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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 29th, 2014

The water level at the Horlick Dam decreased from 2.31 feet last week to 2.22 feet on Sunday. The flow rate decreased from 18 cfs to 12 cfs. The water temperature increased from 62F last week to 69-70F on Sunday. There hasn’t been any precipitation in the area over the past 7 days. Only 1/2” of rain has fallen over the past 2 weeks. The river is shallow from the Horlick Dam downstream to Island Park. Rocks, gravel bars, and sections of river bed were exposed in many areas of the river on Sunday. Anglers were able to walk across a few areas of the river and barely get their feet wet. Some of the larger fish were exposed above water as they swam upstream in the shallow parts of the river. The water was very clear with visibility at 24-36”. Anglers have been hoping for a couple days of steady rain to bring more fish upstream and to trigger them to bite. The weather forecast calls for about 1/2” of rain during the week with day time highs between 56-75F.

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: Only a few anglers were seen at the Horlick Dam during the week and the majority of them were fishing for crappies, bluegills, and northern pike. The water at the Horlick Dam was very shallow and anglers reported that only a couple of trout and salmon were seen there over the past two weeks. The fishing pressure at Quarry Lake Park increased with an average of 5-6 anglers fishing for panfish and trout/salmon over the weekend. Anglers saw small schools of trout and salmon laying in some of the deeper pools but had a hard time getting them to bite. Anglers fishing with nightcrawlers had good luck landing a few black crappies during the week. A couple of fly fishermen landed a 13 pound chinook near the golf course in Colonial Park on Thursday. The stop logs are in place across the weir in Lincoln Park so the number of trout and salmon above the weir will be limited to those passed upstream from the Steelhead Facility. The night time fishing rules for tributaries and streams to Lake Michigan took effect on September 15th. No hook and line night fishing is allowed between ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise until the 1st Saturday in May.
  • Below the weir: Fishing pressure below the weir was low during the week but increased on the weekend. 10-12 anglers on average fished in Lincoln Park over the weekend. A few nice size brown trout were landed earlier in the week around sunrise. A 30” rainbow was taken on skein under a bobber and a purple wooly bugger took a 10-12 pound chinook. The majority of anglers in Lincoln Park reported no luck during the week. Anglers watched small schools of trout and salmon swim upstream from one deep hole to another in Island Park but the catch rate decreased from last week. Anglers fished with play-dough, spawn sacks, skein, spinner baits, and flies but only a few trout and salmon were landed during the week. The fishing pressure in Washington Park decreased this week. A few anglers reported that the ongoing construction project on the drainage pipes has been spooking the fish and that some of the good fishing structure is no longer there.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

DATE: September 24 2014 RIVER TEMP: 60
  Rainbow Trout Chinook Salmon Coho Salmon Brown Trout
Total Captured 4 67 4 29
Passed Upstream 4 16 4


Taken to Hatchery        
Spawned at Facility        
Egg Take


Last revised: Monday September 29 2014