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'Fish salvage' issued for Magic Reservoir due to drought conditions

The order was issued due to irrigation water being shut off following drought conditions at the Big Wood River.
Credit: Idaho Fish and Game

IDAHO, USA — Editor's note: the original version of this story included a description of the area of salvage which was inaccurate. The story has been updated with specific details of the area of salvage provided by Idaho Fish and Game.

Idaho Fish and Game (F&G) announced Monday that a 'fish salvage' for the Richfield Canal and the Big Wood River below Magic Dam is in effect. The order was issued due to irrigation water being shut off following drought conditions.

The Big Wood Canal Company notified F&G that the gates to the Magic Dam would close on June 10, causing flow reductions into the Big Wood River below the dam and Richfield Canal.

The gates were closed early due to ongoing regional drought conditions in the Big Wood River Basin. In a normal year, there is enough water to keep the gates open until the first weeks of October.

F&G issued the fish salvage order because there will not be enough water coming down the Big Wood River and Richfield Canal. Bag and possession limits are removed for a section downstream of the dam. That section begins at the railroad trestle approximately a mile and a quarter downstream of the dam, extending to the state Highway 75 bridge.

The salvage order also includes a section of the Richfield Canal stretching from the upstream point of diversion from the Big Wood River to its confluence into the Little Wood River, near Richfield, Idaho.

Anglers must have a valid 2021 fishing license and cannot use guns, chemicals or electric currents to catch the fish. 

In addition, F&G wants to remind anglers that some areas of Richfield Canal may be on private property and landowner permission must be given before accessing the area.

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