Clearwater

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report 2/17/15

As stream flows began to decline the past week, angling effort increased and produced some great catch rates through the region on the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon Rivers.

Most of the success on the Clearwater River downstream of Orofino occurred just below the mouth of the North Fork and above the mouth of the North Fork near the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery.  

The North Fork of the Clearwater was a popular fishing area and some anglers did exceptionally well. Inconsistent catch rates may have been contributed to the increased flows released from Dworshak Dam.

Angler effort and success picked up on the South Fork of the Clearwater over the weekend. The best catch rates were observed below the Mt. Idaho grade and near the town of Harpster.

In the lower Salmon River drainage, the best catch rates were observed on the Little Salmon River.

Anglers who were contacted on the Snake River were fishing at the tail race below Hells Canyon Dam. Got to Harvest Results for more detials.  - Amanda Schmidt,Fisheries Technician, Idaho Fish & Game

 

Ice Fishing Report - Cascade Reservoir Feb 12, 2015

If you're a bird watcher this week's report might just make you happy. With all the open water on Cascade there has been a plethora of waterfowl visiting the area, lots of ducks, geese, and swans. If you're an ice fisherman the outlook isn't so optimistic. With all the warm and wet weather we've been experiencing this past week the ice on cascade has gone for the wayside. The south end of the lake I would deem not safe. Besides the large open water gap between the bank and the ice itself there lies many more problems throughout the southern end of the lake. These problems would include but are not limited to large areas of open water, large cracks with open water gaps between them, and some rotten ice.  With that being said I cannot say that anyone should attempt to fish on cascade south of Sugarloaf Island.  This includes all the way from sugarloaf to the town of cascade.   I have attached a few photos that I took today of Ice conditions on the southern end of the lake. 

Now that we’re done being pessimistic, the north end of the lake continues to be fishable, with one exception.  That exception is finding a spot to access the ice.  With the influx of water from the thaw the level of the reservoir has increased causing the ice to pull away from the shore.  Along with this the ice closest to shore is still fairly weak and soft.  But if you can find your way onto the ice things are looking good.  The ice depth around poison creek were still 6-7” of solid ice.  There was a few places that you can actually access the ice around poison creek and the surrounding area.  The area around boulder creek I wasn’t able to find a place that I could access the ice without going over the top of my boots and getting wet.  If you’re a diehard ice fisherman and need to get that last little bit of fishing in the north end is where it can happen.  With that being said extreme caution should be used especially right now with warm temperatures and thawing ice. 

I guess I could mention that fishing still has continued to be fairly slow with those that have made it out on the ice.  There seems to be a greater ratio of big to small fish but the overall number of fish being caught is fairly low. 

DP - We lost two anglers on Winchester Lake this past week when they fell through the ice.  Please be careful and if there's a doubt - save yourself to fish another day.

 

 

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report 2/8/15

Fishing conditions and catch rates on the Clearwater River downstream from Orofino were good during the week but diminished over the weekend. On Saturday, cloudy water conditions were observed and water clarity decreased as water levels began to rise. By Sunday afternoon and the river flows reached 22,900 cubic feet per second causing swift and muddy water conditions with floating debris. The North Fork of the Clearwater was the most popular and productive fishing area over the weekend for both boat and shore anglers who were avoiding the muddy water conditions on the mainstem. On Sunday morning, approximately 100 anglers were observed fishing on the North Fork by IDFG personnel. The South Fork of the Clearwater was not monitored during the week, but anglers reported that they had caught more fish during the week days before water conditions began to become less favorable over the weekend. Saturday afternoon, flows on the South Fork began to rise and on Sunday water conditions were high and muddy. The majority of success over the weekend occurred as high upstream as the Mt. Idaho grade. Very little effort was observed on the Salmon River downstream of Riggins over the weekend due to the high muddy flow coming from the Little Salmon River. Most of the effort occurred above the mouth of the Little Salmon in river locations 12 and 13. A majority of the anglers checked from location 13 were anglers on guided trips. - Amanda Schmidt. Fisheries Technician, Idaho Fish & Game Clearwater Region

Public Meetings for 2015 Big Game Seasons

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Idaho Fish and Game plans several public meetings around the state to discuss 2015 proposed big game seasons and rules.

Interested individuals can visit with department personnel concerning the proposed seasons and provide comments by attending any of the meetings listed below.


Panhandle Region 1 – open house meeting held from 4 to 7 pm:

  • Monday, March 2, Panhandle Regional Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., Coeur d’ Alene.

Clearwater Region 2 – all meeting will be held from 5 to 7 pm:

  • Monday, February 23, Grangeville Senior Citizens Center, 108 N. State St.
  • Tuesday, February 24, Latah County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building, 1021 Harold St. Moscow.
  • Wednesday, February 25, Fish and Game Clearwater Hatchery, 118 Hatchery Roe Dr.
  • Thursday, February 26, Clearwater Regional Office, 3316 16th St., Lewiston.

