Many wild populations of salmon, steelhead and lamprey in the Pacific Northwest begin and end their lives in Idaho’s wild rivers found in the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon drainages.
Idaho Fish and Game shares management responsibility for these remarkable fish and for protecting their future in Idaho. Follow the links below to learn about what is being done for wild fish in our state.
Salmon were made to move and they start while very young. In Idaho, baby salmon start spreading out soon after hatching out from their gravel nests in early spring to find good habitat. Some roam in summer looking for food and shelter. Here is a fish eye view of what that looks like.
The Lochsa River is managed as a wild steelhead refuge that does not allow steelhead fishing and does not have hatchery steelhead stocking. A number of other drainages across the state are manged the same way such as the Middle Fork Salmon, South Fork Salmon and Selway rivers to name a few.
See some differences between these two pictures? You may be wondering where all the logs came from in one of the pictures. Well, they were put there as part of a steelhead habitat restoration project to help make more complex habitat for fish living in the East Fork Potlatch River.
We are starting to see steelhead show up to Lower Granite Dam as summer Chinook are now slowing down. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game teams up with the US Corps of Engineers, and NOAA fisheries to gain information on fish bound for Idaho waters. The adult trap (pictured) allows the team to sample adult fish from the run as they are coming through the ladder.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game crew blocks off a section of stream to electrofish for wild steelhead. Electrofishing is a common survey method used to sample fish to determine what kinds of fish and how many of a given species are in a section of stream.