Questions & Answers: Steelhead

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 questions

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.

  • Not all questions are answered.
  • Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.

Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered-on" date.

Question Askedsort descending
A: Residents can buy a daily fishing license but not a three-day salmon-steelhead permit. Residents and nonresidents alike may buy a "license entitling a person to fish in the waters of the state on a day-to-day basis." A resident daily fishing license costs $11.50 plus $5 for each additional day ...
3/27/11
A: Yes, but we stress to all individuals the need to obtain a receipt.  This receipt must contain the following information: Name and tribal identification number of Nez Perce tribal member selling the fish Name of the fish buyer Date of the sale Number of salmon sold Species of salmon and where it ...
2/10/12
A: The key is the language regarding a “healed scar.”  The fish were small when the adipose fin was clipped.  If the adipose is altered and the wound is healed – you should be ok to keep the fish.
5/22/12
A: Rainbow trout and steelhead are the same genus and species.  Essentially, a steelhead is an ocean-going rainbow trout.  There will be a slight color variation - depending on the time of year, but the only sure-fire way tell a hatchery produced rainbow trout from a steelhead is to check the adipose ...
7/26/12
A: Under the current rules, you can catch and keep 20 hatchery-produced steelhead during the spring season and 20 hatchery-produced steelhead in the fall season for a grand total of 40 steelhead in a year.  See the steelhead section (page 36) of our current 2011 - 2012 Fishing Rules booklet or page ...
10/31/12
A: Because there are so many places to fish steelhead in the state over such a long period of time, it's really hard to say there is a best time and place. If an angler has a chance to follow the run upstream, the best time could be any month from July or August through May. The first part of each ...
12/10/12
A: Steelhead information is on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=38.
4/3/13
A: Steelhead are rainbow trout longer than 20 inches in length in the Snake River drainage below Hells Canyon Dam, the Salmon River drainage (excluding lakes and the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers), and the Clearwater River drainage (excluding that portion above Dworshak Dam and lakes). Rainbow trout ...
4/12/13
A: There are no rules that require you to stop legally using two-poles (with a two-pole permit) when you are within one fish of your bag limit. Yes, technically you may exceed your bag limit by hooking two fish at the same time, but, realistically your odds of that happening are extremely low.  If by ...
6/11/13
A: We certainly hope so but won't know if we have surplus until early November.  Because of the location of the trap at Hells Canyon Dam (where we trap fish for Oxbow Hatchery),  water temperatures prevent us from using the trap until early November.  Once temperatures cool down, we start trapping ...
10/28/13
A: Depends.  It is illegal to fish for steelhead when the steelhead season is closed - even catch-and-release.  You can use a spey rod as long as you can pass the "red-face" test when you encounter an officer.  You must be able to convince the officer that you are fishing for cutthroat or rainbow ...
4/18/14
A: You can use up to 5 barbless hooks per line while fishing for salmon or steelhead.   That probably won't work in the Little Salmon River for Chinook fishing but you might be able to utilize extra hooks while trolling for steelhead.
6/2/14
A: We recently answered a question very similar to yours. Please let us know if this doesn't answer your question.
1/15/15
A: No.  Fishing for or targeting salmon/steelhead is prohibited unless a steelhead season is specifically opened for that water.    In other words, no salmon/steelhead fishing (including catch/release) is allowed unless there is an open season for that river location.   Steelhead rules can be found ...
6/19/15
A: At this time, it is too early to tell whether there will be steelhead transferred to the Boise River. Normally, the Oxbow Hatchery trap is opened in late October, but that is dependent on the water temperatures in the Snake River. Once the water temperture comes down where fish can be safely ...
10/8/15
A: Another 150 steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Thursday, November 19, the last of two planned stocking efforts prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.  In years past, as many as 900 steelhead made the road trip from Hells Canyon Dam to the Boise River, but this year's below-average ...
11/18/15
A: Great question!  We don't have great information on this, but we do have some idea about how these fish typically move. IDFG has tagged some of the steelhead and salmon that have been released into the Boise River. By keeping track of where tagged fish are released, and where they were caught by ...
11/19/15
A: Hello,  Steelhead fishing is probably best in October-November and again in March-April. While steelhead can be caught in the winter between December and February, catch rates are usually much lower until water temperatures come back up.  In the fall, steelhead fishing usually first picks up in ...
12/23/15
A: In the late winter and spring, steelhead can be found in the upper sections of most rivers open to steelhead fishing. This is usually February - April, but check the closure dates. In February-April, steelhead will be found in the Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Salmon River near Riggins, and ...
2/2/16