During the past week, steelhead angler effort on the upper Salmon River continued to shift upstream. Angler effort downstream of Salmon, ID was minimal, and the majority of anglers were observed near the confluence of the Pahsimeroi River or upstream of the East Fork Salmon River in location code 19. The best catch rates for the week were observed upstream of the East Fork in location code 19, and anglers interviewed within that area averaged 13 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of North Fork in location code 15 averaged 64 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 22 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 averaged 49 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 18 averaged 66 hours per steelhead caught.
River conditions were good early in the week, but warm weather over the weekend resulted in increased flows and reduced visibility downstream of the East Fork. Water temperatures on Sunday ranged from the mid-40s to low 50s depending on location, and currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 1,430 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 110% of average for today’s date.
Additionally, as of Thursday, April 1, the Sawtooth Hatchery has trapped 248 hatchery steelhead, and as of Monday, April 5, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery has trapped 1,363 hatchery steelhead.
We would like to ask anglers to 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 & Game