I asked Fort Peck Fish biologist Heath Headley how many salmon smolt were planted in Fort Peck in 2013 and 2014.
By knowing the of salmon smolt that were planted in the lake on an annual basis, one might figure that you would be able to tell how the salmon bite will be 3-4 years down the road. Headley did give me the numbers of salmon planted every year since 2006. Those numbers vary from year to year as you will see below. Last summer was an exceptional year for catching salmon on Fort Peck but the years in the past have not been so good. When you look at the numbers it is easy to come to the conclusion that maybe that isn’t the reason the salmon fishing is either good or bad from year to year.
This is what Headley had to say, “Captain, Please see the numbers below for chinook numbers going into Fort Peck Reservoir. If you would like, I could send a more detailed table (dates stocked, sizes, locations, etc.). I would like to point out that numbers stocked are important, but if we have a good abundance of cisco, that really kicks them into high gear with good growth and survival.
(Written by Mark Ward)