Southwest Region 3 – all meetings will be held 5 to 7 pm:

  • Tuesday, February 24, Fish and Game McCall Office, 555 Deinhard Lane
  • Wednesday, February 25, Council American Legion Hall, Highway 95.
  • Thursday, February 26, Southwest Region Fish and Game Office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa

Biologists will also be available for discus the proposals and collect public comments at the 2015 Idaho Sportsman Show, March 5-8, at Expo Idaho, 5610 N Glenwood St., Boise.


Magic Valley Region 4 – all meetings will begin at 7 pm:

  • Tuesday, February 24, Hailey Community Campus, Rooms 301 & 302, 1050 Fox Acres Rd., Hailey
  • Wednesday, February 25, Burley Inn Minidoka Room #2, 800 N. Overland, Burley
  • Thursday, February 26, Magic Valley Regional Office, 324 S. 417 E., Highway Business Park, 2.5 miles north of the Flying J, Jerome

Southeast Region 5 - all meetings will begin at 6:30 pm:

  • Monday, February 23, Malad, Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main Street
  • Tuesday, February 24, Soda Springs, Senior Citizens Center, 60 South Main Street
  • Wednesday, February 25, Montpelier, Bear Lake Senior Citizens Center, 115 S. 4th
  • Thursday, February 26, Preston, Larsen-Sant Public Library, 109 S. 1st East
  • Monday, March 2, Blackfoot, City Hall Council Chambers, 157 North Broadway
  • Tuesday, March 3, Pocatello, Southeast Region Fish and Game Office, 1345 Barton Road

Upper Snake Region 6 – all meetings will begin at 7 pm:

  • Monday, February 23, Upper Snake Fish and Game Office, 4279 Commerce Circle
  • Monday, March 2, Madison Middle School, 575 West 7th South in Rexburg

Salmon Region 7 – all meetings will be held from 5 to 8 pm:

  • Wednesday, February 25, Salmon Fish and Game Office, 99 Hwy 93 North, Salmon
  • Thursday, February 26, Challis Community Event Center, Board Room, Clinic Rd, Challis

In addition, 2 web-chats are scheduled on Wednesday, March 4, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. These will be attended by biologists from across the state to answer questions.

Comments taken at the meetings and online will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the March 23-24 meeting in Boise, when big game seasons are set.

Public Meetings for 2016 – 2018 Fishing Seasons

Winter fishing. Photo by Evin Oneale.

 

While Idaho’s 2013-2015 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure will continue to be valid through 2015, a new 2016-2018 brochure is in the early stages of development.

Anglers have the opportunity to shape that rule book by sharing their ideas at one of several upcoming open houses hosted by Idaho Fish and Game staff; see list below. Attendees can also learn the latest and provide input regarding 2015 Chinook salmon seasons and limits.

If you're unable to attend one of the public meetings, you can submit your comments online.

Anglers are encouraged to talk with our Fisheries Biologists at scheduled meeting times listed below or call our Regional Fish Managers at the listed telephone numbers:

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Panhandle Region 1 – Jim Fredericks, Regional Fish Manager - 208-769-1414

  • Coeur d’Alene: February 17, Lake City Center Sportsman’s Breakfast, 6:30 am
  • Coeur d’Alene: February 17, Regional Office 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., 8 am to 5 pm (open house)
  • Sandpoint: February 19, Annual State-of-the-Lake Meeting, Ponderay Events Center, 7 – 9:00 pm

Clearwater Region 2 – Joe DuPont, Regional Fish Manager - 208-799-5010

  • Orofino: February 19, IDFG Clearwater Hatchery, 118 Hatchery Roe Drive (located northwest of Ahsahka Bridge), 6:00 pm
  • Riggins: February 23, Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main Street, 6:00 pm MT
  • Lewiston: February 25, Regional Office, 3316 16th Street, 6:00 pm (open house)
  • Moscow: February 26, Fairground Exhibit Building, 1021 Harold Street, 6:00 pm

Southwest Region 3 – McCall – Dale Allen, Regional Fish Manager - 208-634-8137

  • McCall: February 19, Regional Office 555 Deinhard Lane, noon to 7:00 pm; Salmon Season talk beginning at 7:00 pm (open house)
  • Riggins: February 23, Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main Street, 6:00 pm MT
  • McCall: February 24, Regional Office 555 Deinhard Lane, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (open house)
  • Council: February 25, Council Grange Hall, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Southwest Region 3 – Nampa – Joe Kozfkay, Regional Fish Manager - 208-465-8465

