Fish Passage
Helping fish move safely

The Clackamas River Basin is home to one of the strongest salmon and steelhead runs in the Willamette Valley. Since building our first fish ladder in 1907, we’ve been innovating to keep fish populations strong on the Clackamas.

Our work is guided by a federal license and partnerships with non-profit organizations and local, state and federal agencies working together to protect and restore the Clackamas.


Salmon migration

As with other rivers in the Northwest, young salmon and steelhead travel downriver on the Clackamas toward the ocean while adult fish return upriver to spawn in the places where they were born. 

This life cycle is critical to the region’s environment, culture and economy. Healthy fish are the hallmark of a healthy river ecosystem — and they provide opportunities for fishing and recreation.

We are invested

PGE has spent more than $90 million since 2006 to modernize and improve our passage systems on the Clackamas that salmon and steelhead use to migrate past our dams. We’ve also updated our fish ladder at River Mill dam to accommodate Pacific lamprey PGE, an important but often-overlooked fish species in the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks to state-of-the-art technology and our team of creative, committed biologists and engineers, juvenile fish safely pass our facilities at a high survival rate of nearly 97 percent.

The graphic and slideshow below highlight the significant PGE investments that are supporting and strengthening the river’s robust fish runs.

Download PDF PGE

Fish photo credit: Mike Gauvin, ODFW

Get fish counts for the Clackamas, Deschutes, Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

Come experience the wonder of the Deschutes and Clackamas Rivers at one of our parks and campgrounds.