This 150-acre reservoir close to the Portland area is mostly fished for regularly stocked rainbow trout, but salmon and steelhead also pass through on their way up the Clackamas River.
Estacada Lake is a narrow reservoir located at the town of Estacada, an easy 45-minute drive southeast of Portland.
The reservoir by River Mill Dam and is part of a power-generating complex that also includes North Fork Reservoir and Faraday Lake, both of which also offer reliable trout fishing in the Estacada area. (See the links below for lots of local trout-fishing options nearby.)
Bank anglers congregate at a fishing dock and platform, and anglers with disabilities have excellent access here, but overall bank access is somewhat limited. A small boat will let anglers cover more area.
Both the bank access and the boat launch are on the lower end of the reservoir in Milo McIver State Park. There is a fee to use the park.
The reservoir opens to trout fishing in late May.
The seasonal closure allows salmon and steelhead smolts to migrate downriver.
Typically, the first trout are planted ahead of the opener and stocking continues regularly through the summer months.
All together, thousands of trout are planted here, offering a reliable fishery during the warmest months. Use the link below to find specific weeks when trout are planted.
The usual trout-fishing methods will all catch fish here.
Bank anglers often fish with natural or artificial baits (artificial baits my result in fewer unwanted encounters with salmon and steelhead smolts) or can cast lures and flies.
Boat anglers can use those tactics or also do well trolling.
For more detail on how to catch trout, read our overview article: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.
Anglers also can keep hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon caught here, although they can be difficult to catch in lakes.
Summer steelhead are the most frequent of these big ocean returnees caught in a section of the Clackamas River that includes Estacada Lake and a stretch of free-flowing stream between the reservoir and Cazadero Dam, although many of these will be caught in that stream section up above rather than in the reservoir itself.
A modest number of winter steelhead and spring Chinook salmon also are caught between these two dams.
Note that any trout longer than 20 inches are considered steelhead in a bag limit. Review all fishing rules at the ODFW regulations page linked below.
Access to the state park is from South River Lake Road, accessible off Highway 211 on the south end of the bridge over the Clackamas River at Estacada.
Learn about other nearby trout fishing: North Fork Reservoir Trout Fishing, Faraday Lake Fishing, Timothy Lake Fishing, Trillium Lake Fishing, Harriet Lake Trout Fishing, Small Fry Lake Trout Fishing, Clackamas River Fishing.