What kind of fish???

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lbc007

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Joined
Aug 4, 2010
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1
Location
Salem, OR
I am probably going to be torched on here for asking this but I am a service member just recently stationed here in Oregon. Last weekend I went camping with the family up in Idahna on the North Fork, was tossing a Rooster Tail and hooked into what I was certain was a Steelhead. I caught a couple glimps' of it and yes I have caught numerous Steelhead in the past. I was fishing with 8lb line on a pretty decent trout rod so worked the fish pretty slow trying not to loose it. After about 20 minutes or so it shook the hook. My question is, how the H#LL does a Steelhead get above Detroit Lake or am I delusional on what I was hooked into? I am soon leaving for deployment so sat by the river just taking in the sites for quite a few hours and throughout the day saw numerous pretty large fish flip around at the bottom of a wash out to eat. To me they looked like spawning chinook but again, how do they get above Detroit Lake? They were very large, black sillouetts that seemed to have a white head or jaw tip. Any info would be nice, thanks.
 
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GDBrown

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May 28, 2009
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Hillsboro, Oregon
Welcome to OFF! Glad you were able to get in some fishing before deployment. I'm not that familiar with the Detroit lake and river system but there are plenty who know it well! I'm sure you'll have an answer shortly.

GD
 
M

Markcanby

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Oregon
I think they do have a fish trap up there.
 
C

chris61182

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Apr 6, 2007
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Oregon
The most likely is simply a surplus salmon that ODFW trucked above the reservoir. I know a few years back they had a program to study the effect salmon fry would have on bull trout populations above Green Peter and Detroit and I heard the results were promising, perhaps they've continued the program.
 
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Mattdm22

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Oct 24, 2008
Messages
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Oregon
It could have been! Any trout over 20" is considered a steelhead in rivers. There is no fish trap or anything after big cliff I thought so I don't know if it could have made upstream. Maybe it was just an overgrown trout!
 
B

bigfootfish

I am probably going to be torched on here for asking this but I am a service member just recently stationed here in Oregon. Last weekend I went camping with the family up in Idahna on the North Fork, was tossing a Rooster Tail and hooked into what I was certain was a Steelhead. I caught a couple glimps' of it and yes I have caught numerous Steelhead in the past. I was fishing with 8lb line on a pretty decent trout rod so worked the fish pretty slow trying not to loose it. After about 20 minutes or so it shook the hook. My question is, how the H#LL does a Steelhead get above Detroit Lake or am I delusional on what I was hooked into? I am soon leaving for deployment so sat by the river just taking in the sites for quite a few hours and throughout the day saw numerous pretty large fish flip around at the bottom of a wash out to eat. To me they looked like spawning chinook but again, how do they get above Detroit Lake? They were very large, black sillouetts that seemed to have a white head or jaw tip. Any info would be nice, thanks.

lbc007,
I know the answers to your questions. Where to start? Okay. Some history first. You're right in that there are no fish passage devices downstream at Big Cliff or Detroit Dams. Downstream from Big Cliff is the Minto Dam fish trap, which is operated by the ODFW Marion Forks Fish Hatchery upstream from Idanha. They collect Chinook and Steelhead at Minto and truck the eggs up to the hatchery, where they hatch 'em then later take them back downstream to dump 'em in below Minto.
Back in the late 1950's they had an accidental fish spill at the Marion Forks Hatchery and somewheres in the neighborhood of 70,000 baby Chinook Salmon got released into Marion Creek, which feeds the hatchery. The salmon swam down Marion Creek into the North Santiam and hence into Detroit Lake. What surprised ODFW was the fact that a few years later LAND-LOCKED Chinook started being caught in Detroit. Apparently the salmon found Detroit Reservoir ideal. The Chinook that stayed in Detroit Lake found a great enviroment for themselves. Since Detroit Lake is NEVER emptied but lowered after Labor Day down to what is called minimum pool, the Chinook had a lake/ocean type of enviroment year-round. ODFW discovered later that the land-locked Chinook started swimming up the Brietenbush and North Santiam to spawn in the fall, like the Kokanee do in Detroit Lake. Boulder and Blowout Creeks also may have runs, though smaller due to the size of those creeks.
Now that fish you hooked and the others you saw are most likely native or wild rainbows, since it is too early, as far as I know, for the Chinook to be upstream getting ready to spawn. There are some big-ass rainbows in the Brientenbush and North Santaim upstream from Detroit Lake. I've caught 'em up to 25 inches long up from Idanha. They live in the rivers there. And I'm fairly sure any trout over 20 inches that you might catch upstream from Detroit Lake are NOT considered steelhead, due to the location of the streams. Steelhead canna get up that high from below Detroit and Big Cliff Dams, therefore the "any trout over 20 inches in streams" rule does not apply. Look at the Sport Fish Regs yourself.
Hope this is helpful. Come back from overseas in one piece, God willing!

BFF
 
B

bigfootfish

The most likely is simply a surplus salmon that ODFW trucked above the reservoir. I know a few years back they had a program to study the effect salmon fry would have on bull trout populations above Green Peter and Detroit and I heard the results were promising, perhaps they've continued the program.

chris61182,
There might be something to what you say. I think I'll call the Hatchery there and ask about that. Their number, by-the-way, is 503-854-3522. Steven Mamoyac out of the ODFW Adair Office might also know the answer to this question. His number is 541-757-4186. He is the cold-water fish biologist for the Santiam Watershed.

