Juvenile Fish Trapping

Marsh Creek Screw TrapAlthough adult salmon and steelhead receive most of the attention, the juveniles (known as fry, parr or smolts) actually spend more of their life in Idaho.  Juvenile salmon live in Idaho’s rivers and streams for one or two years before migrating to the Pacific Ocean. Juvenile steelhead stay in Idaho for one to seven years before making the long journey.  Monitoring the abundance and distribution of the smaller less conspicuous juvenile life stage of salmon and steelhead gives fisheries managers an important insight into the status of Idaho’s salmon and steelhead populations.

Juvenile salmon and steelhead monitoring is conducted throughout the State of Idaho using a variety of methods.  Typically juvenile fish are intercepted during their downstream movement from the spawning areas where they hatched to areas which provide better conditions for growth and survival. Depending on the monitoring location the fish may be intercepted within a few months of hatching or several years after hatching.