I want salmon recovered as much as anyone but it frustrates me to no end to see fish being exploited in the clearwater when we knew in advance they would not meet brood stock goals. Furthermore, we knew Pahsimeroi was not going to meet goals yet we continued to fish in and around Riggins. Conversely, the Sawtooth hatchery met its goal but with little to spare. Am I to understand that if I want to fish for chinook I must prepare to travel to Riggins or Lewiston to do so? Seems like the more logical route would to fish salmon closer to the hatcheries.
We offered the opportunity to harvest salmon in Clearwater drainage because we have several sources to back-fill any shortages of hatchery fish from hatcheries like Dworshak, Kooskia, Rapid River, and Oxbow.
We don't have the same number of hatcheries to back-fill shortages of fish in the upper Salmon River drainage. In the upper Salmon, the Pahsimeroi salmon run fell far short of expectations. We can provide some eggs from the South Fork Salmon River trap and Sawtooth Hatchery, but we still anticipate being short of our production goal.