Fish Rap: Rivers are dropping and salmon arriving

rphillips@idahostatesman.comJune 12, 2014 

If you haven't figured out already, Saturday is Free Fishing Day. Let's hope you've read enough about that already.

Here's some other intel that might interest you. The South Fork of the Boise River is probably flowing about 600 cfs today, up from 300 cfs it's been flowing since reopening for fishing Memorial Day weekend. It will stay at 600 cfs until late June or early July and then return to typically summer flows of about 1,000 cfs.

Snake River flows below Swan Falls Dam will likely double by the weekend and flow around 8,000 cfs. If you're a boater, that gives you a little more cushion from the rocks.

The Salmon River flow is dropping and the chinook are arriving. Anglers had caught about 1,400 fish by mid week for the season.

The Rapid Hatchery had 309 chinook return to the trap by Wednesday, and 181 of those arrived Tuesday. So there's your signal the bulk of the salmon run is starting to arrive.

If you're not there soon, don't complain if Fish and Game shuts down the season before you get there. When fishing gets hot, the quota can go fast. No telling whether that will happen, but if you love salmon fishing, don't risk it.

If you happen to miss it, the chinook season on the South Fork of the Salmon River and the upper Salmon River will open June 21.

Chinook fishing on the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam also continues, but F&G is showing pretty modest catch rates there. But that could change if an influx of fish arrives.

Free-flowing rivers are starting to drop, so keep your eyes open for more trout fishing.

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