Lamprey are native to Idaho waters and can still be found in low numbers in rivers and streams which also support ocean-going salmon and steelhead populations. As with our other Idaho anadromous fish, changes in river and ocean conditions have reduced current populations to a fraction of historic numbers. Juvenile lamprey (ammocetes) are often sampled in sediments along the Salmon and Clearwater rivers. Little is know about their ocean travel but we do know they can reside in Idaho from 5+ years before starting their migration.
Lamprey, in large numbers, can impact fish populations through predation.However, they are also a prey species for several native fish (bull trout and sturgeon) and were once a significant food source for Native Americans residing in Idaho.
The short answer is no. Years ago, the Kokanee fishery in Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir (SFCR) was integral to the fishing experience in the reservoir. In the late 90's we started to see a decline in angler catch rates. This decline continued to worsen over the next 5-7 years to the point where, despite stocking the same number and with the same stock of Kokanee, we saw no improvement in angler catch rates. We didn't want to give up, but we believed the predator load (Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northen Pike Minnow) simply ovewhelmed the stocked kokanee. So, we doubled stocking densities (at considerable costs) for 2 years and then monitored the fishery. No luck. They dissappeared, and the double stocking densities ocurred at considerable cost to the anglers (license dollars). At that point, we did not see the sense in spending license dollars feeding predators in SFCR, so we discontinued the program.
We have not revisited the hatchery stocking program since then, and have no reason to believe conditions have improved to where a hatchery kokanee based fishery would prosper.
We wish we could make it happen, but at this point in time, the precious hatchery kokanee are being used in fisheries known to produce kokanee fishing opportunities.
Please contact the region directly if you have additional questions or would like clarifications. 208-324-4359.
There is adifference between the Steelhead Permit and the 3-day Salmon/Steelhead. The 3-day Salmon/Steelhead is a 3-day Fishing License with a Salmon Permit and a Steelhead Permit. The Steelhead Permit cannot be purchased unless you have a Nonresident Fishing LIcense. As of the date this question is being answered (3/16/16) thetotal cost for a Nonresident Fishing License and the Steelhead Permit would be$124.00. These items would be good for the calendar year instead of just 3 days.
Yes, there are trout in Upper Clover Creek, King Hill Creek, and Salmon Falls Creek upstream from Lily Grade. These trout are native Redband Trout. They are relatively small and typically look slightly different than your standard hatchery Rainbow Trout. They typically have more red along their side (see link at the bottom of this email).
We do not stock any of those waters, so you should not expect to see hatchery Rainbow Trout or other Trout Species. There's a chance you might encounter a Brook Trout in the upper-most headwaters of Clover Creek, but it would be unlikely.
If you have further, or more specific questions, feel free to contact the fisheries staff in the Magic Valley Region at 208-324-4359.
Hi there, thanks for your question. Its great to hear that you are excited about steelhead fishing. Drift boats are a great way to chase these fantastic fish. Your options will be limited to your skills on the oars and where steelhead can currently be found. At this time of year (late winter), you best bet will be the Clearwater River near Kooskia near the confluence of the South Fork Clearwater. There are several easy floats from Kooskia down to Orofino. I suggest starting at Kooskia and floating down the Button Beach, or Kamiah. You could also float Kamiah to Long Camp. During the fall season (September - November) you should float the lower sections of the Clearwater from Cherry Lane to Lewiston.
For more access and boat ramp information for the Clearwater River, take a look at this very helpful guidebook pamphlet:
You could also try some sections of the main Salmon near Riggins. There is an easy float upstream of Riggins from Shorts Bar to Long Bar, and several downstream of Riggins as well. You may want to talk to a local tackle shop before heading out to get some better sense of the rapids in this area. There are some challenging spots that you don't want row a drift boat without being experienced.
Once you gain some more experience, check out the main Salmon around Challis and Salmon. These can be great spots and take just a little more skill, but are otherwise very drift boat friendly.
Good luck, and be sure to bring an extra oar, life jackets and typical safety gear.
Landlocked fall Chinook are placed in reservoirs like Lucky Peak, Deadwood and Anderson Ranch to control/prey uponkokanee salmon. They are a fish management tool we use to adjust the number of kokanee to prevent over-population - which results in stunting due to lack of food. Consequently, you should fish for Chinook at the same or slightly below where kokanee are found in the water column. You will definitely need down-riggers or heavy gear to fish at depths of 20+ feet during the spring and summer.
We've seen people catch fall Chinook on all different colors of gear. Keep in-mind,fall Chinookare preying on kokanee which are a silver to blue in color while in the reservoir. I would fish lures that are similar to those colors and mimic an eradic or flashy swimming pattern.
It depends on if the children (under 14 years of age) are residents of the State of Idaho or nonresidents.
Resident children (primary domicile/home)who havelived in Idaho for at least the past 6 months are considered residents and can possess their own daily bag limit of fish. They can even purchase a salmon or steelhead permit (without having a license) and have their own bag limit of these fish. If they don't purchase a salmon or steelhead permit, then fish they catch and keep need to be recorded on their parents permit and count against their parent's daily bag limit.
Nonresident children (under the age of 14) can fish without a license, but they must be accompanied by a licensed individual (resident or nonresident). Any fish the youth catches count on the licensed person's daily bag limit. Nonresident youth can purchase their own 3-day Salmon and Steelhead permit and have their own limit of salmon or steelhead caught within the 3-day period covered by the license.
River conditions are constantly changing, especially this time of year. There are a couple of different ways to get information on current river conditions:
1.) There are numerous stream flow gaugesthroughout the upper Salmon River basin that are operated by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and reported online (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/current/?type=flow)or try an internet search for "Idaho stream flows". While these gauges will report stream flow and give you a general idea of flow in relation to the long term average (high, low, normal), they do not report conditions such as water clarity, slush ice, etc.
2.) For current fishing conditions, contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game office in Salmon (208-756-2271) or try one of the license vendors in the Salmon Region found here: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/lookupVendors.cfm. Many of our license vendors are paassionate anglers as well, and will likely be able to give you up to date reports on current river conditions.
Let's look at the economics of the various license options.
You could buy a Nonresident Fishing license ($98.25) and a Nonresident Steelhead permit ($25.75) and fish all year for steelhead in Idaho. It would also give you the latitude to return in the fall and fish for steelhead at no additional cost. You could also fish for salmon in the spring or fall with an additional nonresident Salmon permit for $25.75.
If you want to buy 3-Day Salmon/Steelhead permits (includes a 3-day nonresident fishing license) they cost $25.75. You would need to purchase 3 individual permits for a total of $77.25 to fish for 7 days. If you go this "route," you might as well plan on a 9 day vacation rather than 7 days.
There have been a few fall Chinook that have passed out of Anderson Ranch Reservoir and caught downstream in Arrowrock Reservoir. However, the fish in your picture are not fall Chinook or coho. The fish in the bottom of the picture is clearly a rainbow trout while the upper fish appears to be a kokanee.
IDFGused to stock coho in many reservoirs across the southern part of Idaho but after several years of evaluation of return-to-creel results, we found few were being caught by anglers. Coho were replaced in our hatchery systems with other strains of rainbow trout and more kokanee production - fish that are caught by anglers. Our goal is to achieve a 40%+ harvestnumber for fish stocked at 9 - 12" in length.
Fall Chinook have been stocked numerous times over the years as a fish management tool to control excess numbers of kokanee. They are an aggressive predator on kokanee and, as a benefit, provide an outstanding fishery for anglers interested in catching larger fish. Deadwood Reservoir is another location where both kokanee and fall Chinook can be caught.
In the late winter and spring, steelhead can be found in the upper sections of most rivers open to steelhead fishing. This is usually February - April, but check the closure dates. In February-April, steelhead will be found in the Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Salmon River near Riggins, and the upper Salmon River from Salmon to Stanley. The Snake River bellow Hells Canyon dam is also popular at this time of year.
In the fall, steelhead begin to appear in Idaho in September. Lower sections of the Clearwater, and Snake rivers are best. Fishing picks up in October and November and steelhead can be found in the Salmon River near the towns of Riggins and as high as North Fork and Salmon.