Crater Lake

Day Trip Destination

Things to Do

Close by


Plenty of It


In Roseburg

The Winchester Dam and Fish Viewing Area is more popular than you might suspect with well over 60,000 visitors a year. It is not a well marked location, but easy to find by taking exit 129 from I-5 or going north on Stephens (Hwy 99) just into Winchester and north of Costco. (Link to map, but note it is not located on map) The facility with parking is just on the north side of the Umpqua River and on the east side of Hwy 99.

The fish you will see are steelhead, spring chinook salmon, and coho salmon. Small numbers of fall chinook salmon pass Winchester Dam but most fall chinook spawn in the South fork and mainstem Umpqua. Migratory cutthroat trout also pass Winchester Dam in small numbers. The primary non-salmonid species are largescale suckers, pacific lamprey, and northern pike minnow.

Biologists use the fish counts to monitor populations, make management decisions, and recommend angling regulations. A video camera records fish passage, and a technician views the tapes to record species and size, fin clips, and any predator marks. As the technician also has other fish-related duties, fish counts can be one to two months behind.
The Winchester Dam was built in November 1890 and is in the National Register of Historical Places. Constructed from large timber cribs, the dam was originally built 4 feet high and in 1907 the dam was raised to sixteen feet. Winchester Dam provided water and electricity for the town of Roseburg until 1923.
Fish Ladder and Winchester Dam view Fish Ladder from underwater