East Fork South Fork Salmon River


The South Fork Salmon River is a 86-mile (138 km) tributary of the Salmon River in Idaho and Valley Counties in central Idaho. The river drains a rugged, lightly populated wilderness watershed in the Salmon River Mountains. It is the second largest tributary of the Salmon River, after the Middle Fork.

Beginning near 7,902-foot Monumental Peak in the Boise National Forest, the river flows generally north to its confluence with the Salmon near Mackay Bar, about 135 miles (217 km) above the larger river's mouth on the Snake River. About midway along its course, it is joined by its two main tributaries – the East Fork South Fork Salmon River from the east, and the Secesh River from the west. The river receives runoff from a total of 1,309 square miles (3,390 km2) of land, ranging in elevation from 9,322 feet at North Loon Mountain to 2,146 feet at the mouth of the river.

The South Fork is an important habitat for Chinook salmon, Westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout and steelhead trout and has been designated a critical habitat for salmon. Although aquatic habitat in the South Fork drainage is considered good as a whole, some tributaries have been damaged by logging, mining and road-building activities, which has increased the sediment load in the river. About 340 miles (550 km) of backcountry roads in the drainage have been decommissioned and are undergoing restoration by the U.S. Forest Service.

Plant communities in the South Fork drainage range from grassland and shrubland, Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and Grand fir forests at lower elevations, to subalpine fir, lodgepole pine, whitebark pine and aspen at mid to high elevations. Among large mammals, the watershed is home to Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, black bear, cougar, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and gray wolf. The area has over 200 confirmed species of resident and migratory birds.

WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Snake River Waterkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
CURRENT WEATHER
0°C
A mix of sun and clouds
MONITORING FREQUENCY

is sampled from 7 June to 30 August

SOURCE INFORMATION

TBD

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

East Fork South Fork Salmon River


WATER QUALITY
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . Snake River Waterkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
CURRENT WEATHER
0°C
A mix of sun and clouds

The South Fork Salmon River is a 86-mile (138 km) tributary of the Salmon River in Idaho and Valley Counties in central Idaho. The river drains a rugged, lightly populated wilderness watershed in the Salmon River Mountains. It is the second largest tributary of the Salmon River, after the Middle Fork.

Beginning near 7,902-foot Monumental Peak in the Boise National Forest, the river flows generally north to its confluence with the Salmon near Mackay Bar, about 135 miles (217 km) above the larger river's mouth on the Snake River. About midway along its course, it is joined by its two main tributaries – the East Fork South Fork Salmon River from the east, and the Secesh River from the west. The river receives runoff from a total of 1,309 square miles (3,390 km2) of land, ranging in elevation from 9,322 feet at North Loon Mountain to 2,146 feet at the mouth of the river.

The South Fork is an important habitat for Chinook salmon, Westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout and steelhead trout and has been designated a critical habitat for salmon. Although aquatic habitat in the South Fork drainage is considered good as a whole, some tributaries have been damaged by logging, mining and road-building activities, which has increased the sediment load in the river. About 340 miles (550 km) of backcountry roads in the drainage have been decommissioned and are undergoing restoration by the U.S. Forest Service.

Plant communities in the South Fork drainage range from grassland and shrubland, Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and Grand fir forests at lower elevations, to subalpine fir, lodgepole pine, whitebark pine and aspen at mid to high elevations. Among large mammals, the watershed is home to Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, black bear, cougar, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and gray wolf. The area has over 200 confirmed species of resident and migratory birds.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

is sampled from 7 June to 30 August

SOURCE INFORMATION

TBD

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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