North Fork Reservoir

posted: 2012/05/30

North Fork Reservoir is part of a Portland General Electric hydropower complex on the Clackamas River just east of Estacada, in the foothills of Oregonís Cascade Range an easy drive from the Portland area.

Inflatable kayaks provide a great opportunity to explore the far shores of the North Fork Reservior in solitude. Kayak to the perfect fishing spot, or paddle along the shore and do some bird watching. Make it a party and take family or friends along in the Solstice Raft.

While the Clackamas is perhaps best known among serious anglers as a close-in steelhead and salmon fishing river from the dams downstream to the Willamette River, up here the narrow North Fork impoundment is primarily a family fishery with plentiful and cooperative rainbow trout. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife generously stocks the reservoir with catchable rainbows from mid-spring to early fall. Most of the catch is comprised of fresh hatchery planters in the 8- to 12-inch range.

North Fork Reservoir, named after the North Fork of the Clackamas that joins the mainstem at the lake, is the uppermost of a trio of stocked reservoirs that also includes Faraday Lake and River Mill Reservoir (a.k.a. Estacada Lake).

Getting There: The reservoir is located 7 miles south of Estacada off Hwy 224.

Fisheries: North Fork Reservoir is stocked regularly with rainbow trout. Wild cutthroat, bull, brown and brook trout are also in the reservoir but these fish are catch and release only. Only adipose fin clipped trout may be kept.

Useful Information: The upper end of the reservoir where trout are stocked offers the best fishing. There are many bank angling locations and an area near the mouth is great for kids. Small Fry Lake, a one-acre lake within the Promontory Park, was developed for the exclusive use of young anglers. Kids up to 13 years old can fish for their limit of three fish per day on Small Fry Lake. Alcohol use is not permitted in the Promontory Park campground, day use shelter or at Small Fry Pond.

Contact information: 877-444-6777

Tackle & Techniques: Use standard trout fishing techniques including worm and bobber or PowerBait. If using a boat, troll with spinner combinations.

Facilities: PGE operates Promontory Park (open mid-May through mid- September) and provides three boat ramps on the reservoir. A concession stand has fishing supplies and boat rentals at the upper end of the reservoir. For people with disabilities, the park has an accessible restroom, campsites, boat dock and rentable patio boats.

Fees: Yes, for camping.

We recommend our Sawtooth or Explorer kayaks, although any of our boats will do quite well here.

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