The run of wild winter/spring Steelhead returning to the upper Clackamas basin is struggling to recover despite the sanctuary of the entire upper Clackamas River basin above NF dam. The total fish returning above NF dam as counted by PGE (Portland General Electric) who manages the fish trap facility at NF dam was only 868 steelhead for the 2013 run. A poor return by most comparisons. Last year, 2012 the run was a meager 1,249 fish.
Wild steelhead have many different life histories and spawn in different sections of the Clackamas basin. Perhaps more fish spawned lower in the river drainage this year and were not counted. The upper Clackamas basin continues to struggle with meager fish returns as management and conservation groups squabble about studies and what they mean. Meanwhile, wild fish numbers stagger along with 2,000 or less fish most years in the upper basin.