Steelhead angler effort on the upper Salmon River increased substantially during the past week. Angler effort increased in all location codes, and the majority of anglers were observed fishing between the Middle Fork Salmon and Pahsimeroi rivers in location codes 15, 16, and 17. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 15 averaged 38 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 28 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 averaged 56 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 18 averaged 106 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 14 did not report catching a steelhead, and only one steelhead angler interview was obtained from upstream of the East Fork Salmon River in location code 19.
The Deadwater ice jam broke free on Saturday, March 6th, and following the breakup of the ice jam, we expect the river to remain turbid in the areas downstream of Deadwater for a few days before beginning to improve. As of Sunday, March 7th the river had cloudy visibility in all areas downstream of the East Fork Salmon River, and water temperatures ranged between the upper 30s and low 40s. Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 1,070 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 98% of average for today’s date.
We would like to ask that anglers continue to be on the lookout for floy tagged steelhead. 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. 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.
Brent Beller | Idaho Fish and Game