Upper Salmon River Fishery Update 7.5.23
By angelamontana

Posted: July 6, 2023

Hi everyone,

In the second week of the upper Salmon River fishery, angler effort and catch increased dramatically.  Angler effort increased to 2,729 hours for the week of 6/26 – 7/2, and we estimated 174 adipose clipped hatchery adult Chinook harvested. Additionally, 2 jacks were reported as harvested, and 33 adult Chinook were reported as caught and released, resulting in a catch rates of 13 hours per Chinook Salmon caught, and 16 hours per Chinook Salmon kept.

Weekly catch table _USR 7/5/23


Since the last update, we seen the majority (89%) of the Sawtooth hatchery PIT tagged Chinook Salmon that have crossed over Bonneville Dam, also make it above Lower Granite Dam. Survival from Bonneville Dam to Lower Granite Dam continues to be well above average (currently 89% vs. 70% over the past 5 years). The above average survival rate continues to bump up the harvest share for the upper Salmon River fishery, and it is currently sitting at 1,082 fish (see table below).



Since last Wednesday, we have detected another 26 PIT tagged adult Chinook at the Elevenmile PIT array (~11 miles upstream of Salmon). This is a mix of wild and hatchery fish, many of which were tagged as adults returning over Bonneville or Lower Granite Dam – which means we don’t necessarily know which tributary or hatchery they will return to. The bottom line is, the fish are here and more are coming. The time to fish is now.



The upper Salmon River is currently flowing at about 1,400 cfs (measured at the gauge below the Yankee Fork) which is about 70% of average. The river’s clarity upstream of the East Fork was excellent throughout last week, and we expect fishing conditions to keep improving as we move into July and flows continue to drop.



Sawtooth Hatchery personnel have checked the trap twice since installation on Tuesday, June 26th. To date, they have trapped 255 adult Chinook. More details can be found on the Hatchery Returns webpage, so make sure to bookmark that page so you can stay up-to-date with the trapping totals.



The upper Salmon River fishery is open 7 days a week, and will remain open until harvest share is reached, wild fish impacts are reached, or until August 10th, whichever comes first. The fishery is open from the Hwy 75 bridge upstream of the East Fork Salmon River upstream to the posted boundary approximately 100 yards downstream of the weir and trap at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery. Fishing hours are from 5:30am to 10:00 pm MDT. The daily limit is four (4) hatchery Chinook salmon, only two (2) of which may be adults (over 24 inches). For the full season rules, please click here.

If you have questions, comments, or would like to be added to my email update list, please reach out to me at: greg.schoby@idfg.idaho.gov or at the Salmon Regional Office at (208) 756-2271.

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