10/03/2019 Fall Steelhead and Chinook Update

Hello everyone, we’ve been watching the dam and PTAGIS numbers and have enough new data to make an update.

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As you can see, we’ve got a spike here in late September at Lower Granite. Depending on a lot of factors, we’ve typically seen these fish showing up to Riggins in 5-15 days. The main group of steelhead we’re interested in are fish bound for the Sawtooth Hatchery (SWT) as PTAGed below:

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The count of SWT fish to the total (excluding fish bound for Lower Granite itself) is significant. SWT releases ~1.8 million steelhead smolt every year, and about ~50k are PTAGed (~3%). So with a large assumption of equal mortality across tagged and non-tagged fish, this would indicate about 700 steelhead pushing up in this single September group. That’s a lot of opportunity.

It was interesting to note that the SWT fish we’re fairly evenly dispersed throughout September. This could indicate multiple pods of fish coming up.

For chinook, tagged fish are as follows:

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As mentioned in our earlier report https://www.thelastresortoutfitter.com/salmon-river-report/2019/9/7/fall-chinook-update-09072019, we’re expecting Irrigon Hatchery fish returning to the Hammer Creek area (the hatchery who reared them). The tagged amount were extremely low, so we’re largely blind to when they’ll pass the dam. Our guess is they’re running up with fish destined for other areas, but going forward we’ll be testing this assumption when we have more data.

All in all, October should be a fantastic time to catch fish in the Riggins area. We’ll see you out there.

Colby Blair