Why Not a Steelhead Season
by ID Fish & Game
Question: We have a salmon season on the South Fork of the Salmon River.
Why don't we have a steelhead season there as well?
Answer: The South Fork of the Salmon River is one of four large streams in Idaho that are managed as "wild" steelhead streams.
Fish and Game's goal is to preserve the unique qualities of the stocks that are returning to these rivers to spawn. Unfortunately, we don't have enough wild steelhead returning to justify allowing anglers to fish for them specifically.
We are still learning about the effects of hatchery fish on wild stocks, and there is some evidence that introducing hatchery steelhead may interfere with that goal.
The other three large streams that are managed as "wild" steelhead streams are the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the Lochsa River and the Selway River.
There are numerous other small drainages that are also managed to preserve the wild qualities of native steelhead stocks.
Ask Fish and Game is a regular Saturday feature in Idaho Outdoors. Questions and answers are provided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
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