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Chinook Seasons Set on South Fork, Upper Salmon

June 14, 2012 - 3:27pm -- idfg-vosborn

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Monday, June 11, approved Chinook fishing seasons on the upper Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers. The Chinook fishing season opens June 23 and continues until further notice from Fish and Game.

Seasons open June 23 on:

  • South Fork Salmon, lower – From the bridge on Forest Service Road (Lick Creek/East Fork South Fork Road) where it crosses the South Fork Salmon River main stem just upstream of the confluence with the East Fork South Fork Salmon River, upstream about 18 river miles to the Blackmare Creek pack bridge, accessible from the trailhead at Poverty Flat campground.
  • South Fork Salmon, upper – From Blackmare Creek pack bridge, accessible from the trailhead at Poverty Flat campground, upstream about 17 river miles south to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream from the Idaho Fish and Game South Fork Salmon River weir and trap.
  • Upper Salmon River, Stanley Area – From the State Highway 75 Salmon River bridge about 250 yards upstream of the mouth of the East Fork Salmon River upstream to the posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the weir and trap at Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley.

These waters would remain open until closed by further notice. Fishing hours on the South Fork will be from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on the upper Salmon from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Daily bag limits will be four Chinook, no more than two of which may be adults, and the possession limit will be 12 Chinook, no more than six of which may be adults. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon when daily, possession or season limits of adult salmon are reached, whichever comes first.

The season limit is 20 adult Chinook salmon statewide during 2012 salmon seasons occurring before September 1, 2012.

Adults are Chinook, 24 or more inches long and jacks are less than 24 inches long. Only salmon with a clipped adipose fin, as evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept. All adult Chinook that are caught and kept must be recorded on the angler’s salmon permit.

A brochure will be available before the start of the season. For additional information please consult the 2011-2012 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure, on the Fish and Game website at:

Weekly Chinook Update 6/13/12

June 14, 2012 - 3:20pm -- idfg-vosborn

To start, we are proposing NO CLOSURES in the Clearwater drainage or Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers fisheries this week.

In the Clearwater drainage effort and harvest dropped considerably last week (June 4 – June 10) resulting from increased flows and rainy weather. Last week the adult harvest in the Clearwater drainage was estimated to be less than 200 fish with the majority coming from the North Fork and South Fork Clearwater Rivers. Flows are dropping so hopefully effort and harvest jump back up. For those who fish the South Fork Clearwater the current estimate of hatchery adults that have entered is a little more than 2,000. For a chart on the running progress of the harvest and harvest share for the Clearwater drainage fishery, see below or click on 'read more.'


The adult harvest in lower Salmon around at Riggins and the Little Salmon rivers are finally picking up. Below is running progress of the harvest and harvest share for the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.

 Again, we are proposing NO CLOSURES in the Clearwater drainage or lower Salmon and Little Salmon river fisheries this week.

There are still a lot a fish to harvest so go get them while you can (just save a few for me). Stay tuned for next week’s updates. - Don Whitney, Clearwater Region Fisheries Biologist


Watchable Wildlife to grant nature backpacks to daycares

June 6, 2012 - 2:47pm -- idfg-daygen


The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Watchable Wildlife Program is accepting applications for the Idaho Nature Backpack Grant, which awards a nature backpack to preschools and child care facilities in Ada and Canyon Counties.

The backpacks will contain a variety of items to encourage daily outdoor exploration and physical activity, such as insect nets, binoculars, leaf printing kits, magnifying glasses, bug boxes, activity idea books, field guides, and more.

Each backpack kit is valued at approximately $250 and contains numerous items that can be used in any location.

Studies show children who play outside are healthier, have higher self-esteem, are good problem-solvers, have good self-discipline and do better in school.

Fifty grants will be awarded to qualified applicants in Ada and Canyon Counties during the pilot year of this program. Applicants must be a licensed year-round child care facility, a year-round home child care provider, or a preschool facility in Idaho.

Grants will be awarded to those who demonstrate a need and the commitment to use the items frequently.

More information and an application can be found online or by email ( Applications are due July 15, 2012. Backpacks will be awarded in the fall.

Peregrine chicks hatch in Downtown Boise

June 6, 2012 - 2:25pm -- idfg-daygen

Three peregrine falcon chicks hatched over the weekend in the nest box on the 14th floor of One Capital Center in downtown Boise.

The chicks weighed about 1½ ounces (40 grams) when they emerged from their shells. They will be full-grown when they leave the nest and by the time they fledge in July, the little fluff balls will be 18 inches tall and have a wingspan of more than 3 feet.

The adults will brood the chicks for about 10 days, depending on the weather. The young birds are not yet capable of regulating their own body temperatures, so they need the adults for warmth. The young ones also can huddle together to keep warm.

