The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) is conducting a study that involves releasing radio-tagged steelhead into McKay Creek, above the McKay Dam.
To protect the fish during the study, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) is closing all angling for and retention of steelhead from April 1-June 30 upstream of McKay Dam, including in the McKay Reservoir, McKay Creek and all tributaries.
There have not been steelhead in this section of McKay Creek for close to 95 years. The study will provide data to resolve uncertainties associated with the potential for re-introduction of steelhead into the upper McKay basin, including: whether steelhead released in the reservoir migrate into the creek; the location of migratory barriers within the creek; the availability of spawning and rearing habitat; and possible spawning locations within the basin. This information will ultimately be used to inform progress on fish passage at McKay Dam.
There are a few anglers who fish for trout or bass in McKay Creek reservoir and within the USFWS McKay Refuge area. The rest of the stream is both private and reservation lands, up to the USFS boundary, and receives light fishing pressure.
For the latest on fishing regulations in this zone, visit the ODFW website.