For the week of August 19 thru August 25, 1998  

Portage rules in effect on Salmon River

Salmon begin spawning

Salmon have started spawning in the upper main Salmon River, triggering Forest Service restrictions on boating near historic salmon spawning areas.

The first redd, or nest, was spotted early Monday morning on the Buckhorn stretch of the river. Rafts and kayaks must now portage around Indian Riffles, a Chinook spawning area approximately three miles down river from Sun Beam Dam. Boats must also take out some 1.5 miles up river from the normal take out at Torrey’s Hole.

Two sections of the river remain open for floating: from Stanley to Indian Riffles to approximately 1.5 miles above Torrey’s Hole, with the portage around Indian Riffles. This portage requires boats to be transported about 0.5 mile by vehicle. Both portages and takeouts are well-signed.

These requirements are in addition to other rules implemented for salmon protection, including limiting the number of commercial outfitter and guide boats to eight per day and requiring the general public to obtain free, self-issued permits.

Floaters who violate requirements accumulate points, and if they exceed their point limit, the river will be closed to floating. Violations by public floaters resulted in an Aug. 25 closure.

"All of these requirements are being implemented in order to provide protection for the threatened Chinook salmon," said area ranger Paul Ries. "these fish have made one of the longest migrations on earth--990 miles--to return from the ocean to spawn and die in the upper Salmon River. We must do everything we can to provide the opportunity for the fish to complete their life cycle without interruption or harassment."

The Forest Service said that people who plan to float the 30-mile stretch of the upper main Salmon River between the State Fish Hatchery south of Stanley down river to the eastern boundary of the SNRA should contact the Stanley Ranger Station for up-to-date requirements at 774-3000.

This is the third year for portaging requirements. To date, 137 spring Chinook have reached the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery, upriver from Stanley.


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