Clackamas Native/Resident Fish
Fish species of the Clackamas River
Historically, the Clackamas River and the other Portland metropolitan region tributaries supported some of the most diverse and productive fish populations in the Columbia River Basin. In 1877 Livingston Stone, employed by the US Commission of Fisheries to explore potential fish hatchery sites throughout the Columbia River Basin, declared about the Clackamas River: Probably no tributary of the Columbia has abounded so profusely with salmon in past years as this river (the Clackamas). (US Commission of Fish and Fisheries 1877, reported in Taylor 1999)
Today the Clackamas River and other area streams still support regionally significant fish runs. However, fish populations in the area have declined from historical levels, with some fish runs diminished to the point of being listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fish populations have declined, not only in the Clackamas River Basin and other focal watersheds but throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Despite the region’s dramatic growth and development, the Portland metropolitan region still supports a rich diversity of fish and wildlife habitats. Tributaries and streams within the Clackamas River watershed support some of the healthiest salmon, steelhead, Pacific lamprey and bull trout populations in the region.
The Clackamas River Basin has the last wild late-winter coho salmon population in Columbia Basin. The Clackamas spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead populations are trending in a positive direction. While these trends are positive, substantially more habitat restoration is needed to recover and sustain the environment that supports native fish and wildlife populations. The Clackamas salmon and steelhead populations are one of nine Oregon Lower Columbia independent populations.
Want to know more about what fish are in the river and when?
Check out PGE’s chart on the trends and timing of fish migration on the Clackamas River https://portlandgeneral.com/about/rec-fish/fish-counts/clackamas-fish-runs or check out their information on Clackamas River fish counts https://portlandgeneral.com/about/rec-fish/fish-counts/clackamas-fish-counts