Salmon Blog

Chinook Fishing Results - May 24, 2015

IDFG Chinook salmon  Harvest and Effort Report for May 18 to May 24, 2015.

   
                 

Clearwater River drainage

Chinook Salmon Kept

Angler Hours

Hours per fish kept

Unclipped Adults released

Comments

Adults

Jacks

Total

Railroad Bridge to Cherrylane Bridge

Closed to salmon fishing on May 17

Cherrylane Bridge to Orofino Bridge

648

36

684

5,133

7.5

82

Closed to salmon fishing on May 22

North Fork Clearwater River

586

3

589

2,919

5.0

77

 

Orofino Bridge to Kooskia Bridge

157

10

167

2,489

14.9

37

 

Middle Fork Clearwater River

292

2

294

2,649

9.0

90

 

South Fork Clearwater River

249

0

249

3,207

12.9

16

 

Lochsa River

0

0

0

33

NA

0

 

Clearwater River drainage weekly total

1,932

51

1,983

16,430

8.3

302

 

Clearwater River drainage SEASON TOTAL

5,164

58

5,222

76,479

14.6

1,130

 

               

 

Salmon River drainage

Chinook Salmon Kept

Angler Hours

Hours per fish kept

Unclipped Adults released

Comments

Adults

Jacks

Total

Rice Creek Bridge to Hammer Creek Boat Ramp

208

25

233

3,664

15.7

39

 

Hammer Creek Boat Ramp to Time Zone Bridge

579

6

585

10,069

17.2

79

 

Time Zone Bridge to Short's Creek

834

15

849

8,834

10.4

44

 

Short's Creek to Vinegar Creek

47

0

47

1,111

23.6

0

 

Little Salmon River--Mouth to lower Pollock bridge

1,085

3

1,088

16,444

15.1

33

 

Little Salmon River--Upstream of lower Pollock bridge

0

0

0

0

NA

0

No catch or effort was observed

Salmon River drainage weekly total

2,753

49

2,802

40,122

14.3

195

 

Salmon River drainage SEASON TOTAL

4,605

59

4,664

67,793

14.5

386

 

                 

Snake River drainage

Chinook Salmon Kept

Angler Hours

Hours per fish kept

Unclipped Adults released

Comments

Adults

Jacks

Total

Hells Canyon Dam tailrace-weekly total

111

10

121

1,844

15.2

23

 

Hells Canyon tailrace SEASON TOTAL

367

14

381

5,737

15.1

85

 

 

Idaho Fish and Game Releases Tigers!

Tiger trout, that is.

The Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game recently released Tiger Trout in several waters around the state. The fish were 8 - 12" long at stocking and should be easy to catch.

Tiger Trout are a sterile cross-breed between brook trout and brown trout and can be an aggressive predator on other fish species. In the wild, these species occasionally interbreed and we've documented "tigers" in both the Panhandle and Magic Valley regions. "Tigers" are being used as a fish management tool to control nongame and nonnative fish populations.

If you happen to catch one, please send us a picture.

Bigger Fish and Better Angler Success

As Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout this spring, they are doing something different that will lead to better success for Idaho anglers. A good share of the hatchery rainbow trout stocked in Idaho’s largest still-water fisheries this spring will be twelve inches instead of the standard of ten inches. Watch this video to learn why this is happening.

Fish and Game’s rainbow trout hatchery program exists for one sole purpose: putting fish in Idaho waters for anglers to catch. But during the last ten years, the cost of raising fish has skyrocketed. While the cost of fish food has increased by more than 150 percent, funding for the hatchery program has remained stagnant. In 2011, managers reduced fish production of put-and-take rainbow trout by 18 percent to keep the program within budget. At the same time they started tracking fish that anglers caught as part of a program called “Tag-You’re-It”.

Fisheries researchers tagged thousands of fish over a four year period, and tracked the tags with the help from anglers.

“We tagged a bunch of fish and put those fish out there, and essentially let the anglers do the work in returning that information to us through our hotline and our website,” said Senior Fisheries Research Biologist John Cassinelli. “So that has given us this large database.”

That database showed that twelve inch rainbow trout are more likely to be caught than ten inch trout. This knowledge has allowed researchers to reorganize the hatchery rainbow trout program in a way that puts larger trout in the creels of Idaho anglers without increasing the cost of the hatchery program.

The science and math show that for every limit of six rainbow trout anglers catch, Fish and Game must stock roughly 18 ten inch trout.  When 12 inch trout are stocked in the same waters, only 11 fish are needed for each six fish limit, on average.

Regardless of how many trout managers stock, the true measure of success for the hatchery program is how many trout anglers catch. As the program expands over the next 16 months, managers will be putting more twelve inch rainbows into most of Idaho’s large still-water fisheries. 

