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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 October 13th, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam decreased from 2.73 feet last week to 2.22 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 69 cfs to 12 cfs. The water temperature increased slightly from 54F to 56F. The water was clear with visibility at 18-24”. There was no precipitation in the area over the past 9 days. The flow rate at the Horlick Dam was 10-12 cfs below normal for this time of year. Many areas of the river looked very shallow once again from the Horlick downstream to Island Park. The water level in Washington Park has been higher than normal for the past 2-3 months. The weather forecast calls showers and thunderstorms from Sunday night to Thursday with the possibility of 2-3” of precipitation. Daytime high temperatures will range between 52-62F.

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 and catch rate above the weir increased this week. 448 chinook, 45 coho, 19 brown trout, and one rainbow were released upstream from the Steelhead Facility on Monday, October 6. By Tuesday morning, a large number of trout and salmon reached the Horlick Dam. Anglers reported that there were at least 10 fish seen for every angler at the dam. Limit catches of trout and salmon from the Horlick Dam were seen at the South Pier fish cleaning station on Tuesday and Wednesday. Spawn sacks and skein worked well for a few anglers. 15-18 anglers were seen at the Horlick Dam on Wednesday and everyone landed at least 1-2 fish. An angler casting a small white streamer fly tipped with a wax worm took 5 kings and a rainbow. 10-12 anglers were seen at Quarry Lake Park Wednesday afternoon. One angler caught and released 7-8 fish, including kings, coho, brown trout, and small northern pike while casting a silver ghost fly. The angler reported that it was the best day of fishing he ever had on the Root River.
  • Below the weir: Fishing pressure below the weir was steady during the week and increased on the weekend. 15-20 anglers were seen in Lincoln Park on Monday with the majority of them fishing close to the fish sanctuary. An 11 pound coho, an 11 pound rainbow, and a 14 pound chinook were landed Monday morning on yarn flies and skein. 5-6 anglers reported seeing a steady line of trout and salmon swimming upstream through Island Park but they had a hard time getting them to bite. A few chinook were landed at Washington Park over the weekend. Large numbers of trout and salmon were staging along the lakefront and at the mouth of the Root River during the week. This week’s weather forecast of 4-5 days of rain with over 2” of precipitation should bring another run of trout and salmon upstream into the Root River.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

DATE: October 13 2014 RIVER TEMP: 54
  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured 5 1,136 103 75
Passed Upstream 5 880 103


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility        
Egg Take


Last revised: Tuesday October 14 2014