What percentage of fish go to Clearwater versus the Little Salmon?
Those numbers will vary from year to year so this answer applies only to this year's return. The actual or final percentages won't be known until all fish have returned to Idaho; that will be sometime in late June or early July. Based on the pre-season forecast of fish retuning to areas in Idaho where fisheries could occur, 33% of the fish were destined for the Clearwater River, 34% to the Little Salmon, 5% to the Snake River, 13% to the South Fork Salmon River and 15% to the upper Salmon River. It is important to remember that those numbers represent only fish returning to Idaho hatcheries and are based on pre-season forecasts so they will change. As of May 26 we estimate that about 5,000 more Chinook salmon are headed to the Little Salmon River than the Clearwater River so the percentage of the final total return to the Little Salmon is likely to be greater than 34% and to the Clearwater less than 33%. How those numbers change also depends on returns to other areas in Idaho. For fisheries management, it also is important to note that hatchery broodstock needs are different for the different hatcheries. In the Clearwater River drainage overall about 4,000 adult fish are needed for brood stock whereas in the Little Salmon River only 2,000 are needed. Thus if the same number of fish returned to each river, fewer would be available for harvest in the Clearwater because of the greater broodstock need.