Steelhead angler effort and catch both increased during the past week on the upper Salmon River. Anglers were interviewed from upstream of Challis, ID to downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River. The majority of interviews were obtained in location codes 16 and 17, between the North Fork Salmon and Pahsimeroi rivers, but angler effort downstream of North Fork in location code 15 also increased. No anglers interviewed downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 14 reported catching a steelhead, and angler effort in this area was low. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 15 averaged 19 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 14 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 averaged 12 hours per caught, and no anglers reported catching a steelhead upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 18.
River conditions continued to vary throughout the week, but during the weekend, the river was clear upstream of Lemhi River and cloudy downstream with water temperatures in the mid-30s. Frazil ice was flowing during most mornings, but that should stop being an issue with warmer temperatures forecasted for the upcoming week. Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 908 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 84% of average for today’s date.
As of Sunday, February 28th, the Deadwater ice jam was still in place. We will issue an update to our social media pages once the ice jam breaks up.
We would also like to remind anglers that the daily bag limit for the spring 2021 steelhead fishery is 2 hatchery steelhead per day with a possession limit of 6 hatchery steelhead. Anglers can find the most up-to-date steelhead fishing rules on the IDFG website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/steelhead/rules.
by Brent Beller | Idaho Fish and Game