Steelhead angler effort started to shift upstream during the past week on the upper Salmon River. Angler effort was highest in location code 17, between the Lemhi and Pahsimeroi rivers, and the largest increase in angler effort was observed upstream of Challis. Angler effort downstream of North Fork in location code 15 dropped considerably but catch rates in this area remained good at eight hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of the Lemhi River in location code 16 averaged 23 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed downstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 17 averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location codes 18 and 19 averaged 24 and 28 hours per steelhead caught.
River conditions were favorable throughout the week. However, over the weekend, there was a slight decrease in the river’s visibility in all areas downstream of location code 19 due to warmer weather melting low elevation snow. On Monday, additional snow melt near the East Fork caused the river to become muddy below the confluence. The river’s visibility may improve by the weekend as the forecast is calling for colder overnight lows on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Water temperatures on Sunday ranged from the mid-40s near Stanley to the upper-40s downstream of North Fork. As of Tuesday, April 11th, the Salmon River is flowing at 992 CFS through the town of Salmon, ID which is 68 percent of average for today’s date.
As of Monday, April 10th, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery has trapped 269 adipose-clipped steelhead, and the Sawtooth Hatchery has trapped approximately 10 steelhead. Trapping numbers for the Sawtooth Hatchery will be updated on the IDFG website following the first spawning day of the season which is planned for this Thursday.
Brent Beller | Fisheries Biologist 1 | Idaho Fish and Game