Steelhead angler effort on the upper Salmon River began to shift upstream during the past week. The highest amount of angler effort was observed near the Pahsimeroi River confluence in location code 17. Angler effort downstream of North Fork decreased compared to last week's report, and angler effort upstream of Challis continued to increase.
The best catch rates for the week were reported by anglers upstream of the East Fork in location code 19. Anglers interviewed within this area averaged 14 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 14 averaged 21 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed downstream of North Fork in location code 15 averaged 70 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of the Lemhi River in location code 16 averaged 39 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed downstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location code 17 averaged 40 hours per steelhead caught. No anglers interviewed downstream of the East Fork in location code 18 reported catching a steelhead.
On Sunday, the Salmon River had cloudy visibility in all areas downstream of the East Fork and clear visibility upstream of the East Fork. Afternoon water temperatures ranged from the low 50s downstream of North Fork to the mid-40s near Stanley. River flows increased throughout the week, and currently the Salmon River is flowing at 1,300 cfs through the town of Salmon, which is 108 percent for today's date.
As of Friday, March 25, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery has trapped 238 adipose-clipped steelhead. Any anglers that would like more information about the Pahsimeroi Hatchery are encouraged to call 208-876-4475 to listen to a voice message that is updated weekly to provide the public with information regarding trap numbers and steelhead carcass distribution to local charities.
Additionally, the Sawtooth Hatchery has started to trap steelhead, but the precise number will not be known until the steelhead are counted during the first spawning day on Thursday, March 31. The hatchery will give away spawned steelhead to the public beginning March 31. Steelhead will be available Mondays and Thursdays on a first-come first-served basis until spawning is completed for the year. The public can pick up a numbered tag at the hatchery's spawning facility between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., with steelhead to be given away at 2 p.m. For more details, visit Sawtooth Hatchery’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sawtooth.hatchery or call 208-774-3684 for a recording of the give-away process.
Anglers are reminded that the Idaho Fish and Game Commission changed the steelhead daily bag limit for the spring 2022 steelhead season on the Salmon, Little Salmon, and Snake rivers to 2 fish per day, 6 in possession. These changes went into effect on January 1 and only apply to the to the 2022 spring steelhead season.