BFF
 
A

autofisher

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Location
Salem, Oregon
There are some BIG fish up in those little streams. And like BFF said, I don't think they are steelhead..... they are trout. If they have the extra fin, I usually put them back no matter what. The only trout I keep from those systems are the ones that are in the main lake where they stock. I'm not sure about the rule not applying because the systems technically end up at Detroit Resevoir, but the North Santiam does continue down. I know that it doesn't make any sense, but according to the State Trooper that I talked to up there last week, if you had retained it, there would have been a ticket issued. I saw a bunch of larger fish up there when I went camping last week, so did he. Asked him a couple of questions about the technicals of the guidelines.....he said that there's a lot of gray area that can really confuse anglers and that we should just use good judgment when it comes to retention up there. Hope this helps.
 
R

Rascal

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Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
157
Location
Clackamas
yeah caught a nook in detroit 2 years ago but i dont know when they run up the creeks so it could have been a trout or a nook in my opinion
 
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bigfootfish

There are some BIG fish up in those little streams. And like BFF said, I don't think they are steelhead..... they are trout. If they have the extra fin, I usually put them back no matter what. The only trout I keep from those systems are the ones that are in the main lake where they stock. I'm not sure about the rule not applying because the systems technically end up at Detroit Resevoir, but the North Santiam does continue down. I know that it doesn't make any sense, but according to the State Trooper that I talked to up there last week, if you had retained it, there would have been a ticket issued. I saw a bunch of larger fish up there when I went camping last week, so did he. Asked him a couple of questions about the technicals of the guidelines.....he said that there's a lot of gray area that can really confuse anglers and that we should just use good judgment when it comes to retention up there. Hope this helps.

Autofisher, that's good thinking. My take on that is this: searun rainbows and salmon can't normally get into Detroit Lake, so they can't possibly be in the streams which flow into Detroit Lake, therefore the over 20 inch rule does not apply. The 20 inch rule only applies to streams that steelhead can normally get into. That's how the game warden explained it to me. That does make sense to me. Though with the new severe fines they can issue it's best to be VERY CAUTIOUS.

BFF
 
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C

chris61182

Active member
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Apr 6, 2007
Messages
508
Location
Oregon
chris61182,
There might be something to what you say. I think I'll call the Hatchery there and ask about that. Their number, by-the-way, is 503-854-3522. Steven Mamoyac out of the ODFW Adair Office might also know the answer to this question. His number is 541-757-4186. He is the cold-water fish biologist for the Santiam Watershed.

BFF

I bet Steven will have some info for you, I was told it was the Adair office that was handling most of that program.
 
R

RLK

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
68
Location
Gates Or
I am probably going to be torched on here for asking this but I am a service member just recently stationed here in Oregon. Last weekend I went camping with the family up in Idahna on the North Fork, was tossing a Rooster Tail and hooked into what I was certain was a Steelhead. I caught a couple glimps' of it and yes I have caught numerous Steelhead in the past. I was fishing with 8lb line on a pretty decent trout rod so worked the fish pretty slow trying not to loose it. After about 20 minutes or so it shook the hook. My question is, how the H#LL does a Steelhead get above Detroit Lake or am I delusional on what I was hooked into? I am soon leaving for deployment so sat by the river just taking in the sites for quite a few hours and throughout the day saw numerous pretty large fish flip around at the bottom of a wash out to eat. To me they looked like spawning chinook but again, how do they get above Detroit Lake? They were very large, black sillouetts that seemed to have a white head or jaw tip. Any info would be nice, thanks.

Maybe I didn't read what everybody had to say but What I will say is that Minto trap has been taking the hatchery caught chinook up to detroit and this time of the year they are heading up river. Should be fun
 
B

bigfootfish

Maybe I didn't read what everybody had to say but What I will say is that Minto trap has been taking the hatchery caught chinook up to detroit and this time of the year they are heading up river. Should be fun

Really. Hmmm. I'll have to find out more from the ODFW about that. Once a Chinook is placed in the streams above Detroit Lake then you don't need a tag to keep them. Of course you probably would not want to anyway, what with their color and what not. And after the 15th anything caught in Detroit Lake over 24 inches is supposed to be returned to the water. I really doubt they would put Summer Steelhead in the streams above Detroit. I know you didn't say anything about steelhead RLK. Just wishful thinking on my part.

BFF
 
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bigfootfish

Maybe I didn't read what everybody had to say but What I will say is that Minto trap has been taking the hatchery caught chinook up to detroit and this time of the year they are heading up river. Should be fun

RLK, it would seem that you have a good source of info. You are right! Far out. This afternoon when I got off work a co-worker of mine told me(he works swing shift) that he went camping up past Hoover and broke camp this morning up at milepost 55 on the North Santiam and came home and came to work. Travis told me that for the past two days up to and including this morning that the river there was full of big fish jumping everywhere, that no one could get to bite. He further described the fish and said he was wading in the river and the fish were close and I asked him if he happened to notice if those big fish had white or dark gumlines. He thought a moment then said dark. That makes them salmon. Awesome!! ODFW is doing something new to me on the North. Fantastic! That means those salmon can swim all the way to Santiam Lake inside the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. Though I think they will spawn downstream from Santiam Lake. I got to hike up into there and see for myself!!! Far out!!! Thanks RLK!!!:dance::dance::clap::clap::think:

BFF
 
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R

RLK

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Jan 21, 2010
Messages
68
Location
Gates Or
Living only minutes from the trap I do have some great sources. I'm glad I've had some good info for you.
RLK
 
B

bigfootfish

Do you know Darrel at Little Sweden? He's one of my closest friends, a great hunter and angler. You're fortunate to live in Gates. Thanks for you timely info. I never get tired of learning.

BFF
 
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