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For information on Lake Michigan Fisheries contact:
Bradley Eggold

Root River Report

Steelhead at Root River

The following information is the latest fishing information for the Root River in Racine. We will post new information to this site every TUESDAY at 4:00 pm from September through December and from March through May. We will also update the number of fish processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility to give you the exact number of fish passed upstream. Depending on water conditions and number of fish in the weir, fish are usually processed on Mondays and Thursdays.

In addition, you can call our Lake Michigan Fishing Hotline at (414) 382-7920 to hear the latest fishing information for Lake Michigan and its tributaries or check out our Lake Michigan Outdoor Report

Root River Steelhead Facility

Lake Michigan trout and salmon don't successfully reproduce in Wisconsin streams, so DNR gives Mother Nature a hand. Watch fisheries crews collect eggs and milt from spawning fish to create the next generation of steelhead to challenge anglers on the big pond.

Root River Fishing Report for April 14, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam increased from 3.1 last week to 3.25 feet on Sunday. The flow rate increased from 105 cfs to 154 cfs. The water temperature increased from 40-41F to 44-45F. The flow rate and water level steadily decreased over the past two weeks due to a long stretch of dry weather but rebounded on the weekend after a few days with heavy downpours. Some of the river banks were starting to dry out. Some of the water near the base of the Horlick Dam was only ankle deep earlier in the week. The river banks began to fill up again on Sunday after more than 1/2" inch of rain fell on Saturday and Sunday. Fishermen wading in the river reported that the water level began to rise early Sunday morning and that the water clarity decreased slightly. Water clarity was a little cloudy with visibility at 12-18" from the Horlick Dam downstream to Lincoln Park. The water in Washington Park was a chocolate brown color on Sunday due to runoff from the recent rain. 1-2" of additional rain and 1/2" of snow are in the forecast for the next 2 days with day time temperatures in the 30's and 40's during the week.

For up to date river conditions, check out the USGS web site of stream flow conditions [exit DNR]  in Wisconsin.

Fishing Information

  • Above the weir: The fishing pressure above the weir was steady during the week and increased on the weekend. Anglers casting flies and yarn had better luck this week than those fishing with spawn and tube jigs. 7-8 anglers were seen at the Horlick Dam on Sunday with some of the anglers landing 1-2 rainbows apiece. Fishing pressure at Quarry lake Park was light with most of the anglers fishing upstream from the falls. One angler caught 3 rainbows and released 2 of them while fishing with a red yarn fly. Two anglers from northern Wisconsin floated spawn sacks under small bobbers for a couple of hours but reported no luck. A fly fisherman in Colonial Park landed 2 rainbows while casting a bright green fly along a gravel bar near the golf course. A couple of anglers casting red yarn flies further downstream were having no luck. 5 anglers from Eau Clair fished Colonial during the week and caught a 30" buck, a 29" hen, 3 rainbows at 24-25", and 2 other rainbows that were released. All the rainbows were caught on flies and egg pattern yarn. Fishing pressure was light in Lincoln Park on Sunday but a fly fisherman from Florida caught and released 11 rainbows earlier in the week while working some of the deeper holes with a red/black yarn fly. Small northern pike were seen swimming upstream in the shallow runs.
  • Below the weir: Fishing pressure below the weir was steady during and week and heavy on the weekend. Some anglers got skunked or caught only suckers while others had very good luck. An average of 15-25 anglers had lines in the water at any given time on Sunday in Lincoln Park. Three fly fishermen from Illinois caught and released 4 rainbows and a brown trout while casting red/orange egg pattern yarn flies during the week. One of the anglers was writing an article about trout and salmon fishing for a Chinese magazine called, "Outdoor Fishing". They took pictures and movies all afternoon as they fished below the weir in Lincoln Park. Another fly fisherman caught and released two 25-26" rainbows and lost a big one while casting a small tan colored fly. A 28" northern was landed in Lincoln Park on Saturday. A fly fisherman landed four 8-12 pound rainbows on Sunday while casting his home made version of a caddis fly. Two brothers from Illinois drifted spawn sacks under slip bobbers at Island Park and landed 14 rainbows over 4 days of fishing. Three anglers drifting spawn sacks and casting flies landed a few nice size rainbows and a brown trout earlier in the week. A fly fisherman landed a nice size rainbow early Saturday morning while casting a green nymph. Fishing pressure at Washington Park was light during the week and no anglers were seen there on Sunday. The water at Washington Park was cloudy/muddy on the weekend. Anglers were catching suckers from Washington Park to the Horlick Dam but the numbers weren't overwhelming.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

DATE: April 21, 2014 RIVER TEMP: 45
  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured 847     1
Passed Upstream 723    


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility 386      
Egg Take

Chambers Creek - 82,000

Ganaraska - 52,000

Last revised: Thursday March 15 2012