Check out the fish stocking page for monthly updates on fish stocking region by region.

 

 

Upper Salmon Steelhead Report 3/29/15

Steelhead fishing this week on the upper Salmon River remained similar to the previous week. The one exception was in location code 16, where angler effort increased and catch rates improved. The majority of anglers were observed in location code 17 near Ellis and upstream of the East Fork in location code 19. Overall, catch rates were good through Friday, but high temperatures on Friday and rain mixed with wind on Saturday caused flows to increase by Saturday which slowed the fishing down. Interviewed anglers in location code 15, upstream of the Middle Fork, averaged 73 hours per Steelhead caught and did not report keeping any Steelhead. Upstream of North Fork, in location code 16, interviewed anglers did much better than the previous week and averaged 17 hours per Steelhead caught and 88 hours per Steelhead kept. Interviewed anglers upstream of the Lemhi River, in location code 17, averaged 21 hours per Steelhead caught and 38 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, in location code 18, interviewed anglers averaged 62 hours per Steelhead caught and 82 hours per Steelhead kept. The best fishing was once again found upstream of the East Fork, in location code 19. Interviewed anglers in this area averaged 8 hours per Steelhead caught and 16 hours per Steelhead kept.  Go to Harvest Reports for more detail.

Currently, the Salmon River is running high with cloudy visibility downstream of Stanley. As of Monday March 30th, the Salmon River is flowing at 2,150 cfs through the town of Salmon which is approximately 180% of average. Water temperatures in the mid to upper 40s were observed over the weekend.

As of Thursday, March 26th, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery has trapped 2,615 Steelhead while the Sawtooth Hatchery has trapped 1,431. Additionally, Kid’s Creek pond in Salmon was stocked with 256 adult Steelhead last week. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Fishing 3/16/15

Steelhead fishing this past week on the upper Salmon River was relatively slow compared to previous weeks. Warm temperatures and high winds over the weekend resulted in increased river flows and poor visibility downstream of the East Fork. Angler effort remained high with most anglers found either downstream of North Fork in location code 15, near the Ellis area in location code 17, or downstream of Stanley in location code 19. Interviewed anglers in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, averaged 9 hours per Steelhead caught and 106 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15 interviewed anglers averaged 20 hours per Steelhead caught and 61 hours per Steelhead kept. In location code 16, upstream of North Fork, interviewed anglers averaged 19 hours per Steelhead caught and 40 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream of the Lemhi River, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 35 hours per Steelhead caught and 54 hours per Steelhead kept. In location code 18, upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, interviewed anglers averaged 55 hours per Steelhead caught and 83 hours per Steelhead kept. Location code 19, upstream of the East Fork, was the one area where catch rates remained good throughout the weekend. Interviewed anglers in location code 19 averaged 6 hours per Steelhead caught and 10 hours per Steelhead kept. Although flows upstream of the East Fork increased considerably over the weekend, the water visibility remained clear until Sunday afternoon when it began to cloud up.

As previously mentioned, the water conditions on the upper Salmon River are currently not very favorable for Steelhead fishing. The visibility is poor downstream of the East Fork and cloudy upstream. Additionally, flows have steadily increased for the past few days. Currently, the Salmon River in the town of Salmon is flowing at 1,580 cfs which is 142% of average for today’s date, while the Salmon River just downstream of the Yankee Fork is flowing at 1,210 cfs which is 290% of average for today’s date. Along with flows, water temperatures have also increased with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s recorded downstream of Salmon and temperatures in the low 40s recorded upstream of Challis. Water conditions can change rapidly this time of year and given the upcoming week’s forecast, there is a chance that river conditions may improve by this weekend. For an up to date condition report anglers can call the Idaho Fish and Game Salmon Regional office at (208) 756-2271. For harvest details, go to the Harvest Report - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Steelhead Fishing on Upper Salmon River 2/17/15

This is the first upper Salmon River weekly steelhead fishing report for the spring 2015 season. Reports will be issued each Monday until the close of the season.

During the past week, the Salmon River was recovering from unusually high flows that occurred over February 6th and 7th. These flows also greatly reduced the river’s visibility through February 12th. The river did clear up by this past weekend though, and the current water conditions are much better. Daytime river temperatures are in the mid to upper 30s and the river is running at 1,350 cfs through the town of Salmon, which is approximately 124% of average for this time of year.

For mid-February, the upper Salmon is very open. The Deadwater ice jam went out on the night of February 6th. The road downstream of North Fork is mostly clear of snow and ice, although there are a few corners that remain slick. Large rocks have fallen onto the road in numerous areas, and anglers are encouraged to slow down in these areas and use caution when choosing where to park. Additionally, all boat ramps between the Pahsimeroi River and North Fork have been cleared of ice and are ready for use. The Corn Creek ramp is also open and jet boats are running down river.