Full article on Idaho Statesman.

Weekly Chinook Update 6/5/12

June 5, 2012 - 4:35pm -- idfg-vosborn

Hi everybody.  It looks like people were catching fish about everywhere last week (May 28-June 3, 2012).  Hopefully there are a lot of happy anglers out there.  For those who like to fish the Clearwater River basin, I have some good news.  It appears that survival of migrating adults between Bonneville Dam and McNary Dam was higher than we typically see which has increased our projected harvest share to above 5,000 fish (see table below).  The bad news is survival for the Rapid River fish in this same reach appears lower than expected and has resulted in a lower projected harvest share estimate for these fish.  These differences in survival  are largely based upon when these runs migrated through the fisheries on the Columbia.  Rapid River fish came a little earlier this year which made them more susceptible to harvest.  The final harvest share estimate will be based on the number of fish that pass over Lower Granite Dam, so these harvest shares could still change some.  There was considerable harvest in the Lower Snake River (between Ice Harbor and Lower Granite) so we will have to wait and see how this influences our harvest share. (Click 'read more' for more information.)

Clearwater Weekly Harvest Summary 6/5/12

June 5, 2012 - 4:24pm -- idfg-vosborn

The North Fork of the Clearwater saw a 41 in/27lb Chinook harvested this weekend.  - Jaime Mils, Clearwater Region Fisheries

Clearwater River Drainage Chinook Salmon Kept     Angler Hours Hours per fish kept  Unclipped salmon released
  Adults Jacks Total      
Railroad Bridge to Cherrylane Bridge 224 81 305 5,802 19 9
Cherrylane Bridge to Orofino Bridge 258 0 258 4,176 16 57
North Fork Clearwater River 131 0 131 1,686 13 13
Orofino Bridge to Kooskia Bridge 49 5 54 1,317 24 20
Middle Fork Clearwater River 53 3 56 1,248 22 27
South Fork Clearwater River 103 0 103 1,271 12 61
Lochsa River 0 0 0 0 - 0

Clearwater River drainage

Week total

818 89 907 15,500 17 187

Clearwater River drainage

Chinook Limits Lowered on Clearwater

May 31, 2012 - 12:16pm -- idfg-vosborn

Hi all, one thing we have continually heard from anglers is that they would rather have lower limits and a longer season – ideally to last through 4th of July weekend.  Before the season began we projected that our harvest share for the Clearwater River drainage would be over 9,000 adult fish, and with that many fish we believed we could have a two-adult fish limit and the season would likely last until the beginning of July.  It is now apparent that non-tribal harvest share for adult Chinook salmon will be about 4,800 adult fish.  If we combine that with the fact that flows and water clarity have been favorable in the Clearwater system allowing for good fishing and high harvest rates, it seems evident that if the limits are not lowered we may not be able to make the season to last as long as the public desires.  As such, we are reducing the limit of adult Chinook salmon to 1 fish in all reaches of the Clearwater River basin except the South Fork Clearwater River and Lochsa River where anglers have had difficulties harvesting fish in the past.  This rule will take effect at the beginning of fishing hours on Saturday June 2nd.  This will change the daily limit to four salmon per day, only one (1) of which may be an adult. 

The Lochsa and South Fork Clearwater rivers will remain at four salmon per day, only two (2) of which may be adults.

I’d appreciate it if you could all help spread the word. 

Thanks for your help, and good luck fishing.

- Joe Dupont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager

Weekly Chinook Update 5/29/12

May 31, 2012 - 11:52am -- idfg-vosborn

Hi all.  I hope you have all had a chance to get out to and try and catch some fish.  There certainly has been a lot of effort and a bunch of fish caught this past week.

My phone has been inundated with calls this morning and the rumors are running rampant.  So, hopefully I can clear some things up for you with this update.

First of all, the non tribal harvest shares for adult Chinook salmon are listed below (4,724 for the Clearwater and 5,095 for the Riggins area).  They haven’t changed much since last week, but survival appears to be higher for the migrating salmon between Bonneville and Lower Granite than expected. We may see our harvest share increase some in the future, but not more than a couple hundred fish.  Regardless, there are a lot of fish out there to catch. (click 'read more' for chart and more informaiton.)

Weekly Chinook Update 5/24/12

May 24, 2012 - 4:21pm -- idfg-vosborn

Hi all, it looks like I need help with my ability to forecast the run size.  Unfortunately, I think we have gotten to the point where most of the adult Chinook salmon destined for the Clearwater Region have come over Bonneville Dam.  This means our harvest share will likely be somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 adult fish for the Clearwater River drainage and the Rapid River area.  Check out the table below (or click 'read more') to see where these fish are headed for based on PIT tags we have detected at Bonneville Dam.  


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