More than 100 volunteer anglers were recruited to fish the South Fork Clearwater River from Stites to Mount Idaho by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, with assistance from the Nez Perce Tribe, to help catch and collect adult steelhead from the South Fork Clearwater River for hatchery spawning needs.
Using rods and reels, the volunteers placed hatchery steelhead they caught into perforated holding tubes in the water at popular fishing areas. Personnel from Fish and Game’s Clearwater hatchery then collected the steelhead and transported them to the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery where they were held until spawning.
The fishing project began in late February and the goal of collecting 225 spawning pairs was completed by March 7. The fish have been spawned, and if all goes as planned, this will allow the release of about 1.2 million juvenile steelhead — called smolts — into the South Fork the spring of 2016.