The steelhead fishing over the past week was good once the water conditions improved and the catch data suggests that the Steelhead are quite spread out across the drainage for this time of year. In location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, interviewed anglers released two steelhead, which resulted in a catch rate of 14 hours per Steelhead. Upstream, in location code 15, interviewed anglers caught a total of 66 Steelhead which produced a catch rate of 5 hours per Steelhead and a harvest rate of 11 hours per Steelhead. Interviewed anglers in location code 16, between the confluences of the North Fork and Lemhi Rivers averaged 13 hours per Steelhead caught and 19 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream of the Lemhi River, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per Steelhead caught and 78 hours per Steelhead kept. In location code 18, upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, interviewed anglers averaged 10 hours per Steelhead caught and 26 hours per Steelhead kept. No angler interviews were obtained for location code 19, upstream of the East Fork Salmon River, although a few anglers were observed fishing upstream of Clayton.

Got To Harvest Report for more details.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

2015 Spring & Summer Chinook Salmon Return Estimates

Get your salmon fishing pole tuned-up and your boat ready to hit the water. Biologists have made their preseason forecasts for the 2015 Chinook salmon returns to Idaho.

Early indications show more adult Chinook salmon returning in 2015 than we saw in 2014 - which ranks as one of the best Chinook fishing seasons in years.

Open Houses for 2015 Proposals for Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat

Idaho Fish and Game is proposing changes for the 2015 Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat seasons and will be holding open houses in several locations throughout the state.

Please join us at your convenience at any open house and give us your thoughts on the proposals.

See the list below for times and locations in your area. This table will update as events become available.

Date and TimeLocation
December 15, 2014
8:00 am to
6:00 pm
Clearwater Regional Fish and Game Office
3316 16th St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
December 18, 2014
Noon to
7:00 pm
Magic Valley Regional Fish and Game Office
324 South 417 East - Suite 1
Jerome, ID 83338
December 18, 2014
3:00 pm to
6:00 pm
Panhandle Regional Fish and Game Office
2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
December 29, 2014
8:00 am to
5:00 pm
Southeast Regional Fish and Game Office
1345 Barton Road
Pocatello, ID 83204

Through
January 5, 2015

 

Southwest Regional Fish and Game Office

Questions are encouraged over the phone:
  • In Nampa: 208-465-8465
    • ask for Craig White or Jake Powell
  • In McCall: 208-634-8137
    • ask for Regan Berkley or Nathan Borg

Drop-ins encouraged. Please make an appointment.

Through
January 5, 2015

Salmon Regional Fish and Game Office

Questions are encouraged over the phone:
  • In Salmon: 208-756-2271
    • ask for Greg Painter

Drop-ins encouraged. Please make an appointment.

Event locations last updated: 12/12/2014 11:29pm MT

The Upper Snake Region will not be holding an open house.

 

You can also review the proposals and make comments online.

Steelhead Fishing on Upper Salmon River 11/17/14

Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River was effectively shut down this past week due to the below average temperatures we have been having. Slush ice has been flowing through Salmon since Tuesday of last week and as of today the ice jam is upstream of North Fork near the Bobcat access site. Anglers were found below Deadwater over the weekend but in very low numbers.

Downstream of the Middle Fork, in location code 14, anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 363 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15, anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 31 hours per steelhead kept. There are some open areas of water downstream of Deadwater and fish were caught on Sunday, but slush ice is flowing in most areas and shelf ice has already formed.

The data included in this report for location codes 16 and 17 was collected on Monday the 10th and no angler effort has been observed in those areas since. Anglers within location code 16 averaged 8 hours per steelhead caught and 13 hours per steelhead kept, while upstream in location code 17, anglers averaged 7 hours per steelhead caught and no steelhead were reported kept.  Check Harvest Reports for more details.

As of November 17, the Salmon River through the town of Salmon is flowing at approximately 1,130 cfs with the water temperature near freezing and good visibility.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Upper Salmon Weekend Steelhead Creel Survey 11/02/14

Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River continued to improve this past week. Interviewed anglers downstream of the Middle Fork, in location code 14, averaged 12 hours per steelhead caught and 58 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15, interviewed anglers averaged 13 hours per steelhead caught and 26 hours per steelhead kept, which were large improvements over the previous week. Interviewed anglers in location code 16, between North Fork and the Lemhi River, averaged 8 hours per steelhead caught and 12 hours per steelhead kept. Between the Lemhi and Pahsimeroi Rivers, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 14 hours per steelhead kept.  Go to Harvest Rerport for more details.

As of November 3rd, the Salmon River through the town of Salmon was flowing at approximately 1,440 cfs with water temperatures in the mid-40s and good visibility. - Brent Beller,  Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region