Low steelhead returns mean no steelhead will be released into the Boise River for the first time in more than 20 years. It's an annual event that many anglers look forward to all year, but there aren't enough fish available at the trap in Hells Canyon to do it.
"We have been holding out hope that we would have enough steelhead to stock into the Boise River this week, but as trapping at Oxbow has progressed this fall, we have determined that we are not going to have enough surplus fish above broodstock needs to make it happen," Anadromous Fisheries Manager Chris Sullivan said.
Fish and Game fisheries managers have reduced the steelhead daily bag limit to one fish this year in the Snake and Salmon rivers to ensure there are enough fish to replenish hatcheries and support future steelhead runs. They expect they will have enough returning fish to meet broodstock needs despite an extremely low return.
This would mark the first time since 1997 that Fish and Game has not stocked steelhead into the Boise River, which has become a popular November tradition for anglers. Fisheries managers are hopeful that steelhead runs will improve next year and the program will continue.
Steelhead fishing remains open Salmon River and portions of the Snake River. To see open areas, see the current Steelhead Fishing Seasons and Rules.