Recent Articles: Clearwater

Rapid River Hatchery Report - May 15th

The trap at Rapid River Hatchery (tributary to Little Salmon River) has trapped only 1 adult fish.  There have been rumors of Chinook being caught in the Little Salmon River but our creel clerks have been unable to verify any fish being caught in the Little Salmon River.

Best bet is to fish the lower Salmon River (Slate Creek area) and near the mouth of the Little Salmon River.

Lake Pend Oreille kokanee bag limit

Due to the large number of kokanee we are seeing in Lake Pend Oreille in 2014, we changed the bag limit from 6 to 15 as of today, May 15th.  Kokanee are a great tasting fish.  Check with your local sportshops on how to fish for kokanee.  During the summer months, anglers in boats are more successful than bank anglers.  Fishing flash gear with a piece of bait at a depth of 20 - 30' is the general way.  You can also jig using a colored jig with worm or maggot.

Closure Notice on Lower Clearwater

Hi everybody, this e-mail is to let you all know about an adult Chinook Salmon harvest closure that we will be implementing at the close of fishing hours on Friday May 16, 2014.  Please help spread the word.

At the end of fishing hours on May 16, 2014, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will implement a closure to the harvest of adult Chinook Salmon (24 inches or greater) on the Clearwater River from Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge in Lewiston upstream to Cherrylane Bridge.  This closure is being implemented because the harvest quota for adult Chinook Salmon has been met in this section of river.  As you may recall, our goal is to allow 25% of the adult harvest to occur in this reach of river.  Harvest quotas for adult Chinook Salmon in different reaches within the Clearwater River drainage were developed using input from the public to help insure all communities in the watershed have opportunities to harvest salmon (refer to the map below for the different harvest quotas).

Anglers may continue to fish for adipose clipped Jack Chinook Salmon between Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge and Cherrylane Bridge.  Jack salmon are defined at less than 24 inches in length.  Any adult salmon (24 inches or longer) caught in this river section must be immediately released.  Chinook Salmon seasons will remain unchanged upstream from the Cherry Lane Bridge.

Thank for your understanding.  - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager

 

Salmon Fishing Update - May 12

Chinook salmon are slowly making their way to Idaho.  Last weekend, the Clearwater River averaged 16 hours per salmon caught - downstream of the Cherry Lane Bridge.  Estimated harvest was 426 fish.

Fishing on the Snake River was slow, as well with an estimated harvest of 12 Chinook.

The lower Salmon River (confluence to Riggins) saw a few fish caught and there was no documented harvest of salmon in the Little Salmon River.

If river flows don't increase dramatically in response to the warm weather - it should be a good weekend to try the lower Clearwater and Salmon rivers for Chinook.

 

Live Chat on Fishing in Idaho

Fishing enthusiasts are invited to join an online chat with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about fishing in the Gem State.

Live Event!Anglers can chat live with fisheries and hatchery staff, along with enforcement officers, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm Thursday, May 22. We will answer questions about salmon fisheries, family fishing opportunities, fish stocking and other related topics during the live, two hour chat. 

If you have any questions about fishing in Idaho, this is your opportunity to get answers from the people who manage Idaho's rivers, lakes and streams; and the fish that swim in them.
 

Bookmark this page for the event, or sign-up for a reminder email below! 

 

 

Clearwater Region Chinook Update (5/7/14)

First, let me tell you what we know about the number of Chinook Salmon we are projecting to come to the Clearwater Region.  Last week we had some exciting times when over a three day period over 40,000 Chinook Salmon passed over Bonneville Dam.  Since then the counts have dropped back down, but that spike in numbers caused our projected non-tribal harvest share to increase to about 4,000 adult fish in the Clearwater drainage and about 6,3000 adult fish for the Rapid River run.  If you recall, last week the projected harvest share was around 3,400 for the Clearwater drainage and 4,500 for the Rapid River run.   At this point I am not expecting any large changes in harvest share as typically by this time around 75% of the run of fish heading to the Clearwater Region has passed over Bonneville Dam.  If you are wondering how these harvest shares compare to previous years.  This is very similar to what we saw in the Clearwater River basin in 2008 and 2009-2012.  Last year the harvest share in the Clearwater Basin was 640 fish.  So this will be a marked improvement over that.  For the Rapid River run, last year the harvest share was 2,100 fish and the year before that  it was  4,500 fish.  As such this year will be an improvement over the previous two years.  All in all, I think we are in store for a very good season.

Clearwater River Basin Fishery
The table below has about everything you need to know about adult harvest of Chinook Salmon in the Clearwater River basin, and I will update it every week for you.  It shows how many fish we estimated were harvested each week and where.  It shows our harvest share and how many fish are left. Finally, it shows how the public has indicated they would like the harvest share allocated to the different river reaches and how much harvest remains in each of those areas.  As we get close to reaching these different target amounts you can expect the fisheries to close in those areas (or at least the adult harvest).  Last week we estimated 21 adult Chinook Salmon were harvested in the Clearwater River drainage, all  near Lewiston.  Go to harvest data for more details.

Counts over Lower Granite Dam the last couple days were around 1,300 and 3,000 fish which is good.  Flows are also looking good, so those fish should spread upriver fast.  Expect the fishing to really pick up from here on out.

Rapid River Fishery
We did not see any harvest of fish last week on the Rapid River run, and as such I did not include a harvest summary table below.  However, once harvest begins I will display a similar table as above for this fishery as well.  I can tell you though that the first fish showed up at Rapid River Hatchery two days ago so it would surprise me if some fish are caught this weekend.  Flows are looking good right now so those fish coming over Lower Granite Dam now should start being caught in a week.

Hells Canyon Fishery
The Hells Canyon fishery is often one of the first to start up.  In fact, our creel crew check one adult last week and we estimated a harvest of three fish.  Expect this fishery to pick up in a week as well.

Well the fishery is upon us.  I hope you all are getting your gear ready as if the fish aren’t in the area you like to fish now, they should be there soon. - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager

 

Fish Web Chat - May 22nd

On May 22nd from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm mountain time you can chat with Fish folks from the Department.  Find out where to go fishing over Memorial Day Weekend, what the outlook is for salmon and steelhead season, and what/where has been stocked recently by our fish hatchery staff.  Find out if fall chinook salmon in Deadwood Reservoir  will be as big in 2014 as they were last year (see picture) or the latest information on the resurgent kokanee population in Lake Pend Oreille.

 

On May 22nd, go to our webpage and click on the designated button to enter questions and watch for a response.

 

Chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam

The number of Chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River took a jump this last week in April.  We know a number of these fish are destined for Idaho because they carry PIT tags, individual numbered radio tags, that were inplanted into the fish as juveniles on their downstream migration.  Travel to Idaho is dependent on flow conditions, but you can expect these fish to arrive in Idaho within 30 - 45 days.