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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 September 15th, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam decreased from 2.74 feet last week to 2.53 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 56 cfs to 31 cfs. The water temperature decreased from 69F last week to 57F. The water level in the river is higher than normal for this time of year. The chinook and coho should have more water to work with this season when they swim upstream to spawn.

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: Fishing pressure above the weir was low during the week but picked up on the weekend. The majority of anglers walked down to the river for a look on Saturday but didn't want to take their gear out unless they saw fish. At times there were more anglers scouting the river than anglers who were casting for fish. There were very few trout and salmon seen in the river on Saturday. 5-6 fly fishermen tried casting for chinook at the Horlick Dam on Saturday but had no luck. Two anglers at the dam had a 6 pound chinook in their pickup truck but it was landed on the rocky shoreline at the mouth of the river (near the lakefront). They caught the chinook on a light blue rapala. A couple of fly fishermen at the dam were casting neon pink, green, and purple egg patterns but had no luck after 1-2 hours of fishing.
  • Below the weir: Fishing pressure below the weir was low during the week but picked up on the weekend. There were no anglers interviewed below the weir Monday morning. The Root River Steelhead Facility is ready to open for the Fall salmon run.  Three fly fishermen casting “home made” flies in Lincoln Park saw a few kings swim up to the weir. Fishermen at Island Park reported that they didn’t see a single fish after wading in the river for 1-2 hours. The construction project at the drainage pipes in Washington Park continued this week but progress has been slowed because of rain storms. The water was cloudy in Washington Park and visibility was only 3-6”. Chinook salmon have been staging at the mouth of the river for the past 2-3 weeks. Anglers anticipated seeing schools of chinook move upstream over the weekend after the drop in water temperature and ¾” of rain but it didn’t happen.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured        
Passed Upstream      


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility        
Egg Take


Last revised: Tuesday September 16 2014