Over the past week, the majority of steelhead angler effort and catch on the upper Salmon River was located downstream of North Fork in location code 15, and anglers interviewed within this area averaged six hours per steelhead caught. Anglers were interviewed as far upstream as the Yankee Fork confluence, but angler effort in all areas outside of location code 15 was below average for early April. Cold temperatures, precipitation, and wind throughout most of the week made fishing difficult and likely contributed to the low amount of effort. Anglers interviewed downstream of the Middle Fork in location code 14 averaged 3 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 31 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 averaged 115 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 18 averaged 22 hours per steelhead caught, and no anglers interviewed upstream of the East Fork Salmon River in location code 19 reported catching a steelhead.
River conditions during the weekend were good with clear to slightly cloudy visibility in all areas, and water temperatures on Sunday ranged from the upper 30s near the East Fork to the low 40s downstream of North Fork. Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 917 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 72 percent of average for today’s date.
As of Monday, April 3rd, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery has trapped 67 adipose-clipped steelhead, and the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery has trapped one steelhead.
Additionally, we would like to remind anglers that the section of the Salmon River from the Lake Creek Bridge upstream to Long Tom Creek (3/4 mile upstream from the Middle Fork Salmon River) closed to steelhead fishing after March 31st.
Brent Beller | Fisheries Biologist 1 | Idaho Fish and Game