Steelhead

Clearwater Steelhead 1/20/15

Tuesday was the first day the Clearwater steelhead fishery was sampled this past week. The Ahsahka Check Station was visited by many happy anglers who had fished the North Fork that day. One shore angler had kept his limit of 3 steelhead and had fished for less than 3 hours. The largest fish checked for the week was a 37 inch female caught by an angler fishing from the Ahsahka Bridge. Anglers fishing the North Fork on Friday and over the weekend were not as successful as those who fished on Tuesday.

Boat anglers fishing the main Clearwater River in the Orofino area on Friday had a very successful day. Multiple anglers who obtained their limit of steelhead were checked by creel personnel. Heavy rain on Saturday caused the Clearwater to become high and muddy on Sunday, but catch rates did not seem to be effected. Most of Sunday’s effort occurred between Cherry Lane and Orofino. - Amanda Schmidt, Fisheries Technician, Idaho Fish & Game

Clipped Steelhead

Hi, I am an avid fisherman of the Main Clearwater and Southfork of the Clearwater Steelhead. I have noticed that this year there is a drastic drop in the amount of clipped, or keeper Steelhead, available to anglers. In years past we have seen a 50% ratio of clipped Steelhead at minimum, and most years there has been a near 70% clipped ratio. This year we have fished quite a few days and have figured our numbers to be closer to 5 or 6% clipped fish, and many people we have talked to have experienced similar numbers. What is happening with this fishery?

Steelhead Fishing on Upper Salmon River 11/17/14

Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River was effectively shut down this past week due to the below average temperatures we have been having. Slush ice has been flowing through Salmon since Tuesday of last week and as of today the ice jam is upstream of North Fork near the Bobcat access site. Anglers were found below Deadwater over the weekend but in very low numbers.

Downstream of the Middle Fork, in location code 14, anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 363 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15, anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 31 hours per steelhead kept. There are some open areas of water downstream of Deadwater and fish were caught on Sunday, but slush ice is flowing in most areas and shelf ice has already formed.

The data included in this report for location codes 16 and 17 was collected on Monday the 10th and no angler effort has been observed in those areas since. Anglers within location code 16 averaged 8 hours per steelhead caught and 13 hours per steelhead kept, while upstream in location code 17, anglers averaged 7 hours per steelhead caught and no steelhead were reported kept.  Check Harvest Reports for more details.

As of November 17, the Salmon River through the town of Salmon is flowing at approximately 1,130 cfs with the water temperature near freezing and good visibility.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Cleawater and Snake River Weekend Creel Surveys 11/02/14

This past Saturday on the Clearwater was wet. It rained off and on most of the day. We are seeing more anglers fish from Orofino and up. Drift boats are dropping in at the Kooskia boat ramp or Button Beach and drifting down to Kamiah. This past week an angler caught a 18lb. Steelhead on the North Fork. Go to Steelhead Harvest Report and Coho Salmon Harvest Report for more details.  - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Upper Salmon Weekend Steelhead Creel Survey 11/02/14

Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River continued to improve this past week. Interviewed anglers downstream of the Middle Fork, in location code 14, averaged 12 hours per steelhead caught and 58 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15, interviewed anglers averaged 13 hours per steelhead caught and 26 hours per steelhead kept, which were large improvements over the previous week. Interviewed anglers in location code 16, between North Fork and the Lemhi River, averaged 8 hours per steelhead caught and 12 hours per steelhead kept. Between the Lemhi and Pahsimeroi Rivers, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 14 hours per steelhead kept.  Go to Harvest Rerport for more details.

As of November 3rd, the Salmon River through the town of Salmon was flowing at approximately 1,440 cfs with water temperatures in the mid-40s and good visibility. - Brent Beller,  Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Steelhead Coming to Boise River

For people living in Idaho's most populous areas, a quest for steelhead means traveling for several hours to the Salmon, Clearwater or Snake Rivers. When times are good, and there is a surplus of steelhead, anglers in Idaho's biggest city have steelhead delivered courtesy of Fish and Game tanker trucks.

