Upper Salmon River Chinook Update: 7/5/2022

Hi everybody, I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! Hopefully that involved some time on the water. Below is the weekly upper Salmon River Chinook update:

Angler effort increased compared to the week before but remained light, especially for a holiday weekend.  Anglers reported catching Chinook salmon in all location codes open to Chinook angling in the upper Salmon River, but the only harvest reported was in location codes 18 and 19. Below is the breakdown of angler effort and catch by river section in the upper Salmon River fishery, courtesy of Brent Beller:


Upper Salmon River

Preliminary Harvest Estimates June 27 - July 3, 2022

  Clipped Adults  Clipped Jacks  Total Angler Hours Hours Per Kept Fish Unclipped Salmon Released
North Fork Salmon River to Lemhi River 0 0 0 210 - 0
Lemhi River to Pahsimeroi River 0 0 0 509 - 6
Pahsimeroi River to East Fork Salmon River 2 0 2 230 115 0
East Fork Salmon River to 100 yards downstream of Sawtooth Weir  13 0 13 603 46 4
Weekly Totals 15 0 15 1,552 150 10
Season Totals 15 0 15 2,250 150 10


Flows in the Salmon River still are slightly above average for this time of the year, but the river is in much better shape than during the first two weeks of the Chinook fishery.


Run Update (timing, survival, and harvest shares):

Sawtooth Hatchery

Approximately 79% of the Sawtooth run (2,050 fish) is now over Lower Granite Dam, and fish continue to move into the upper Salmon River. Survival through the Columbia and Snake River systems is still higher than average (82% in 2022 compared to 66% long-term average) which puts our harvest share around 600 fish.

Pahsimeroi Hatchery

Approximately 2,231 Pahsimeroi fish have passed over Bonneville Dam this year, with 1,756 (79%) of those fish now over Lower Granite Dam as well. Similar to the Sawtooth return, survival of Pahsimeroi fish between Bonneville and Lower Granite has been higher than normal at 84% compared to an average of 73%. Harvest share for this stock is still around 550 fish.

The graph below shows daily detections of adult Chinook salmon at the Elevenmile PIT tag array just upstream of Salmon, ID, from June 1 through yesterday July 4th.



This graph shows PIT tags from adult Sawtooth and Pahsimeroi hatchery Chinook, as well as wild Chinook, and as you can see, the last few days have shown a big increase in detections…the fish are here!


Hatchery Returns

So far, Pahsimeroi hatchery has trapped 22 adult Chinook to date, meanwhile no fish have been trapped at Sawtooth hatchery – but that doesn’t mean the fish aren’t there. Higher than normal flows have made trapping conditions difficult at Sawtooth, but fish have been observed there. As always, due to the differences in timing of when hatchery staff check traps and when I post these updates, it’s best to check the Hatchery Returns webpage for the most up-to-date hatchery trapping numbers.

And again, for the current seasons and rules information, please visit the Chinook Salmon Seasons and Rules webpage for more details.

Thanks everybody, and best of luck out there!

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Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game