Before getting into the fishery estimates from last week, I’d like to give everyone a heads up about the changes that are being made to the fishery between now and Sunday. First, the section of the Upper Salmon River between the East Fork Salmon River and the Valley Creek confluence will close to salmon fishing at the end of fishing hours on Wednesday July 19, 2023, to help minimize impacts to wild Chinook Salmon. The remainder of the fishery (from just upstream of the Valley Creek confluence upstream to 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir) will close to salmon fishing at the end of fishing hours on Sunday July 23, 2023. With slightly under 200 adult salmon remaining in the harvest share, we anticipate that the allowable harvest will be reached by Sunday. More information about these changes can be found in this article or by visiting the season and rules webpage.
During the fourth week of the 2023 Upper Salmon River Chinook Salmon fishery (July 10 to July 16), both angler effort and overall catch numbers dropped, but the catch and harvest rates were the best observed so far (see table below). We estimated that anglers harvested 307 adipose-clipped hatchery adult Chinook and 89 adipose-clipped hatchery jack Chinook which resulted in an average harvest rate of 12 hours per Chinook kept. Anglers also caught and released an additional 121 Chinook which produced an average catch rate of 9 hours per Chinook caught. Through Sunday, the total harvest estimate for adipose-clipped hatchery adult Chinook is 876.