The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will, once again, be seeking help from the public in early March to collect adult hatchery steelhead for brood stock from the South Fork Clearwater River.
The goal of this program is to evaluate whether brood stock collected from the South Fork will result in increased runs of steelhead to this river in the future. Currently, the brood stock for the South Fork Clearwater River is collected at Dworshak Hatchery.
IDFG hopes to collect nearly 120 hatchery steelhead in about a week.
Considering an estimated 8,000 hatchery adult steelhead headed toward the South Fork Clearwater River crossed Lower Granite Dam this season, removing 120 fish for brood stock should have little or no impact on anglers' chances of harvesting fish.
Last spring, the public assisted IDFG in collecting about 100 hatchery origin steelhead for brood stock. This effort produced more than 200,000 smolts that will be released into the South Fork Clearwater River this spring.
When the smolts released this year return as adults, IDFG will be able to evaluate whether they returned at a higher rate than returning adults whose parents were captured at Dworshak Hatchery.