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Fish salvage order issued for section of Big Wood River

The salvage order, due to upcoming flow reductions, removes bag limits on a stretch of the river below Magic Dam as well as Richfield Canal.
Credit: Terry Thompson/Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game
The old railroad trestle 1.25 miles below Magic Dam on the Big Wood River.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Orders for a fish salvage on a portion of the Big Wood River below Magic Dam and Richfield Canal take effect Thursday, July 28, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission announced Monday.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says the Big Wood Canal Company recently notified the department that they would soon close the gates at Magic Dam. The closure will lead to substantial flow reductions or possibly the complete cessation of flow about 1 1/4 miles below the dam and the canal.

The gates are closing earlier than usual because of ongoing drought conditions in the Big Wood River basin. Mountain snow and rain in late spring improved conditions in many parts of Idaho, but the U.S. Drought Monitor updated on July 19 shows severe drought for parts of Blaine County and Butte County, and moderate drought elsewhere in those counties and in other nearby counties.

Effective July 28 and continuing until Oct. 1, 2022, the Fish and Game Commission has ordered that bag and possession limits be removed on portions of the Big Wood River from a point beginning at the railroad trestle, about 1.25 miles downstream of the dam, extending to the State Highway 75 bridge. That order also includes the Richfield Canal from the upstream point of diversion from the Big Wood River to its confluence with the Little Wood River near Richfield.

A valid 2022 fishing license is required to salvage the fish, which may be taken by any method except for firearms, explosives, chemicals or electric current.

IDFG reminds anglers that portions of the Richfield Canal may be on private property, and permission must be obtained from the owner prior to fishing in those areas.

The salvage order does not include the reservoir behind Magic Dam. Also, the Big Wood River in the area between Magic Dam and the trestle is not included in the salvage order, as the river has several springs that provide enough water to support fish populations.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game asks anyone with questions about the salvage order to contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359.

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