Steelhead Catch and Release Graduate Study Update

  • img_3327
    Licensing: 
    Creative Commons Licence
    Attribution: 
    Brett Bowersox
  • img_3223
    Licensing: 
    Creative Commons Licence
    Attribution: 
    Brett Bowersox

Written by Will Lubenau (University of Idaho)

Work on the University of Idaho and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game catch-and-release steelhead angling study continued over the past month. We have included a brief update below with some recent information. Remember, the most important data for the study comes from steelhead anglers when they catch and report tagged steelhead, so be sure to report your fish.

Majority of the steelhead used in the study are trapped, tagged, and released at Lower Granite Dam (Click on the video to see how fish are tagged). To date, approximately 145 steelhead have been tagged and 22 have been reported as caught and released by anglers. As you might expect, given the cold-water releases from Dworshak Reservoir, all tags reported in the fishery so far have been from the Clearwater River. We expect that will change as temperatures in the Snake River start to cool off over the next few weeks.

We have also started to tag steelhead in the Clearwater and Snake rivers that have already entered Idaho’s fishery. Catching and tagging fish that are already in the fishery will allow us to gather data on fish that are captured multiple times. This in-river tagging is just getting started and will continue into winter. Expect more updates on this portion of the project in the next few months.

How can you be involved?

If you catch a tagged steelhead, please report the tag number online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/tag/add.

If a tag is labeled “REWARD”, the tag must be returned to IDFG to receive payment.

REMEMBER: Only hatchery steelhead with a clipped adipose fin may be harvested!

For more info on IDFG’s wild salmon and steelhead program click here.