Fishing effort on the Clearwater river has continued to drop; the mainstem had very little activity. The North Fork of the Clearwater had more effort but Dworshack Dam has been releasing water which has increased the flows pushing fish out of the system making it difficult for anglers to catch anything. The South Fork of the Clearwater main effort consisted of beads and jigs with variations of fluorescent colors for the jigs and orange being the dominant color for the beads. The Little Salmon continues to use yarn and beads using red, and orange as the main colors both of which has resulted in harvested fish. Check Harvest Report for more details. - Ryan Allen, Clearwater Region Fisheries Technician
Greetings, Activity on the main stem of the Clearwater has begun to dwindle with the majority of the effort taking place on the North Fork of the Clearwater. River conditions on the South Fork of the Clearwater has concentrated effort to the upper end near Mount Idaho. The intensity of the flows in the upper areas results in many fish being hooked but are quickly lost due to the flows. The fish that are landed and harvested have been caught by drifting beads mainly with a few anglers using yarn either green or orange being the hot colors. Jigs are still in use but very few with white being the dominant color along with green and yellow. - Ryan Allen, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region
The Clearwater River has started to see effort drop off on the main stem of the river ( Mouth to Orofino Bridge/river section 03). Anglers fishing in this section of the river are predominantly around the Orofino area fishing the Magill Hole, Pole Yard, and Slaughter House. The North Fork of the Clearwater (River sect. 05) is still seeing a high amount of effort. Anglers fishing in this area are predominantly bobber fishing and they are using black/white, pink, and purple jigs with shrimp or scent. Effort has increased on the South Fork of the Clearwater (river sect. 07) and had good catch rates at just 9 hours a fish. The flows of the South Fork are supposed to increase by this weekend though so catch rates and effort may drop off. River section 04 is seeing most anglers fishing from Button Beach up to the Kooskia Bridge. Most anglers are fishing down from the bridge at the Mill hole.
The Salmon River saw effort in river sections 10 thru13 and 20. Most of the anglers are fishing right around Riggins in river section 12.
The North Fork of the Clearwater and River sect. 02 of the Snake River are the only stretches that report clear water. Everywhere else the water was pretty cloudy.
- Jaime Robertson, Senior Fisheries Technician,Clearwater Region
It's not uncommon for a dam that's over 100 years old to require maintenance. Within the next few weeks Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game in cooperations with Idaho Parks and Recreation will be notifying anglers, park users and landowners that lake levels at Winchester Lake will be falling this spring so we can repair a safety siphon and excavate an explorative hole in front of the spillway. Findings from the test hole will dictate whether additional work is necessary. If more work is needed, the lake could remain drawn down from several weeks to the entire summer. All work is being coordinated with the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources and their Dam Safety experts.
There could also be traffic delays on State Highway 95 alternate Route to Winchester, Idaho.
Joe DuPont, Clearwater Fisheries Manager, encourages anglers to join the discussion on how to manage this year's Chinook Salmon fisheries. The public meeting is in Lewiston on February 24, 2016. Meetings are also being held in Orofino on February 22 and Riggins on February 23. Check the press release for more details.
Most angling effort by boats on the main stem of the Clearwater is from Peck to just above the Ahsahka boat ramp. The majority of the shore effort is in the same area but we are seeing an increase in effort by fly anglers from Cherry Lane Ramp to Lenore. Anglers are using orange/pink beads, jigs, or roe. This past week we only interviewed 31 anglers on the North Fork due to survey limitations. However, effort was high on Saturday with over 60 anglers fishing. Most of the anglers that came through the check station were not successful because the fish were just not biting and seemed to be stacking up by the bridge. - Jaime Robertson, Senior Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region