Idaho fish managers have found another way to track juvenile Chinook in the Salmon and Lemhi rivers.

Tracking thousands of tiny salmon is no easy task, Mike Demick, easement specialist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said. But knowing where they prefer to live and how far they move and survive is invaluable information.

Antennae have been placed along the banks of the upper Salmon River to track juvenile fish, Demick said. An applied biological services team from Biomark is collaborating with Fish and Game to track the fish via radio telemetry.

Each fall many of the young salmon in the Lemhi River move into the Salmon River. Little has been known about their winter behavior, prior to the fish migrating to the ocean in the spring. So, tiny radio tags have been surgically implanted in young salmon collected from rotary screw traps in the Lemhi River. Those fish were released back into the river and can now be tracked.

The fish will be tracked by the seven stationary antennae along the Lemhi River and another seven in the Salmon River between the city of Salmon and Corn Creek. Recording the movement of the fish will allow biologists to estimate the travel times and survival of the fish, he said. The information will be used to help restore and conserve fish habitats.