fish.trapBoaters using Marsh Creek for spring access to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River need to be aware that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has installed a fish trap in Marsh Creek about 1.5 miles downstream from the launch at the bridge just off Highway 21.

Boaters sometimes use Marsh Creek to access the Middle Fork of the Salmon River instead offlying into a wilderness airstrip when the road to the Boundary Creek launch site is still blocked by snow. On May 6th, Fish and Game shifted the trap to allow more room for spring boaters.

Be aware there is an anchor cable across the creek about 10 feet above the water, and guy wires attached to the fish trap that allow it to be shifted in the current or to either side. The approach to the trap does not have any eddies for boaters to pull into. The Fish and Game has installed signs to help warn boaters about this new fish trap. The trap was installed in late March as part of an ongoing 20 year study of juvenile migratory fish moving downstream in Marsh Creek. A similar trap, located in Marsh Creek just upstream from the mouth of Cape Horn Creek, will continue trapping juvenile fish until 2014.

Marsh Creek is a challenging way to access the Middle Fork in the spring. From Highway 21, it’s approximately 15 river miles to Dagger Falls and Boundary Creek. The creek is fast, steep, technical, and prone to frequently changing natural hazards such as fallen trees and log jams. It has few eddies for boaters to stop in.

The  photo of the trap was taken after its position was shifted. Fish & Game intends to leave it in this position until the road to Boundary Creek opens up. They may shift it further to the left bank to avoid high water debris, but do not intend to move the trap any further right (towards mid-channel) until after the Boundary Creek access is open. As flows recede after high water, they plan to bring the trap back to its current location (shown below) but no further right. Then as flows continue to drop (and Boundary Creek opens up), they plan to move the trap into the deepest part of the channel.