Salmon-free prime spawning habitat, headwaters of the Salmon River, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
All of the salmonid species in Idaho’s Salmon River are either endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Chinook and Red Salmon; Steelhead. No to mention Bull Trout. Some of the best spawning habitat is in the headwaters of the Salmon River, in the Sawtooth National Forest, and especially the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Back in 1995, the folks at the Sawtooth National Forest determined that the diversion of Salmon River waters for irrigation was causing death and injury to those fish. It happened in two ways: sometime the diversions lowered the water too much for the fish to be able to migrate upstream to their spawning bed. And the smolts, juvenile fish, migrating back to salt water would wind up in dead end irrigation channels, where they would die.
The Forest Service identified
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