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The only “catch” is, salmon anglers have to be on their best behavior.
All property on both sides of the Little Salmon from its confluence with Rapid River downstream to milepost 193 is now private, but the 18-month lease targeting the west bank of this river reach will give anglers access to many coveted salmon fishing holes.
“The Department of Fish and Game is obviously pleased with the agreement we’ve reached with the landowner that continues to allow salmon and steelhead fishing access to the Little Salmon River across his private property,” Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore commented. “The continued use of this segment of the river relies on all of us honoring the access rules outlined in the agreement and respecting private property.”
The local landowner was equally pleased. “We are delighted to have worked with Fish and Game staff to develop this agreement,” property owner Ralph Sletager said. “The agreement provides great fishing access for the public and addresses our concerns as property owners.”
A Little Salmon River access map and rules brochure will soon be available on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, and also at the Lewiston, McCall and Nampa Fish and Game offices.
The new agreement contains these specific provisions regarding the leased property:
- Only fishing activities are allowed on the property and only between the hours of 5:00am and 10:30 pm. No camping or campfires are allowed.
- No garbage service is available. Anglers must pack in/pack out their trash.
- Anglers are allowed to wade and fish from the Little Salmon River/Rapid River Confluence downstream to where no trespassing signs are posted, approximately 300 feet south (upriver) of the River Ranch bridge spanning the Little Salmon River.
- Anglers may NOT cross the Little Salmon River from the leased property to access the river’s east bank.
- No discharge of firearms is allowed on the property.
- No watercraft may be launched on the Little Salmon River from the property.
- No commercial use is allowed on the property.
Even while this agreement remains in force, Fish and Game staff are working with the landowner to secure a long-term solution to fishing access along the Little Salmon River. “I can’t overstate the need for anglers to play by these rules and otherwise respect this private property,” Fish and Game wildlife habitat manager Jim White said. “Angler behavior in the weeks ahead will play a significant role in our ability to develop a far-reaching agreement with the landowner.”
Anglers are encouraged to police themselves during the upcoming salmon season. Fish and Game conservation officers, together with deputies from the Idaho County Sheriff’s office will be patrolling the area throughout the salmon season.
For more information regarding the upcoming salmon season on the Little Salmon River, please visit the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov or contact the Fish and Game Lewiston Office (208-799-5010), McCall Office (208-634-8137) or Nampa Office (208-465-8465).
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