Payette National Forest
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  • Fishing

    Welcome to the Payette National Forest's Recreational Fishing Site.  Is your preference for rivers or do you prefer a hike up to a high elevation lake? A steelhead season on the Salmon River along the Forest's northern boundary or fishing for trout in the high mountain lakes?  

    The Payette National Forest contains about 400 lakes and reservoirs and 4000 miles of fish-bearing streams. About forty-six different species of fish inhabit our waters. They vary from warm water bass, crappies, and catfish in Hell’s Canyon Reservoir to native and introduced salmonids in colder waters. Native species, such as northern pikeminnow, mountain whitefish, and suckers, provide diversions from trout fishing. The Snake and Salmon Rivers contain white sturgeon that are regulated as a catch and release fishery.

    The fishing opportunities abound so every angler is sure to find the fishing just to their liking. Numerous developed campsites are located in close proximity to some hot fishing spots. If you prefer a more remote experience, pack your float tube and waders and head up trail to one of the many high mountain lakes.

    Enjoy fishing areas that the Idaho Fish & Game Department manage as trophy lakes for a chance to catch and release a fish that will become one of your campfire stories. Visit the Idaho Fish and Game website for state regulations.

    Come visit us on the Payette National Forest and take home with you a fishing experience.   

    Click below to see what recreation areas are open for lake and pond fishing and river and stream fishing.