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Idaho Fish and Game

First steelhead

Lower Granite Dam: Start of the Season


Fish trapping season is underway and our crew is working hard with other agencies at Lower Granite Dam to collect information on adult and juvenile salmon and steelhead. A lot of work and research goes on at Lower Granite Dam so we will be giving updates throughout the year to help you understand some of the work we are doing and what we are learning.

Part of our project focuses on juvenile salmon and steelhead heading to the ocean. We started sampling  on Monday March 2nd this year. We didn’t catch any juvenile salmon or steelhead on the first day but we did catch a juvenile Lamprey.


The other part of our project focuses on adult salmon and steelhead returning to Idaho on their way back from the ocean. We also started the adult sampling on March 2nd this year. We caught the first four adult steelhead of the year on Monday. Three fish were adipose-clipped hatchery fish and one was an unclipped hatchery fish with a coded-wire-tag in its nose.


Will Lubenau, the graduate student from the University of Idaho working on the steelhead tagging project also got spring time tagging started this week. The first springtime wild steelhead was t-bar tagged for that project on Tuesday. 

Lower Granite Dam has quite the process during the winter before we start work in the spring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers de-waters the juvenile and adult traps, and the fish ladder so they can perform annual maintenance during times when fish aren't moving upstream or downstream. Once they finish their work the facility is watered back up and we can start in on another sampling year. There is a lot of valuable information collected at Lower Granite and we are excited for the new season. Stay tuned for more updates and information from Lower Granite Dam.

For more information on Wild Salmon and Steelhead projects go to our Wild Salmon and Steelhead Webpage