Steelhead Report for Clearwater Region
Steelhead fishing in the Clearwater Region was challenging this week with angler effort dropping some this week in comparison to the past several weeks. River conditions were less than ideal this week with cloudy conditions in much of the Clearwater and Snake and the rain didn’t not help either. Effort was down but not all of the anglers were deterred as anglers fished the Clearwater River from the Mouth to Orofino Bridge with the majority of effort located down river of Pink House access site.
The Salmon River had the greatest amount of effort throughout the section stretching from the little Salmon River to Vinegar Creek. The Salmon River had cloudy river conditions to contend with and as of Sunday conditions had achieved a point where there were only a hand full of anglers.
Despite the weather and river conditions anglers did get out on the water and attempted to harvest with the Clearwater having the greatest number of fish caught and released with 5 hours per fish caught on the mainstem and 4 hours per fish caught on the North Fork. Check Harvest Report for more details. - Ryan Allen, Fisheries Technician 2, Clearwater Region
Upper Salmon River Steelhead Report
Angler effort on the upper Salmon River was low at the beginning of the week, but the combination of warm weather and the Thanksgiving holiday led to an increase in effort over Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, the warm weather caused river conditions to deteriorate at the same time that effort increased. The only section that saw consistent effort over the week was downstream of North Fork in location code 15. Angler effort upstream of Salmon remained low. One bank angler reported harvesting a steelhead downstream of the Middle Fork in location code 14 which produced a harvest rate of 4 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of the Middle Fork in location code 15, interviewed anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 15 hours per steelhead kept. Interviewed anglers upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 117 hours per steelhead caught or kept.
Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 2,350 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 188% of average for today’s date. River temperatures actually rose over the past week and were in the low 40s by Sunday. The river’s visibility has been improving since Saturday when the high flows peaked, but as of Sunday the visibility was still cloudy. Check Harvest Report for more details. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician II,. Salmon Region