery or re released down river.
 
M
MooseDawg
According to ODFW, salmon and steelhead fishing above the Faraday Dam on the Clackamas River is prohibited year round. See https://www.eregulations.com/oregon/fishing/willamette-zone
The below is cut/pasted from there.

Mainstem and tributaries (except Oak Grove Fork) above Faraday Diversion (Cazadero) Dam, excluding North Fork Reservoir and Faraday Lake

  • Harvest of bull trout prohibited.
  • No angling from a floating device or from the west shore for the length of the Three Lynx Powerhouse (111 ft).
  • Closed all year for salmon and steelhead.
I've seen a sign calling it a Salmon/Steelhead sanctuary.
 
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F
Fred
I’ve seen spring chinook salmon jumping in north fork when trout fishing. They look like salmon.
 
troutdude
troutdude
Sorebacks = spawning salmon. In this case most likely native or naturalized; not fin clipped hatchery fish.

FYI It's illegal to even attempt to angle for them; if I'm not mistaken.
 
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olshiftybiscuits
That’s a pretty cool thing to witness. Troutdude is right though - illegal to even throw a line their way. There is fish passage through north fork reservoir, which is why they close it to fishing when trout season ends on October 31. Anadromous fish can get up into the upper Clack and tribs like the Collawash, although they can’t make it up the Oak Grove Fork beyond the Harriet powerhouse. Likewise, you won’t find browns anywhere in the Clackamas drainage below Lake Harriet. They’re confined to the stretch between Harriet and Timothy.
 
troutdude
troutdude
olshiftybiscuits said:
That’s a pretty cool thing to witness. Troutdude is right though - illegal to even throw a line their way. There is fish passage through north fork reservoir, which is why they close it to fishing when trout season ends on October 31. Anadromous fish can get up into the upper Clack and tribs like the Collawash, although they can’t make it up the Oak Grove Fork beyond the Harriet powerhouse. Likewise, you won’t find browns anywhere in the Clackamas drainage below Lake Harriet. They’re confined to the stretch between Harriet and Timothy.
Actually a few small browns escape Harriet from time to time. They’re flushed down the outflow pipe and wind up, in frog lake. Where they are sometimes caught. It’s actually a concrete impoundment; so not
The prettiest place to drop a line. But one can be rewarded, sometimes, with a nice brown.
 
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olshiftybiscuits
troutdude said:
Actually a few small browns escape Harriet from time to time. They’re flushed down the outflow pipe and wind up, in frog lake. Where they are sometimes caught. It’s actually a concrete impoundment; so not
The prettiest place to drop a line. But one can be rewarded, sometimes, with a nice brown.
Sadly, Frog Lake Reservoir got so torched in the riverside fire that all the water evaporated :(. Hopefully it’ll refill and that fishery will come back. Either way, that’s all separated from the upper clack. But man, there are some unreal browns hanging out in that little system up there. One in particular that made me think I was literally hallucinating. Could be a state record lurking.
 
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pancakesnarfer
olshiftybiscuits said:
That’s a pretty cool thing to witness. Troutdude is right though - illegal to even throw a line their way. There is fish passage through north fork reservoir, which is why they close it to fishing when trout season ends on October 31. Anadromous fish can get up into the upper Clack and tribs like the Collawash, although they can’t make it up the Oak Grove Fork beyond the Harriet powerhouse. Likewise, you won’t find browns anywhere in the Clackamas drainage below Lake Harriet. They’re confined to the stretch between Harriet and Timothy.
Good to know, my dad and I thought they were big bull or brown trout at the time since we didn't think salmon could get past the north fork dam. They hung out on the same small stretch of river the 2 days we were there. They were hitting flies and occasionally chasing the small trout fry, it was really cool to just watch them. think they were guarding a nest or something?
 
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olshiftybiscuits
pancakesnarfer said:
Good to know, my dad and I thought they were big bull or brown trout at the time since we didn't think salmon could get past the north fork dam. They hung out on the same small stretch of river the 2 days we were there. They were hitting flies and occasionally chasing the small trout fry, it was really cool to just watch them. think they were guarding a nest or something?
Most likely they were waiting for a bump of rain to get into their preferred spawning tributary, but I couldn’t say for sure! They might spawn right there in the main stem. I’ve honestly never seen any up there myself, usually by this time of year I’m pretty focused on the coastal streams and sea runs. Might have to make a trip up just to watch the migration.
 
troutdude
troutdude
FYI It's also illegal to target bull trout in many streams too. Be sure and read the reg's before venturing out; so you can avoid a potentially hefty fine.
 
M
MooseDawg
troutdude said:
FYI It's also illegal to target bull trout in many streams too. Be sure and read the reg's before venturing out; so you can avoid a potentially hefty fine.
Correct. Bull trout are protected on the upper clack.
 
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olshiftybiscuits
I was up on the Collawash last week and saw both steelhead and Chinook up there, incredible they've gotten so far up with so little rain. Lake Harriet is super low, I think they're pumping a ton of water out of the Oak Grove Fork into the main stem to help with fish migration.
 

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