On Thursday November 6, Fish and Game trucks will haul around 300 steelhead to Boise from Hells Canyon. These fish are part of a program funded by Idaho Power that compensates for steelhead lost in the Boise River drainage due to the Hells Canyon Hydroelectric Project.

Fisheries managers will release the steelhead into the Boise River at several traditional locations between Glenwood Bridge and Barber Park. Anglers planning to harvest steelhead must have a valid fishing license and steelhead permit. Any steelhead (defined as a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches with a clipped adipose fin) harvested on the Boise River must be recorded on the angler’s steelhead permit. The steelhead limit on the Boise River is three per day and nine in possession. Barbless hooks are not required on the Boise River.

Steelhead Fishing on the Salmon River 10/19/14

This week, we have shifted away from reporting data only from the weekend to reporting creel data from the entire previous week (Monday-Sunday). This week's report covers the time period of 10/13/14 through 10/19/14.

Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River picked up during the previous week as more fish, and anglers, began showing up in the region. From Monday the 13th through Sunday the 19th, interviewed anglers in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 85 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 48 hours per steelhead kept. Between the Lemhi River and North Fork, in location code 16, interviewed anglers averaged 15 hours per steelhead caught and 38 hours per steelhead kept. Angler effort was the lightest upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17, but interviewed anglers were able to find some steelhead and averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught or kept. For more details, go to the Harvest Report.

As of Monday, October 20th, the Salmon River was flowing at 1,160 cfs through the town of Salmon with water temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Weekend Steelhead Creel Survey 10/14/14

Steelhead on Snake River, downriver of Salmon River, 2014

Most anglers in the Clearwater Region concentrated their effort on the Snake River downstream from the Salmon River (River sect 01) and on the Clearwater River up to Orofino Bridge (River sect. 03.)  For the few anglers fishing on the North Fork (River sect. 05) this past weekend, they used shrimp, scent, and roe for bait. A few anglers were using the wiggle wart lure. Go to Harvest Report for more details. - Jaime Robertson,  Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Steelhead and Chinook Report in Cleawater 10/13/14

Clearwater Region Fall 2014

Anglers are spreading out to fish in the Clearwater region. 185 anglers were checked this past weekend on the Salmon and Little Salmon River. 60 steelhead were caught over the weekend with just under 19/hr catch rates on the Salmon and Little Salmon River.

Of the 178 anglers that were checked on river section 01 of the Snake River this past weekend 91 came out at Heller Bar. These anglers fished a total of 746 hours with 28 hatchery steelhead kept and 48 wild released. No hatchery steelhead were released. Catch rates were 10hrs. 74 of the steelhead anglers that were checked at Heller bar were on guided trips. Please keep in mind that these numbers are for Idaho steelhead anglers only and are unexpanded numbers.

Anglers that are fishing above Memorial Bridge on the Clearwater (river sect 03) are using a variety of lures. Some of the lures were Purple Peril, Black Fly, Lady Caroline Skunk, black & blue Table Fly, Skater Fly, Green butted Skunk, Gold Hair Wing, purple & black fly, Orange Hair Wing, and Rust Colored Fly. Anglers are also using yarn with scent and eggs.  - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Steelhead in the Upper Salmon 10/12/14

This past weekend a weather front that made its way through the area hindered steelhead anglers with precipitation and strong winds, but anglers were still able to find some steelhead. Interviewed anglers in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, had the best success with an average catch rate of 16 hours per steelhead and a harvest rate of 140 hours per steelhead. The majority of angler effort was located in location code 15, between North Fork and the Middle Fork. Interviewed anglers there averaged 44 hours per steelhead caught and 400 hours per steelhead kept. Between the Lemhi River and North Fork, in location code 16, interviewed anglers averaged 48 hours per steelhead caught and 190 hours per steelhead kept.  Angler effort in location code 17, upstream of the Lemhi River, was once again minimal and no steelhead were reported caught. For more details check out the Harvest Report. 

The Salmon River is currently running near 1,200 cfs through the town of Salmon with good visibility. The water temperature has been in the low 50s for the past couple of weeks, but with colder weather moving in it should begin to drop into the 40s.  - Brent Beller,  Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region