Steelhead anglers began to spread themselves out on the upper Salmon River this past week. Angler effort decreased downstream of North Fork in location code 15 but increased in all upriver location codes. Catch rates remained good throughout the entire upper Salmon River. In location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, interviewed anglers averaged 10 hours per steelhead caught and did not report keeping a steelhead. Upstream in location code 15, interviewed anglers averaged 15 hours per steelhead caught and 48 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of North Fork in location code 16, interviewed anglers averaged 9 hours per steelhead caught and 19 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 12 hours per steelhead caught and 18 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 18, interviewed anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 17 hours per steelhead kept. Anglers interviewed upstream of the East Fork in location code 19 averaged 7 hours per steelhead caught and 12 hours per steelhead kept.
The Salmon River is currently flowing at 1,270 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 111 percent of average for today’s date. Water temperatures over the weekend were in the upper 30s and lower 40s, and the river’s condition was good with slightly cloudy water observed downstream of the Pahsimeroi River on Sunday.
Steelhead are currently returning in good numbers to both the Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth hatcheries. As of Friday March 18th, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery has planted 259 hatchery steelhead into Kid’s Creek Pond in Salmon, ID.
Report by Brent Beller * Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission * Idaho Department of Fish and Game – Region 7