Steelhead angler effort increased this week on the upper Salmon River, and anglers were catching steelhead. The majority of angler effort was located downstream of North Fork in location code 15, and anglers interviewed in this area averaged 55 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 14 averaged 73 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 29 hours per steelhead caught. Angler effort upstream of Salmon, ID in location code 17 was low, and no anglers interviewed within this area reported catching a steelhead. We expect catch rates to continue to improve over the next month as more steelhead move into the area.
Conditions on the upper Salmon River were stable through most of the week until a weather system arrived to the area Saturday evening. Overnight precipitation resulted in increased river flows and reduced visibility in most areas by Sunday. Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 1,200 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 95 percent of average for today’s date. Additionally, river temperatures steadily declined throughout the week and were near 50°F by Sunday.
Anglers can find the most up-to-date steelhead fishing rules on the IDFG website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/steelhead/rules, and we would like to remind steelhead anglers that the daily bag limit for the fall 2020 steelhead fishery is 2 hatchery steelhead per day with a possession limit of 6 hatchery steelhead.
Brent Beller | Fisheries Biologist 1 | Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission | Idaho Department of Fish and Game – Region 7