This past weekend was the busiest weekend yet for the little salmon. Lots of people showed up for free fishing day and our highest count of anglers for the day was 285. With the change in weather, fish catch started to slow down over the weekend. There were not as many anglers getting limits. Anglers reported getting lots of bites, but not being able to land fish. River levels have really gone down, and you can walk to the confluence without waders. But, there is not as many anglers fishing at the confluence anymore. I heard reports that the water temperature was around 43 degrees. Fish in the trap last night were around 192, with a total at the hatchery being around 1000 or so.
We have also been busy talking to fishermen at the ramps this spring. While not everyone is coming in with fish this year, most anglers are. We are also seeing more limits of kokanee than empty coolers. In April, catch rates averaged 7.6 fish kept per fisherman and 2.8 fish per hour of kokanee fishing. In May, it picked up to 10.3 fish per person and 3.9 fish per hour. We don’t have many interviews so far for June, but right now catch rates are 12.3 fish per person and 3.5 fish per hour. These are great catch rates for Kokanee fishing. The Kokanee we’ve seen in the creel recently are around 10 inches long, but there are occasional fish over 13 inches long. Right now most people are fishing between Canyon Creek and Dent Bridge, but we have marked good densities of kokanee farther up the reservoir during our research work.
Not a kokanee fisherman? We also interviewed 38 bass anglers over the past month who spent 117 hours to catch 463 smallmouth bass and kept 45. This works out to a little over 12 bass caught per person and four fish per hour. Harvested bass have averaged about 13 inches, but a couple larger fish have been brought in, with the largest right at 20 inches. Recent surface temperatures are in the mid to upper 60’s with a thermocline at 10 to 15 feet. As the water has warmed and spawning has wrapped up, larger bass are moving into deeper water. Some bass anglers I spoke with over the weekend reported that smaller bass were plentiful, but larger bass were down 40 to 50 feet and tough to come by.
Summer is just getting started, but it won’t last forever, so take advantage of the nice days that come our way to get out and catch some fish. Good luck!
Fishing has been great this week, an average of 50 fish are surveyed each shift (~8 hours) in the beginning of the week, and today 80 fish were surveyed from 14:00 to 22:00. The trap at Rapid River has been getting between 150-300 salmon per day this week. Many anglers here for the weekend, around 200 counted today. I did notice parking along I-95 at the mouth of the Rapid River has been hectic, and drivers on the interstate aren't slowing down. I have seen numerous semi trucks and other vehicles fly by and passing on a double yellow when people are walking or trying to park on the side of the road (Just thought I would bring it to attention). Free Fishing Day this Saturday should turn out to be a great day with lots more salmon to be caught and many more anglers.
Dad had a pretty good day on Cascade Reservoir, too! Adam B.
Great Day At Cascade Reservoir With My Boys - Adam B.
I've heard recently of good smallmouth and rainbow/coho fishing. Catching perch has been spotty. - dparrish
Fished Riggins - On 6/10-6/11 caught 4 fish and kept 2. Combat fishing at its greatest. But so much fun. The fish are so beautiful and I never have seen fat on Idaho Chinook like there are right now. Best tasting salmon I have ever had. Thanks to all that have made this possible. We need to all appreciate what we have and do whatever is necessary to make this possible for generations to come. - Jeff
I was in Riggins 6/9 - 11. Observed many fishing being caught. As this gentleman stated, this is social fishing. Please be courteous and respect your fellow anglers. - dparrish
If you want to do something fun for a Father's Day gift - take dad fishing! Better yet, give him an early gift and take him fishing on Saturday June 14th and he can fish without a license.
Visit our Fish Planner website for all the details on where to go and the type of gear you will need.
The Fish Planner can be found at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingPlanner/