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Recent Articles: Salmon

Commission Increases Steelhead Limits in Upper Salmon.

February 16, 2012 - 1:10pm -- idfg-vosborn

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday morning, February 16, increased the bag limits for steelhead in part of the upper Salmon River, effective immediately.

The daily limit is six steelhead, 18 in possession and 40 for the spring 2012 steelhead season. The increase affects river sections 15 through 19 on the upper Salmon River from Long Tom Creek – about three-quarters of mile upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River – to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Hatchery.

All other seasons and rules remain unchanged. For more information on steelhead fishing in Idaho, check the Fish and Game website


Friends take friends steelhead fishing.

January 23, 2012 - 5:51pm -- idfg-vosborn

I haven't missed going up and fishing for steelhead on the Salmon in 20 years. I look forward to it all year. This year I took a friend who had never been steelhead fishing. When we arrived I walked him down to a hole that has always been successful for me. I was explaining the hole to him and kind of where to cast and what to feel for. Anyway I took his pole and cast out the line (this was the very first cast of the trip) to kind of show him how to do things. It hadn't been in the water only 10 seconds and Wham!! There he was! I handed the pole to him and he reeled in his first steelhead - a wild one! Second steelhead of the day was smaller but a keeper. Good Times!!
- Lance Murray

Snowy Owls Invade Idaho

December 20, 2011 - 3:21pm -- idfg-vrunnoe

If you think you saw Harry Potter's owl, Hedwig, recently, you are not far off.  Snowy owls are moving into the northern part of the U.S. this winter.  Here in Idaho, these large, mostly white owls are being seen in numerous locations.  A large population of lemmings in the Arctic has contributed to high nesting success in these tundra-dwelling owls.  Now that winter has arrived, young owls moving to wintering areas are not able to compete for food with adult owls.  As a result, these young birds are heading south across Canada, into the United States in search of prey.  Observations across the country indicate that many of the snowy owls that are being seen are, in fact, young birds.

The wide-spread movements of birds in the winter is known as an irruption.  It is typically seen in species such as pine siskins, common redpolls, and red-breasted nuthatches.  These seasonal movements are often related to food, with birds leaving their normal range in years when the seeds they feed upon are not abundant.   Lack-of-food also causes irruptions of several species of owl, although this does not appear to be the case with the irruption of snowy owls this winter.   

Snowy owls are on the wish list of many birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.  These birds prefer open fields and marshes in the winter where they catch rodents and birds.  They can often be seen during the day, sitting on the ground or perched on fence posts or other open perches.   Wildlife watchers observing these owls need to make sure to keep their distance.  In addition to their long flight, these young birds are still learning the finer points of hunting.  Many are able to catch only enough prey to barely survive.  Disturbing these birds will cause them to use precious energy that is needed for hunting and staying warm.  Using binoculars, spotting scopes, and telephoto lenses to observe or photograph the owls will lessen the chance of getting too close and disturbing the owl.  Enjoy these magnificent visitors from the far north!


Upper Salmon River Steelhead Creel Report for the Weekend of 11/26/2011

November 28, 2011 - 2:19pm -- idfg-bbeller

Slightly warmer weather this weekend allowed more anglers to come out then the previous weekend, and they had more success. Fishing actually improved this weekend with the hours per fish caught dropping or holding steady in all sections. The season is definitely slowing down and beginning to wrap up, but as long as above freezing temperatures continue to persist and keep the slush ice away, the fishing should remain solid.

Also, this will be the last report issued for the Fall 2011 season.

My first ever steelhead - Jeanne

November 22, 2011 - 3:32pm -- idfg-vosborn
my first steelhead

"I caught my first ever steelhead on a solo stop in the spring 2011 near the Yankee Fork on the Upper Salmon. Luckily an experienced old-timer was right next to me on the bank to coach me through it since I had never hooked one before (and took the photo too!). It was so much fun and especially great to share the excitement with strangers fishing next to me."

- Jeanne

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Creel Report for the Weekend of 11/12/2011

November 15, 2011 - 12:01pm -- idfg-jonhansen

Hours per steelhead caught increased this past weekend (November 12) compared to the previous weekend (November 5), most likely due to the cold weather.  Experienced anglers are finding plenty of open access areas and good fishing for this time of year.

    * The values shown are unexpanded sample data and estimates of fishing effort and success.
  ** Before October 15, steelhead fishing upstream of Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston is catch-and-release only.

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Creel Report for the Weekend of 11/06/2011

November 7, 2011 - 2:55pm -- idfg-bbeller

Steelhead fishing stayed fairly consistent this weekend with the exception of river section 15 which had considerable improvements in both total fish caught and hours per fish. Both air and water temperatures continued their declines, with the river temperature hovering at or below 40° F throughout the weekend compared to 42° F during the previous weekend. The number of anglers fishing in all river sections dropped off considerably this weekend and this was most likely due to the decreasing temperatures and a weather forecast which called for the possibility of snow showers. The fishery should be at, or near, its peak now, but as long as the weather holds out and doesn’t get too cold then we expect the fishery to remain good for at least the next several weeks.

    * The values shown are unexpanded sample data and estimates of fishing effort and success.
  ** Before October 15, steelhead fishing upstream of Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston is catch-and-release only.


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