Broodstock goals for the adipose-clipped portion of the production (the fish that sport anglers can harvest when they return) sometimes change from one year to the next because of other changes in rearing space at the hatcheries or other rearing programs thatalsoare occurring. At Pahsimeroi Hatchery more rearing space is needed this year for a program to supplement and rebuild the natural population that spawns above the weir. Over all the programs, the same number of adults are required for spawning because the hatchery can only rear a total of one million smolts. As smolt production in one program increases more adults are need for brood in that program, but brood need decreases in the other program since the total number of smolts that can be produced stays the same. At Sawtooth Hatchery, the increase in the brood need from 2012 to 2013 was a result of bringing another pump on line to provide more water to the hatchery. The additional water resulted in an increase in rearing capacity at the hatchery and the ability to rear more smolts resulted in the need for more adults for brood. The reduction from 900 in 2013 to 800 (800 is the correct brood number for 2014 at Sawtooth) was because of the need for more space for the supplementation and natural stock rebuilding program there.
For fish that return to a hatchery weir, most natural origin fish are passed upstream to spawn naturally. If the sport and tribal fisheries downstream of the weirs are successful at catching the hatchery fish they are targeting, there are very few fish that are excess to brood needs at the weirs. Putting eyed eggs in the streams has proven unsuccessful in the past. The returning adult hatchery fish are most valuable to everyone if they are harvested in a fishery or used as brood for fish reared to smolts in the hatchery so they can be released to support future fisheries. Each year, after brood needs at the hatcheries are determined, the sport and tribal fisheries are managed to catch the returning hatchery fish that aren't need for brood.
You've done a great job of tracking the hatchery return component of the Chinook run. Here are other items that need to be considered in doing a run reconstruction:
Mortality between Lower Granite Dam and the hatcheries - there is mortality due to environmental reasons, predators, diseases, injuries, hard angler releases, etc. We don't know what percentage are actually lost once fish pass Lower Granite but some biologists speculate it could be ~10%.
Straying of returning adults. There is not 100% fidelity in returning adult fish. Straying rates vary for the different stocks of fish. Studies showit could befrom 5 - 15%. Hence, these fish are unaccounted for at the hatchery trapping sites.
Fish returning to Oregon tributaries above Lower Granite Dam - there are a couple of significant streams in Oregon that contribute to Chinook returns passing Lower Granite Dam.
Wild Chinook - your accounting doesn't show a total for wild or natural production that occurs in the Clearwater or Salmon basins.
Tribal harvest of the sport fishery - we don't currently have harvest information for the Nez Perce or Shoshone Bannock tribes. They are not required to provide us their harvest information, so it's not posted on our managed data sites.
Late arriving hatchery fish - Chinook, although the numbers are lower, will continue returning to our traps up until they spawn. There will still be late arriving fish. There are also Chinook at several of our facilities that never actually enter our traps and will spawn just downstream.
As you can probably see, accounting for fish in the wild - and when you have no control over the different variables affecting survival, is extremely difficult. There is an element of making educated "guesses" when it comes to accounting for all the fish. We often error on the side of being conservative in our harvest estimates so we can assure enough brood stock to provide fishing in future years.
Your information is correct. We once hassignificant runs of coho returning to Idaho and spawning in the Clearwater, lower Salmon River, and Snake Basin. As dams were built, populations were lost and it was believed they were extinct in Idaho for several years.
The Nez Perce tribal fisheries program is responsible for re-establishing a coho population in the Clearwater drainage. Numbers of coho have been steadily increasing and we have begun looking at potential sport fishing opportunities on returning hatchery fish. Stay tuned, it could happen in the next few years - it numbers of fish continue to increase.
They are listed as "introduced" because they were re-established in Idaho from watersheds in Washington and Oregon.
There are some backcountry areas where IDFG may use employees/contractors to remove wolves this winter. There are four backcountry areas where IDFG has management plans for reducing predation from wolves, bears, and mountain lions, because predation is having significant negative impacts on backcountry elk populations. One of these predation management plans is for the Middle Fork Salmon River, which is mostly in the Frank Church Wilderness. IDFG will not be using employees/contractors in the Frank Church Wilderness this winter. IDFG may use employees/contractors to remove wolves this winter in parts of the Sawtooth, Panhandle, and Lolo Management Zones as described in the predation management plans for these areas. IDFG has ongoing research regarding predation and elk mortality, and IDFG monitors wolf and elk populations. Idaho will continue to have a viable wolf population, consistent with the plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State to support delisting of wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/wolves/plan02.pdf
Maybe we need to work on designing Go Pro type fish cams so we can see where they go once released from the hatchery truck. I can tell you that several went to the deep water below the Park Center Bridge piers and held there are several days.
We've had a "handful" of people calling to tell us about catching Chinook from the Boise River plants. This is a guess - I would fish along current lines at back-eddys below release sites to have the best chance of catching a Chinook. Tuna balls and salmon eggs seem to be the best baits.
Ok, nonresident children (under 14 years of age) can fish for free if they are with a licensed adult (resident or nonresident). All fish caught and reduced to possession count towards the licensed individual's daily bag limit. The only exception is, a nonresident youth can buy their own salmon or steelhead permit and have their own daily bag limit of salmon or steelheadwithout needing to buy a license.
No, you don't need a Salmon Permit to fish in Lake Coeur d'Alene for Fall Chinook. The Salmon Permit is only required when fishing for anadromous (ocean-run) salmon. Land-locked salmon are treated like trout in most waters.
I hope you're not too disappointed, but there were never fish in the type of lakes you describe. Prior to the beginning of mountain lake stocking in Idaho, headwater barriers and subsurface flows prevented native fish species from reaching upper elevation mountain lakes. In the early 1900's enterprising sportsmen began transporting native salmonids (cutthroat and rainbow) and non-native brook trout to mountain lakes. Once established in the upper elevation lakes, the fishwere transporteddownstream by surface flows.
In Idaho, there are hundreds of high elevation cirque lakes with no inlet or outlet and they are totally fed by snow-melt. A number of these lakes are not stocked with fish for various reasons - including extremely difficult access and protection of native amphibians.
We do give away spawned-out salmon carcasses at our hatchery spawning locations - including Pahsimeroi. This practice actually started in the 1970's. We quit giving carcasses away once we started injecting adult salmon with erythomycin phosphate. Now that we've discontinued the injections, we are again giving away salmon carcasses.
Keep in mind, these salmon have not eaten for roughly 5 months. They've been living on stored body reserves. When spawning time arrives, the flesh quality can best be described as "poor." They are much higher quality, from a taste perspective, when caught in April, May and June.
Great question! There are no restrictions on the use of lights while fishing or fishing hours, so the use of some type of spotlight would be allowable while bowfishing. However, â€œChummingâ€� is illegal for all species of fish. Idaho Code 36-902(e) states the following: â€œUnlawful fishing methods -- Destruction of fish prohibited -- Exceptions. Except as may be otherwise permitted by law or commission rule or proclamation no person shall: (e) Chumming. Deposit or distribute any substance not attached to a hook for the purpose of attracting fish. Salmon eggs or other spawn may be used for bait only when attached to a hook on a line and fished in the conventional manner.â€�
The salmon season in the upper Salmon River will close the evening of July 19th. We predict our harvest allocation will be reached by that date. The season lasted almost 4 weeks - which is a success compared to the average season length over the past 10 years.