I see that the IDF&G is going to hold meetings on the up coming Salmon season. None of these meetings are scheduled in the Upper Salmon region. My question is; Will these discussions include a season for the Upper Salmon River where most of these fish originate? For the past two years the Upper Salmon has all but been dismissed for any kind of respectable fishery. Perhaps the number of fish reduced to possession on the Lower Salmon could be adjusted so that those of us who live on the Upper Salmon could have a season.
The meetings currently being advertised are for the salmon fishery in the Clearwater, Snake River and Salmon River below Shorts Bar (Riggins). These are all early-run hatchery fish stocked throughout the lower river area with most headed to Hells Canyon Dam and the Little Salmon River. Fish headed for the South Fork Salmon River and upper Salmon River are later arriving fish and are not being harvest in the lower Salmon and Snake river early seasons. We know this because of individual tracking PIT tags implanted into many of the salmon before they left hatcheries or were planted 1, 2 or 3 years ago. We have monitoring grids in the lower Snake River dam ladders that detect the fish as they journey back up the river system to Idaho.
There will be another round of public input meetings for the South Fork Salmon River and upper Salmon River Chinook salmon runs in May/early June. Typically, the Fish and Game Commission will set these seasons in early June and they begin in late June or early July. Watch our website for details.
Please feel free to weigh-in on the present salmon season frameworks for the lower Salmon, Snake, and Clearwater river drainages. Comments can be submitted through Ask IDFG.