ATVs shred redds

  If endangered salmon trying to reach central Idaho didn't have enough to worry about, now they need to dodge tires. Over the Labor Day weekend, drivers of all-terrain vehicles blasted through two miles of prime spawning grounds for salmon and bull trout along the upper Salmon River. The marauders tore up gravel and algae in the stream and damaged streambanks near Galena Summit.


Officials at the nearby Sawtooth Fish Hatchery fear that two wild female chinooks may have spawned in the now-damaged stretch. Three years ago, three salmon spawning nests, called redds, were found in the same area. The two fish were the only native females that have reached the hatchery this year, along with 35 other spring/summer chinook, a record low.


"It's unfortunate that this type of behavior reflects badly on all ATV users," said Paul Ries, a ranger for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Ries said they have not caught the vandals. "Warren Cornwall