Steelhead angler effort on the upper Salmon River continued to increase over the past week, especially upstream of North Fork in location code 16. Angler effort was highest downstream of North Fork in location codes 14 and 15. Jet boat anglers interviewed at Corn Creek accounted for the majority of effort downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River, and anglers interviewed within location code 14 averaged 28 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 15 averaged 53 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 55 hours per steelhead caught. Angler effort upstream of Salmon, ID in location code 17 remained low and a total of 16 hours of angler effort was recorded. One angler did report releasing two steelhead within location code 17 which resulted in an average catch rate of 8 hours per steelhead caught.
Weather conditions on the upper Salmon River were inconsistent throughout the past week with periods of rain and high winds during the afternoons. On Sunday the river’s visibility was cloudy in all monitored areas, and river temperatures were near 50° F. Currently the Salmon River is flowing at 1,230 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 95 percent of average for today’s date.
The University of Idaho, in cooperation with IDFG, is in the second year of a multiyear study to look at the influence of catch and release angling on wild steelhead, and we would like to ask anglers to continue to be on the lookout for floy tagged steelhead. More information regarding this study can be found on the IDFG website at: https://idfg.idaho.gov/blog/2020/10/report-tagged-steelhead-second-year-graduate-study-underway, and study updates are posted monthly to the IDFG website. Anglers that catch a floy tagged steelhead are encouraged to remove the tag by clipping it off at the base, and then report the tag number and catch location to IDFG by using either the phone number printed on the tag or by going to the “Tag You’re It” website at: www.tag.idaho.gov.
by Brent Beller | Fisheries Biologist 1 | Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission | Idaho Department of Fish and Game – Region 7