Upper Salmon River Chinook Update 6.3.22
By angelamontana

Posted: June 3, 2022

Hi everybody,

Here another update on the upper Salmon River chinook returns for 2022…

Since last weeks’ update, we’ve gone six days without a PIT tagged Sawtooth chinook at Bonneville Dam, which doesn’t help our harvest share. But I don’t think this run is completely done – based on historic timing, we should be about 75% through the run, so I expect we’ll see a few more tagged fish in the coming weeks. That will help give us a better idea of what the harvest share will look like. In last weeks’ update, I mentioned we were looking at somewhere shy of 1,000 fish harvest share. With no PIT tags over the past 6 days, that’s dropped to about an 800 fish harvest share. We’ll see what the coming weeks bring for PIT tags, but it’s likely that the harvest share will land somewhere in the 500 – 1000 fish range…more to come on that. It’s still a little early to see what conversion (survival) between the dams will be, but so far for the Sawtooth fish, we’re tracking a little higher than average – with 70% conversion to date vs. 66% average.

Regarding the Pahsimeroi return, it continues to come in higher than forecast. We’re still a few days shy of what is generally the 50% mark of Pahsimeroi returns over Bonneville, but the total return so far is already above the pre-season forecast. So we are looking good for some fishing opportunity downstream of the Pahsimeroi this year, with an estimated harvest share hovering around 900 fish right now. As always, more to come on this one as we’ll continue to learn more about this return over the next week.

The IDFG commission will be having a conference call on Tuesday 6/14 to discuss Chinook season proposals, and I’ll share more on what the final proposal for the upper Salmon River fishery looks like in next weeks’ update.

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Greg Schoby | Regional Fisheries Manager | Idaho Department of Fish and Game