Another point we wanted to mention about this fall’s steelhead run is that the average size of steelhead will be smaller this year compared to last year. As anglers may recall, the average size of steelhead last fall and spring was large for the Upper Salmon River. That was because around 80 percent of the steelhead returned as two-ocean adults (steelhead that stayed out in the ocean for two years instead of one). This year, approximately 70 percent of the steelhead are returning as one-ocean adults which is close to average for the Upper Salmon River hatcheries. Even though most of the steelhead will be one-ocean fish, we are still estimating that nearly 4,500 two-ocean adults have crossed Bonneville dam. This means that there will be larger steelhead out there to catch.
The last thing we would like to mention is that several sportsmen’s access sites on the Upper Salmon River will temporarily close this fall for improvements. The sites that will temporarily close are North Fork, Bobcat Gulch, Fourth of July, Colston Corner, Deer Gulch, and South Butte. The North Fork site is closing to make repairs to the boat ramp and bank. These repairs should be made this week so that the ramp can open back up by mid-October. The rest of the access sites are being temporarily closed so that the highway approaches can be regraded and paved. This construction will be completed in phases so that each site will only be closed for 2-3 days, and work at all the sites should be completed by mid-October. For additional information about these projects please follow this link.