Starting Saturday, Aug. 15, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area will enact seasonal closures to float boating and float fishing along the Salmon River to protect spawning salmon as they lay their eggs in the river gravel.
From Saturday until Sept. 23, the river will be closed to float boating from the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery to Stanley, Mormon Bend Campground to Yankee Fork Road, and Torrey’s Boat Ramp to the SNRA eastern boundary below Holman Creek.
Two popular salmon fishing sites—Indian Riffles and Torrey’s Hole boat ramp—will also be closed to fishing starting Saturday. From Aug. 29 through Sept. 2, boaters will be required to portage Indian Riffles and Torrey’s Hole.
The entire river will close to float boating and float fishing the following day, Sept. 3, and will reopen on Sept. 23, the SNRA stated.
Female salmon lay their eggs in clean gravel after building a nest (or redd) using their tail fins to excavate gravel. The sockeye salmon spawning in the Sawtooth Basin this summer will have spent up to five years in the Pacific Ocean and migrated 900 miles through river corridors and dams, climbing 6,500 feet in elevation before returning home to their birthwaters.