Lower Salmon River

White Bird, Idaho

SWIMMING IS UNADVISABLE DUE TO HIGH WATER LEVELS AND UNSAFE RUNOFF

Lower Salmon River at Twin Bridges Access near Whitebird, ID

The Salmon River is located in Idaho in the northwestern United States. The Salmon is also known as The River of No Return. It flows for 425 miles (684 km) through central Idaho, draining a rugged, thinly populated watershed of 14,000 square miles (36,260 km2) and dropping more than 7,000 feet (2,134 m) between its headwaters, near Galena Summit above the Sawtooth Valley in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and its confluence with the Snake River. Measured at White Bird, its average discharge is 11,060 cubic feet (313 m3) per second. It is one of the largest rivers in the continental United States without a single dam on its main stem.

Cities located along the Salmon River include Stanley, Clayton, Challis, Salmon, Riggins, and White Bird. Redfish Lake and Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, which flow into the river via Redfish Lake Creek, are the terminus of the longest Pacific sockeye salmon migration in North America.

North of Salmon, the river is joined by the North Fork, before turning west into over 200 miles of continuous canyons through the Salmon River and Clearwater Mountains – some of the most rugged and isolated terrain in the contiguous United States. Exhibiting upwards of 7,000 feet of vertical relief, the Salmon River canyons are some of the deepest in the US, surpassing the Grand Canyon and second only to the Snake River's Hells Canyon on the Idaho–Oregon border. Here, the river is joined by its two largest tributaries, the Middle Fork and South Fork.

Several national forests and Sawtooth National Recreation Area provide for numerous recreation opportunities within the river's watershed. Two segments (the Middle Fork and Main Fork) are protected as National Wild and Scenic Rivers. The Middle Fork was one of the original eight rivers designated in 1968, and is often considered the "crown jewel" of the Wild and Scenic system.

The Salmon is a popular destination for whitewater kayaking, canoeing and rafting. The canyons of the Salmon allow for magnificent views of the complex geology of the region. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area includes one of the deepest canyons in the continental United States, which at roughly 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of vertical relief, is deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The Salmon River historically produced 45% percent of all the steelhead (trout) and 45 percent of all the spring and summer chinook salmon in the entire Columbia River Basin. The Salmon River basin contains most (up to 70 percent) of the remaining salmon and steelhead habitat in the Columbia River Basin. Despite the abundant salmon habitat in the river, these fish have been declining, in large part because of the effects of four federal reservoirs and dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers.

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
14°C
Clear
MONITORING FREQUENCY

is sampled from 7 June to 30 August

SOURCE INFORMATION

There is currently very limited water quality monitoring of Idaho's inland swim sites. The federal Beach Act does not cover freshwater or riverine beaches, and states in the Basin do not monitor Snake River swimming beaches or recreational access sites.

As part of its Water Quality Program, Snake River Waterkeeper monitors water quality at more than 100 sites on the Snake River and its tributaries for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity/conductivity/total dissolved solids, ammonia, and nitrates. Data are collected at sample sites June-October and assigned safety ratings based on comparison to EPA's Recreational Water Quality Criteria for Human Health:

pH: 5 – 9 µg/L
Salinity/Conductivity/Total Dissolved Solids: 500 mg/L
Nitrates: 10 mg/L

A site is marked Green when single sample results meet all Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Red when the results are equal to or above Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Grey when there are no current results or no available information.
Sites found to exceed EPA's Aquatic Health Criteria are noted in site descriptions.

While criteria measured are useful indicators of contamination, there are many other potential sources of pollution that are not reflected in our Swim Guide, including E.coli and other bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and pesticides that harm aquatic life.

Download the free app for smartphone and learn about Swim Guide 3.0 at www.theswimguide.org. To learn more about our efforts to protect and restore the Snake River's water quality, visit www.snakeriverwaterkeeper.org.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Lower Salmon River

White Bird, Idaho

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
14°C
Clear

SWIMMING IS UNADVISABLE DUE TO HIGH WATER LEVELS AND UNSAFE RUNOFF

Lower Salmon River at Twin Bridges Access near Whitebird, ID

The Salmon River is located in Idaho in the northwestern United States. The Salmon is also known as The River of No Return. It flows for 425 miles (684 km) through central Idaho, draining a rugged, thinly populated watershed of 14,000 square miles (36,260 km2) and dropping more than 7,000 feet (2,134 m) between its headwaters, near Galena Summit above the Sawtooth Valley in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and its confluence with the Snake River. Measured at White Bird, its average discharge is 11,060 cubic feet (313 m3) per second. It is one of the largest rivers in the continental United States without a single dam on its main stem.

Cities located along the Salmon River include Stanley, Clayton, Challis, Salmon, Riggins, and White Bird. Redfish Lake and Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, which flow into the river via Redfish Lake Creek, are the terminus of the longest Pacific sockeye salmon migration in North America.

North of Salmon, the river is joined by the North Fork, before turning west into over 200 miles of continuous canyons through the Salmon River and Clearwater Mountains – some of the most rugged and isolated terrain in the contiguous United States. Exhibiting upwards of 7,000 feet of vertical relief, the Salmon River canyons are some of the deepest in the US, surpassing the Grand Canyon and second only to the Snake River's Hells Canyon on the Idaho–Oregon border. Here, the river is joined by its two largest tributaries, the Middle Fork and South Fork.

Several national forests and Sawtooth National Recreation Area provide for numerous recreation opportunities within the river's watershed. Two segments (the Middle Fork and Main Fork) are protected as National Wild and Scenic Rivers. The Middle Fork was one of the original eight rivers designated in 1968, and is often considered the "crown jewel" of the Wild and Scenic system.

The Salmon is a popular destination for whitewater kayaking, canoeing and rafting. The canyons of the Salmon allow for magnificent views of the complex geology of the region. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area includes one of the deepest canyons in the continental United States, which at roughly 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of vertical relief, is deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The Salmon River historically produced 45% percent of all the steelhead (trout) and 45 percent of all the spring and summer chinook salmon in the entire Columbia River Basin. The Salmon River basin contains most (up to 70 percent) of the remaining salmon and steelhead habitat in the Columbia River Basin. Despite the abundant salmon habitat in the river, these fish have been declining, in large part because of the effects of four federal reservoirs and dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

is sampled from 7 June to 30 August

SOURCE INFORMATION

There is currently very limited water quality monitoring of Idaho's inland swim sites. The federal Beach Act does not cover freshwater or riverine beaches, and states in the Basin do not monitor Snake River swimming beaches or recreational access sites.

As part of its Water Quality Program, Snake River Waterkeeper monitors water quality at more than 100 sites on the Snake River and its tributaries for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity/conductivity/total dissolved solids, ammonia, and nitrates. Data are collected at sample sites June-October and assigned safety ratings based on comparison to EPA's Recreational Water Quality Criteria for Human Health:

pH: 5 – 9 µg/L
Salinity/Conductivity/Total Dissolved Solids: 500 mg/L
Nitrates: 10 mg/L

A site is marked Green when single sample results meet all Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Red when the results are equal to or above Human Health Criteria.
A site is marked Grey when there are no current results or no available information.
Sites found to exceed EPA's Aquatic Health Criteria are noted in site descriptions.

While criteria measured are useful indicators of contamination, there are many other potential sources of pollution that are not reflected in our Swim Guide, including E.coli and other bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and pesticides that harm aquatic life.

Download the free app for smartphone and learn about Swim Guide 3.0 at www.theswimguide.org. To learn more about our efforts to protect and restore the Snake River's water quality, visit www.snakeriverwaterkeeper.org.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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