Clearwater Blog

2015 Spring & Summer Chinook Salmon Return Estimates

Get your salmon fishing pole tuned-up and your boat ready to hit the water. Biologists have made their preseason forecasts for the 2015 Chinook salmon returns to Idaho.

Early indications show more adult Chinook salmon returning in 2015 than we saw in 2014 - which ranks as one of the best Chinook fishing seasons in years.

Steelhead Fishing on the Clearwater River - December 2014

The CORP of Engineers will be doing some tests on Dworshak Dam on Dec 18 between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM. During these tests, they will fluctuate releases between 1,600 and 5,500 cfs. This will cause water levels in the North Fork Clearwater and main Clearwater rivers to fluctuate up to 1-foot per hour. After the testing, releases from Dworshak Dam will return to a normal operation of 1,600-cfs. If you plan to fish the Clearwater or North Fork on the 18th , please be aware of these operational changes.

 

By the way, fishing was excellent last weekend in the Clearwater River with average catch rates of 5 hrs/fish. I suspect that after the steelhead have a chance to settle back down after these flow changes that fishing will be good - maybe even better.

 

Good luck fishing and be safe.

Open Houses for 2015 Proposals for Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat

Idaho Fish and Game is proposing changes for the 2015 Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat seasons and will be holding open houses in several locations throughout the state.

Please join us at your convenience at any open house and give us your thoughts on the proposals.

See the list below for times and locations in your area. This table will update as events become available.

Date and TimeLocation
December 15, 2014
8:00 am to
6:00 pm
Clearwater Regional Fish and Game Office
3316 16th St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
December 18, 2014
Noon to
7:00 pm
Magic Valley Regional Fish and Game Office
324 South 417 East - Suite 1
Jerome, ID 83338
December 18, 2014
3:00 pm to
6:00 pm
Panhandle Regional Fish and Game Office
2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
December 29, 2014
8:00 am to
5:00 pm
Southeast Regional Fish and Game Office
1345 Barton Road
Pocatello, ID 83204

Through
January 5, 2015

 

Southwest Regional Fish and Game Office

Questions are encouraged over the phone:
  • In Nampa: 208-465-8465
    • ask for Craig White or Jake Powell
  • In McCall: 208-634-8137
    • ask for Regan Berkley or Nathan Borg

Drop-ins encouraged. Please make an appointment.

Through
January 5, 2015

Salmon Regional Fish and Game Office

Questions are encouraged over the phone:
  • In Salmon: 208-756-2271
    • ask for Greg Painter

Drop-ins encouraged. Please make an appointment.

Event locations last updated: 12/12/2014 11:29pm MT

The Upper Snake Region will not be holding an open house.

 

You can also review the proposals and make comments online.

Clearwater Coho 11/10/2014

This past weekend on the North Fork of the Clearwater (river sect 05) a 33in Coho was caught. The fish was weighed at Harvest Foods in Orofino at 11.8lbs with a girth of 17inches. Check Harvest Reports for more salmon havest information from last week.  - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Fall Steelhead - Oxbow Fish Hatchery

Ever wonder where the steelhead stocked in the Boise River originate and why they don't arrive until late fall? Check the following websites for the latest information on Snake River steelhead and the complex coordination that determines their destination.

http://www.ktvb.com/videos/news/features/2014/11/20/19313939/

and

http://magicvalley.com/lifestyles/recreation/hatchery-recaptures-build-steelhead-fishing-season/article_042b57e8-af32-5de6-bc93-dba8981972c9.html

 

 

 

Cleawater and Snake River Weekend Creel Surveys 11/02/14

This past Saturday on the Clearwater was wet. It rained off and on most of the day. We are seeing more anglers fish from Orofino and up. Drift boats are dropping in at the Kooskia boat ramp or Button Beach and drifting down to Kamiah. This past week an angler caught a 18lb. Steelhead on the North Fork. Go to Steelhead Harvest Report and Coho Salmon Harvest Report for more details.  - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Weekend Steelhead Creel Survey 10/14/14

Most anglers in the Clearwater Region concentrated their effort on the Snake River downstream from the Salmon River (River sect 01) and on the Clearwater River up to Orofino Bridge (River sect. 03.)  For the few anglers fishing on the North Fork (River sect. 05) this past weekend, they used shrimp, scent, and roe for bait. A few anglers were using the wiggle wart lure. Go to Harvest Report for more details. - Jaime Robertson,  Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Steelhead on Snake River, downriver of Salmon River, 2014

Steelhead and Chinook Report in Cleawater 10/13/14

Anglers are spreading out to fish in the Clearwater region. 185 anglers were checked this past weekend on the Salmon and Little Salmon River. 60 steelhead were caught over the weekend with just under 19/hr catch rates on the Salmon and Little Salmon River.

Of the 178 anglers that were checked on river section 01 of the Snake River this past weekend 91 came out at Heller Bar. These anglers fished a total of 746 hours with 28 hatchery steelhead kept and 48 wild released. No hatchery steelhead were released. Catch rates were 10hrs. 74 of the steelhead anglers that were checked at Heller bar were on guided trips. Please keep in mind that these numbers are for Idaho steelhead anglers only and are unexpanded numbers.

Anglers that are fishing above Memorial Bridge on the Clearwater (river sect 03) are using a variety of lures. Some of the lures were Purple Peril, Black Fly, Lady Caroline Skunk, black & blue Table Fly, Skater Fly, Green butted Skunk, Gold Hair Wing, purple & black fly, Orange Hair Wing, and Rust Colored Fly. Anglers are also using yarn with scent and eggs.  - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Clearwater Region Fall 2014

Update on Steelhead Bound for Clearwater River 10/7/14

Hi everybody. I thought I would give you a quick update on the Clearwater River Steelhead fishery just in case you were trying to decide if you wanted to fish the Steelhead harvest opener starting October 15. As of today (10/7/14), over 9,000 hatchery Steelhead have passed over Lower Granite Dam (based on detected PIT tags) that are destined for the Clearwater River. This is about triple of what we saw last year at this same time and 30% more than we saw 2 years ago.  It’s not quite what we had in 2010 and 2011 when around 13,000 fish had passed over Lower Granite Dam by this same time, but that is certainly enough to provide some good fishing.  The numbers of fish passing over Lower Granite Dam and bound for the Clearwater River really picked up the last 5 days, and these fish should start moving into the Clearwater anytime now.  One of the exciting things about the run this year is the vast majority of them are the larger 2-ocean fish unlike last year when many were the smaller 1-ocean fish.  To date, over 25,000 Clearwater River bound hatchery Steelhead have passed over Bonneville Dam, so there are still a lot on their way. This means there will be no need to for emergency rules like we implemented last year to protect brood stock.  In case you were wondering, the Steelhead rules can be viewed using this link (http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/rules/steelhead.pdf).

So there you have it.  Yet another great outdoor activity to do in October. Now you just have decide what to do…..Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, Deer, Elk, upland game birds.  October is such a great time in the Clearwater Region.  - Joe Dupont, Fisheries Manager, Clearwater Region

Snake and Clearwater Steelhead Creel Survey 10/5/14

Fishing on river section 01 (downstream from Salmon River) was really good this past weekend with 7 hours to catch a steelhead. We have documented anglers on the Salmon River around Pine Bar and further up river on river section 11 and 12 (Whitebird Creek to Vinegar Creek.) However, there was very little fish caught over the weekend on this section.  Check harvest data for more details. - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician,Clearwater Region