Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Sports & Recreation

The first two sockeye salmon to make it home from the Pacific Ocean in 2017 have arrived in the Stanley Basin. It’s a rough year for the fish.

A naturally produced fish showed up July 27 and a hatchery-raised sockeye made it on August 2. Idaho Fish and Game is hoping another 150 fish make it to Stanley this year. The fish have to travel 900 miles over several dams to make it from the ocean to Idaho.

So far this year, 225 of the fish have made it as far as Lower Granite Dam near Lewiston. They still have another 400 miles to go to get to their Stanley spawning grounds.


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Americans are passionate about their public lands, and places like the Frank Church Wilderness and its iconic watershed serve as a vivid example of how significant the impact of a transfer to State control could be to the paddling community. According to the Outdoor Alliance, some 43 percent of paddling in the 11 Western states primarily targeted for land transfer legislation occurs on public lands, as does 71 percent of the climbing. Public lands in those states harbor 12,659 miles of public mountain biking trails and 193,500 miles of hiking trails. Public lands provide access to dozens of rivers, including such classics as the Salmon, Selway, Colorado, Green, Yellowstone, Yampa, Rogue, Arkansas and American. Access to those and many more rivers could be lost in a blink.

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MISSOULA, Mont. - UPDATE: Evacuations ordered, pre-evacuation notices issued in Granite County. 

The Granite County Sheriff's Office confirms evacuations have been ordered for homes in the Brewster Creek area due to activity from a lightning-sparked 800-acre fire. Pre-evacuation notices are being given for the Lower Rock Creek area.

Granite County says all traffic for nonresidents on Rock Creek Road south of Clinton will be turned away.

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"Snowpocalypse 2017" may feel like a distant memory, but anglers and businesses that cater to them are still feeling the effects. 

The swollen rivers resulting from the melting snow made the migration from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho difficult for Chinook salmon. This year's salmon return is less than half of the 10-year average. 

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Editor’s note: Research, tenacious advocates and $16 billion have lifted Columbia salmon from the brink of extinction. But the Northwest has yet to figure out a sustainable long-term plan to save the fish that provide spiritual sustenance for tribes, food for the table, and hundreds of millions of dollars in business and ecological benefits. This is part of a special series of reports exploring whether salmon can ultimately survive.

Just one of the three pods of endangered southern resident killer whales has shown up this year in the Salish Sea near the San Juan Islands northwest of Seattle, their summer home as long as researchers have followed them since 1976.

Off Site Article: 

Salmon, ID – The Salmon-Challis National Forest has contracted for road maintenance work (Magnesium-Chloride application) to portions of the Salmon River Road. The portion of the Salmon River Road includes the section between the Spring Creek and Corn Creek. The crews are expected to move to the area on the 10th of July. Tentatively, the Salmon River Road will be treated between July 11th and 12th. Expect heavy truck traffic and equipment working the roads during these periods. Short delays are possible. Roads may be very wet and slippery during the application process so please use caution as you travel through the project area. Slow speeds will minimize the amount of mud that vehicles pick up. These investments in priority road maintenance activities would not be possible without utilizing collected fees from the public and Forest users. The schedule is tentative and weather dependent. For more detailed information as the dates approach please call the Public Lands Center in Salmon at 208-756-5100.

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An environmental group and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to a deal to help fish in the Salmon River. In 2016, the Western Watersheds Project sued the Forest Service in U.S. District Court in Boise, saying cattle grazing was hurting salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the upper East Fork of the Salmon River. The group claimed the Service was violating the Endangered Species Act because grazing on two allotments were hurting spawning habitat. The 100 square miles in question are in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the new White Clouds Wilderness. The agreement, which resolves the lawsuit, says no domestic livestock can use the land this year and in 2018. The Forest Service will also reassess the future of grazing on the areas in question. Western Watersheds says this will allow the riverbank and vegetation to heal and help more fish survive.

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RIGGINS, ID - LOWER SALMON - The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office today received a report of a person finding a medical item belonging to a missing Boise man.  According to a press release, the item was located yesterday approximately five miles north of Riggins on the bank of the Salmon River. The family of 54-year-old John “Randy” French confirmed the item belongs to him.

"The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office is now focusing search efforts in the area between the Lake Creek Bridge (MP 6 Salmon River Rd.) and Fiddle Creek (Hwy 95 MP 200.5)," officials say.

Many family and friends of French have responded to the area to assist in the search and are hopeful he will be located soon.

French, who was driving a 2004 maroon Chevrolet Avalanche pickup, left Boise on June 29th to go fishing in the Riggins area and was due home on July 1st.  The last place he was known to have been seen was in the Salmon Rapids Lodge Parking lot on the 29th.

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