  • Nampa: February 17 Regional Office 3101 So. Powerline Road 8 am to 8 pm (open house)
  • Boise: February 18 Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, Open House 5 to 7 pm - Salmon season presentation at 7 pm; Nampa and McCall staff

Magic Valley Region 4 – Doug Megargle, Regional Fish Manager - 208-324-4359

  • Hailey: February 24, Blaine Co. Community Campus 1050 Fox Acres Road, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Burley: February 25, Best Western Inn 800 N. Overland, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Jerome: February 26, Regional Office 324 S. 417 E., 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm (open house)

Southeast Region 5 – David Teuscher, Regional Fish Manager - 208-232-4703

  • Pocatello: February 24, Regional Office 1345 Barton Road, 10:00 am to 6:30 pm (open house)

Upper Snake Region 6 – Dan Garren, Regional Fish Manager - 208-525-7290

  • Driggs: February 19, Driggs County Courthouse, 6:30 pm
  • Ashton: February 23, Ashton Community Center, 6:30 pm
  • Idaho Falls: February 24, Idaho Falls IDFG Regional Office, 6:30 pm (open house)

Salmon Region 7 – Greg Schoby, Regional Fish Manager - 208-756-2271

  • Salmon: February 25, IDFG Regional Office, 6:00 pm (open house)
  • Challis: February 26, Challis Community Center, 6:00 pm

Cascade Reservoir Fishing Condition Report January 23, 2015

This week's ice conditions improved from last week with ice reported between 6-8" everywhere around the lake with some spots with 10+ inches. With that being said we also had a warm spelled sweep through the area on Sunday with rain and warm temps causing the snow that was on top of the ice to melt.  Since we have had cold temps the last couple of days that has frozen solid adding another layer of ice to what was already accumulated.  Since there is no snow on the ice, the conditions are very slick so caution should be had.  There have been a large number of people taking ATV’s and Snowmobiles out on the ice, although caution should be used when taking heavier equipment out on the ice.

The pressure this past week peaked on Saturday which saw a lot of anglers scattered throughout the entire lake both North and South.  But with the warm spell on Sunday the fishing pressure dropped quickly with very few anglers being seen on Sunday as well as through the first part of this week.  Even with the increased pressure on Saturday catch rates were still relatively slow.  Once again perch angler reports of mostly smaller fish and very few quality sized fish coming out.  The trout fishing on the South end of the lake near the city boat ramp and Blue Heron boat ramp has proved to be somewhat productive with some nice size trout being taken early this week.

This coming Saturday (1/24) the Hardwater Classic ice fishing derby is being held so pressure through the later part of this week into the weekend should increase significantly.  Hopefully with this increased fishing pressure more quality size fish will be found and anglers will have a better idea as to where to focus their effort.  Until then the best of luck to anyone out in search of perch through the ice.

Related to ice fishing, here is a picture from South Korea of what real ice fishing competition looks like.

Clearwater Steelhead 1/20/15

Tuesday was the first day the Clearwater steelhead fishery was sampled this past week. The Ahsahka Check Station was visited by many happy anglers who had fished the North Fork that day. One shore angler had kept his limit of 3 steelhead and had fished for less than 3 hours. The largest fish checked for the week was a 37 inch female caught by an angler fishing from the Ahsahka Bridge. Anglers fishing the North Fork on Friday and over the weekend were not as successful as those who fished on Tuesday.

Boat anglers fishing the main Clearwater River in the Orofino area on Friday had a very successful day. Multiple anglers who obtained their limit of steelhead were checked by creel personnel. Heavy rain on Saturday caused the Clearwater to become high and muddy on Sunday, but catch rates did not seem to be effected. Most of Sunday’s effort occurred between Cherry Lane and Orofino. - Amanda Schmidt, Fisheries Technician, Idaho Fish & Game

Cascade Reservoir Ice Fishing Conditions and Report 1/16/15

This week’s ice conditions have improved greatly since the previous week.  On the North end of lake(Boulder Creek, Poison Creek) there was a consistent 5-7” of ice extending out a few hundred yards from shore.  There are reports that ice on the South End(Sugarloaf, City Boat Ramp) is also in the 4-6” range.  With cold temperatures that ice depth should increase.  Angling pressure on both ends of the lake over the last week was fairly low with a majority of the pressure occurring over the weekend.  The most pressure was found on the north end of the lake, due in large to better ice conditions.  There was very little effort seen on the south end of the lake over the weekend.  Fishing success varied amongst groups of anglers but the majority of people were encountering tough fishing.  The majority of fish being caught were small (4-6”) with a few bigger fish being found.  There have been reports of some nice perch being caught, although this has not been reflected in the creel data gathered.  Hopefully as more people start fishing the success will pick up.

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.