Fishing around Sweet Home
The South Santiam River is one of the premier spots for Chinook and Summer Steelhead fishing in the state due to an excellent hatchery program. Whether you take a guided fishing tour or simply cast your line from the riverfront, anyone who enjoys fishing will find this to be a spectacular location.
The best fishing is in May and June for summer steelhead; however the run begins in April and fish are available through September. Winter Steelhead fishing season is March through May but these fish are wild and must be released. Spring Chinook salmon season is typically good May through July, with a mix of hatchery and wild fish. Trout fishing is also available, although the river is not stocked.
The South Santiam River is easily accessible for bank angling just below Foster Dam on both the north and south banks, near the confluence of Wiley Creek, at Camp Koinonia off North River Drive, at Northside Park in town and at Pleasant Valley Bridge on the west end of Sweet Home. Drift boats can utilize the public boat ramps at Wiley Creek Park located just downstream of Foster Dam or at Pleasant Valley Bridge. Shuttle service is available in town.
Foster Reservoir is stocked with over 40,000 rainbow trout from April to June each year to accommodate year round trout and bass fishing. The reservoir is full from late May through September each year. Bank angling is popular near the dam at the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Park as well as at several areas along the south and north sides of the reservoir. Bank fishing is good using standard trout fishing techniques such as bobber and worms, casting spinners, or Power Bait. Trails along most of the north shore, as well as two county parks, provide good water access. Boat angling is best April 1 to mid June; trolling with spinners, such as rooster tails, allows fishermen to gain access to more isolated areas of the reservoir, such as up the South Santiam arm.
A large pond at Sunnyside Park is also stocked with trout, and also has bass, bullhead and bluegill. The pond is the perfect place for young anglers and those with limited mobility.
Green Peter Reservoir is best known in fishing society as western Oregon’s premier kokanee lake, boasting numerous fishing tournaments annually! This year-round fishing reservoir is also home to populations of rainbow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass and even land-locked salmon. There is a bonus limit of 25 fish that includes both kokanee and other salmon, which is in addition to the bags allowed for other species.
Due to the depth and frigid waters, it’s important to note that Kokanee are shallow in the spring and go deeper as the water warms; spawning in tributaries in the early fall. Kokanee fishing is good from late May through late September, with July and August usually being the most productive months. When the lake is down a bit and the surface temperature is above 70 degrees, usually the fishing improves.
Green Peter and Quartzville Creek, a tributary to the reservoir, are stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and early summer. At full pool, the reservoir is more than 3,700 acres and nearly ten miles long. Due to the sheer size and steep terrain along the shoreline, bank fishing for kokanee is nearly impossible in most places around Green Peter, but many anglers try their luck jigging from the bridge over the Whitcomb Creek arm or at the south end of the dam, at Thistle Creek boat ramp and other sites. Boat anglers find jigging and trolling to be the most effective methods of catching fish on this lake using their boats to gain access to more isolated areas of the reservoir and up Quartzville Creek.
For additional information contact ODFW South Willamette Watershed District Office (541) 757-4186.