Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River this past week was tough for anglers fishing below the town of Salmon. Anglers were primarily found in location codes 17 and 19, downstream of the Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth Hatcheries, but angler effort did remain relatively high downstream of North Fork. Interviewed anglers did not report catching any Steelhead in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork. In location code 15, downstream of North Fork, interviewed anglers averaged 103 hours per Steelhead caught and 360 hours per Steelhead kept. Interviewed anglers fishing below the Lemhi River, in location code 16, also had to put in many hours to catch a fish and averaged 178 hours per Steelhead caught or kept. The fishing improved upstream of the Lemhi in location codes 17 through 19. Interviewed anglers in location code 17 averaged 27 hours per Steelhead caught and 43 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi, in location code 18, interviewed anglers averaged 39 hours per Steelhead caught and 136 hours per Steelhead kept. The best fishing this week was again found upstream of the East Fork in location code 19. Interviewed anglers in this area averaged 8 hours per Steelhead caught and 12 hours per Steelhead kept.
Water conditions on the upper Salmon River were beginning to improve towards the end of the week, but cloudy water conditions still exist throughout the drainage. The best water clarity was observed in location code 19. Flows have remained fairly stable for the past few days and are above average for this time of year. Currently the Salmon River through the town of Salmon is flowing at 1,940 cfs which is 166% of average for today’s date. Water temperatures in the mid to upper 40s were observed in all location codes with the exception of location code 19 where the water temperature was in the lower 40s.
As of March 19th, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery had trapped 1,865 Steelhead, while the Sawtooth Hatchery had trapped 571 Steelhead. Additionally, Kid’s Creek Pond in Salmon was stocked with 150 adult Steelhead on Friday, March 20th.
Brent Beller * Fisheries Technician * Idaho Department of Fish and Game – Region 7