Chinook salmon in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
The Middle Fork basin contains some of the best Chinook salmon habitat in the entire Columbia River basin. The Middle Fork Chinook salmon population has not been genetically altered by hatchery fish, a rarity in the continental United States for these fish.
In late summer-early fall, salmon prepare their spawning nests (redds) in the gravel at the bottom of the river, where they bury their eggs. The majority of these redds are created in the tributaries to the Middle Fork, but many are also built in the mainstem, and boaters and fishermen should avoid disturbing these nests.
Flagging is pulled late in the fall. Fall and spring boaters are asked to avoid disturbing these spawning sites by using the maps to avoid redd damage. Spring boaters are asked to avoid redds until mid-June, when the fry emerge from the redds.
Here's a picture of a redd at Ramshorn (the light spot in the middle of the photo).
In 1995, researchers began to document redds in the mainstem of the Middle Fork.
Information and Education for boaters about the spawning Chinook salmon and how to avoid disturbing spawning fish or damaging redds. Please read Sharing the River with the Chinook Salmon brochure.
Campsite closures may be implemented if a redd is established in such a way that boaters would have to disturb spawning fish or the redd to land or launch at that camp.
To see redd locations from previous years, click on these maps: