Angler effort dropped considerably this past week on the upper Salmon River, but catch rates remained good for those who dealt with the cold. Overnight lows were near zero this weekend and heavy slush ice started flowing through Salmon on Saturday and Sunday. The majority of bank anglers were found downstream of North Fork in location code 15 where the slush ice was not as thick. Downstream of the Middle Fork in location code 14, jet boaters got in their last trips of the season before the slush ice arrived. Interviewed anglers in location code 14 averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 23 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of the Middle Fork in location code 15, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 28 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 16, upstream of North Fork, interviewed anglers averaged 15 hours per steelhead caught and 38 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17, angler effort was low during the week with no anglers observed on Saturday or Sunday. The few anglers interviewed in location code 17 averaged 3 hours per steelhead caught and did not keep any steelhead.
The Salmon River is currently flowing at 1,190 cfs through the town of Salmon, which is 95% of average for today’s date. Water temperatures were in the upper 30s at the beginning of the week, but by Sunday they had dropped into the lower 30s.
Report by Brent Beller Fisheries Technician
Idaho Department of Fish and Game – Region 7
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