It's been an interesting salmon season, which is to be expected with lower-than-average adult returns. Here's why I find it interesting. The fishing recently turned on in the Main Salmon and it only took a few good days of fishing to shut it down. Then the fishing season reopened on the Little Salmon, and I expected the same thing to happen last weekend. But fishing wasn't great, so it's open again. That's obviously good news if you're a salmon angler, but the bad is there just aren't that many fish available. Fishing on the Little Salmon reopens Friday and will run through Sunday. Fishing opportunity is a good thing, but don't expect stellar fishing.
Now on to the South Fork of the Salmon River. Idaho Fish and Game announced Wednesday there will be a fishing season there starting Friday, July 5, and running through the Sunday, July 7. According to fisheries bureau chief Ed Schriever, they expect fish throughout the river system, so anglers should get a chance to catch a chinook. They also expect it will be a short season, so those three days of fishing may be your only chance. If more fish are available, there could be a second three-day season. Check fishandgame.idaho.gov for details.
Now some bad news. There will be no chinook fishing season on the Upper Salmon River, and hatcheries may not get enough fish for brood stock, Schriever said.
The Sawtooth hatchery near Stanley stands a fair chance of getting enough adults for egg production, but odds are against the Pahsimeroi hatchery refilling its egg supply. That could also mean some lean fishing in coming years, but let's hope for the best.