Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First Fall Steelhead Weekly Report

The fall steelhead season began in early October from Salmon, Idaho, down river to Corn Creek.  IDFG Salmon Region Fisheries Technician Brent Beller released his first weekly report of the 2012 fall season Monday, October 8th.    Beller's reports will continue until December 3rd. As of  this past weekend, 121 anglers creels were checked.  Altogether 19 steelhead were caught, eight of which were kept.  Anglers checked reported spending a grand aggregate total of 472 hours fishing. That equates to over 24 hours per fish caught.

Here in italics is what he had to say for the first fall steelhead report:

"Idaho Department of Fish and Game technicians began creel activities for the upper Salmon River steelhead fishery on October 4th. Since then, we have observed steelhead caught from Salmon downstream to Corn Cr. None of the river sections were very busy this weekend and many holes were left open. The majority of anglers were found in section 15 between the North Fork and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Section 15 also had the best hours per fish caught at 13 hours. Section 16 was a ways behind at 37 hours. With more steelhead moving into the sections every day, though, we expect the catch rates to only improve as we move into mid-October. Along with better catch rates, more anglers are also expected. Section 17 received very limited effort this past weekend and no data was collected. We will begin regular creel activities in section 17 this week, and that data will be included in the weekend report next Monday.

Two other things that are worth getting the word out on are the river level and the condition of the river corridor downstream of North Fork. First, the water level of the Salmon River is quite low for this time of year. As of today, it is 78% of normal just downstream of Cove Cr. I would suggest using smaller weights than last year because the current in most holes is much weaker than a year ago when it was above average. The second issue I wanted to discuss was the Mustang Fire. While the vast majority of the north side of the river corridor in section 15 did burn this summer, it was primarily an understory burn on the slopes near the river. Very few trees were lost on those slopes and in some places it is already difficult to see where the fire burned through. It is my hope that anglers will not be deterred from fishing in section 15 because, in most places, it is just as scenic as ever. Hope everyone has a great week."

(Click on the graphic below to see a much more readable version.)

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