Fish Rap: Low flows for the stream fishing opener

rphillips@idahostatesman.comMay 22, 2014 

This should be a good opener for stream fishing on Saturday because some of the most popular rivers are lower than usual.

That's good news for waders, but bad new for boaters going to the South Fork of the Boise River.

Typically the river is flowing higher for the opener, but according to Melissa Jayo, spokesperson for the Bureau of Reclamation, the agency is keeping flows at 300 cfs until around June 1.

Repairs need to be done on Anderson Ranch dam's outlet, she said, so the bureau is trying to hold enough water to go over the spillway. The reservoir needs to be at about 4,174 elevation to spill; it's currently at about 4,167. Full pool is 4,196.

The bureau plans to increase flows to between 1,600 and 2,000 cfs around June 1, but that depends on whether the reservoir fills enough to run over the spillway by that date.

Camping remains closed in the South Fork between Anderson Ranch Dam and Danskin Bridge due to last summer's wildfires in the area, as well as mudslides in the canyon in September.

Silver Creek will also reopen on Saturday, and flows there and on the Big Wood are lower than usual. Not sure what that means for Silver Creek. Will fish be a little more gullible because they haven't seen a fly in months, or wary because the water is low and clear? Guess you will have to fish it and find out.

The Owyhee River, while open year round, is flowing at 123 cfs, which is also a little lower than normal for May.

But don't expect low water on all rivers. The Salmon River is running about 49,000 cfs at Whitebird, and the Clearwater about 43,000 cfs at Peck.

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