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Permits and Reservations for the Salmon River

Permits and Reservations:

A permit is required year round for all types of approved watercraft to be on the Wild and Scenic Salmon River. The permitted area begins at the Corn Creek Launch Site and ends at Long Tom Bar (about ½ mile above Vinegar Creek boat ramp) for a total of 77.6 miles. To obtain a permit visit  www.recreation.gov.

  • Lottery Control Season (6/20 – 9/7):Reservations for private floating permits during the lottery control season, June 20th – September 7th, are initially assigned by a randomized lottery. Applications are accepted annually from December 1 through January 31on http://www.recreation.gov/. After the lottery has allocated reservations, any cancelled dates are released during a two-hour booking window, which opens daily at 8 am Mountain Time. All successful lottery reservations must be accepted and confirmed by March 15th. All reservations are required to pay a portion of their recreation fees as confirmation (a minimum of $4 will confirm a reservation for one person, one day).  Unconfirmed reservations will be released on March 16th.  No more than 8 floating permits are issued per day during the control season – maximum length of stay is based on party size, and does not exceed 8 days.
  • Pre/Post Seasons:Launch dates before (January 1st – June 19th) and after (September 8th – December 31st) the lottery control season can be reserved beginning October 1 at 8 am Mountain time. For the 2019 pre/post season reservations, the start date for 2019 will be delayed from the typical October 1st opening. The specific date will be determined by September. There are no limits to the number of float boats or powerboats allowed during the non-control season. Float boat and jet-boat reservations/permits are obtained through http://www.recreation.gov/ (search Salmon River (4 Rivers) for float boat reservations and Main Salmon River (powerboat) for jet-boat permits). Float boaters, Corn Creek is not always staffed pre/post season.  Please contact the North Fork Ranger District at 208-865-2700 before you launch to inquire about where your permit will be issued.


  • Commercial outfitters are initially allocated a total of 330 launch dates during the lottery control season and may also reserve pre/post season launch dates. To see a listing of these outfitters, click  here.
  • Cancelled reservations: Any cancelled lottery reservations (private and commercial) are released during a two-hour booking window, which opens daily at 8 am Mountain Time, through http://www.recreation.gov/.  

Permits are non-transferable.

Jet-boats:  Non-commercial powerboats are limited to no more than six (6) boats on the Salmon River at one time, with a maximum stay length of 7 days per boat. Permits are allocated using a reservation system centered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations and payments are accepted beginning the 1st of June through the end of the control season through www.recreation.gov Questions please contact Salmon River Ranger District, (208) 839-2211. 

Boaters floating the South Fork and exiting onto the Salmon must obtain a permit from the Krassel Ranger District, 208-634-0600.  South Fork floaters who exit the Salmon on the same day they enter the river corridor do not need a Salmon permit.  If you intend to stay within the river corridor for more than a day, you must obtain a permit through www.recreation.gov and contact the North Fork Ranger District, 208-865-2700, to arrange for permit pick-up.

The National Recreation Reservation Service processes all river lottery applications, reservations, cancellations and payments for float trips. To look for available dates, visit their website at www.recreation.gov and search for Salmon River (4 Rivers), or call 1-877-444-6777.