12 Mar 2008, 12:56pm
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Changes to Idaho Salmon Fishing

BY ROGER PHILLIPS, Idaho Statesman

Salmon anglers could see more salmon and changes to traditional fishing areas this spring and summer when chinook salmon return to Idaho.

Fish are just starting to enter the Columbia River and head upstream toward Idaho, but preseason predictions are for 83,550 hatchery chinook to cross Lower Granite Dam, which is the last dam before the fish reach Idaho. That would be four times more fish than returned in 2007 and the second highest return since 1975.

The bright forecast is prompting F&G to try to open a fishing season in April, well in advance of the fish arriving.

“We would like to open the season as soon as possible so the public can make preparations,” F&G’s anadromous fish manager Pete Hassemer said.

Anglers could see more fishing areas open on the South Fork of the Salmon River and the Upper Salmon, but fewer places on the Little Salmon River.

Private land on the Little Salmon River near the Swinging Bridge area has been posted after a new landowner bought the property. The landowner is still allowing some access on his property but not as much as the previously owner allowed, Hassemer said.

That could mean less access to the river and fewer parking and camping areas.

Changes could also be in store for summer salmon fishing on the South Fork of the Salmon River east of Cascade. Wildfires burned much of the river corridor last year, and Boise National Forest officials have asked F&G to reduce impacts to burned stream banks by spreading anglers over a wider area, Hassemer said. … [more]



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