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.
We had a great salmon season and, as always, are sad the season is over. We caught quite a few big fish this year and it was a lot of fun. - Natalie
Very little effort was documented this past week. The Lochsa did not have any documented Chinook anglers. The anglers that were checked in this area were Cutthroat fishing. The Snake at HCD tailrace also saw effort drop and only one Jack was documented as harvested. Check Harvest Report for more details. - Jaime Robertson,
Senior Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region
Chinook angler effort was lower in all upper Salmon River location codes this past week, but catch rates remained good. Once again the majority of anglers were found in location code 19, near Stanley. Anglers near Stanley averaged 20 hours per Chinook caught and 42 hours per Chinook kept. Fewer anglers were observed fishing downstream of Ellis in location code 17, but those who did averaged 33 hours per Chinook caught and 47 hours per Chinook kept which were the best catch rates of season so far in the Ellis area. Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 1,240 cfs through the town of Salmon which is 34% of average for today’s date. As of Sunday, July 5th, 700 hatchery adult Chinook had returned to the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery and as of Thursday, July 2nd, 914 hatchery adult Chinook had returned to the Pahsimeroi Hatchery. Additionally, on Thursday, July 2nd, 86 hatchery adult Chinook from the Pahsimeroi Hatchery were released at the 11-mile boat ramp to provide anglers a second chance at harvesting them. Salmon River location codes 18 and 19, from 100 yards upstream of the Pahsimeroi River to 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir and trap, are now closed to the harvest of adult Chinook. The harvest of jack Chinook salmon, those under 24 inches, will continue until further notice. Anglers may harvest up to 4 adipose-clipped Chinook salmon under 24 inches per day and any salmon 24 inches or longer must be immediately released. Any anglers who harvest 4 jacks in a day or have 12 jacks in possession must discontinue fishing. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region
The Chinook harvest increased this past week on the upper Salmon River, but once again, anglers upstream of the Pahsimeroi River fared better than those downstream. Anglers downstream of the Pahsimeroi, in location codes 16 and 17, averaged 81 hours per Chinook caught and 162 hours per Chinook kept. Upstream in location codes 18 and 19, anglers averaged 18 hours per Chinook caught and 38 hours per Chinook kept. At this point in the season, an estimated 44 hatchery adult Chinook have been harvested downstream of the Pahsimeroi and 324 hatchery adult Chinook have been harvested upstream.
The Salmon River has been slowly dropping for the past week. It is currently flowing at approximately 2,410 cfs through the town of Salmon, which is down from 3,000 cfs a week ago. Mid-day water temperatures have been in the low to mid 60s, and the visibility is good. As of today, 1090 Chinook have returned to the Sawtooth hatchery and as of July 3rd, 311 Chinook have returned to the Pahsimeroi hatchery. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region
Chinook anglers on the upper Salmon River had mixed results this past week depending on where they decided to fish. Anglers downstream of the Pahsimeroi River, in location codes 16 and 17, were working hard to find the fish and averaged 202 hours per Chinook caught. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi, in location codes 18 and 19, anglers did much better and averaged 13 hours per Chinook caught. At this point in the season, an estimated 23 hatchery adult Chinook have been harvested downstream of Pahsimeroi and 123 hatchery adult Chinook have been harvested upstream. For more details go to the Chinook Harvest Report.
The Salmon River near the town of Salmon was on the rise most of the week, but it did begin to drop again Sunday morning. As of today, it is back down to approximately 3,000 cfs and the visibility is good. As of June 27th, 150 adult Chinook have returned back to the Pahsimeroi hatchery and as of June 30th, 157 adult Chinook have returned to the Sawtooth hatchery. - Brent Beller. Salmon Region Fisheries Technician
There are a lot of rule changes occurring this week so I want to make sure you are all aware of these first. So the rule changes are as follows:
Rule Changes in the Clearwater River drainage
In the Clearwater drainage at the close of fishing hours on Sunday June 22, 2014 all Chinook Salmon fishing for adults and Jacks will end downstream of confluence of the South Fork Clearwater and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers (adults harvest is already closed in this area). This includes the entire mainstem Clearwater River, and the North Fork Clearwater River. In addition, all harvest for adults will end at the close of fishing hours on Sunday June 22, 2014 in the Middle Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, and Lochsa rivers. That means starting on Monday June 23, 2014 only the harvest of adipose clipped Jacks (salmon less than 24 inches) with a daily limit of four (4) will be allowed in the Middle Fork, South Fork, and Lochsa rivers. All other areas will be closed. These closures are occurring because we anticipate our harvest share of adult fish will be met in the entire Clearwater River drainage and because reaches downstream of the confluence of the South Fork Clearwater and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers will have met their quota for Jacks.
Rule Changes on the Rapid River Run
On the Salmon River, fishing for all Chinook Salmon (adults and Jacks) will end at the close of fishing hours on Thursday June 19, 2014 between Rice Creek Bridge and Time Zone Bridge and between Shorts Creek and Vinegar Creek. The Park Hole (the Salmon River between Time Zone Bridge and Shorts Creek) will remain open through the weekend and then close to all Chinook Salmon fishing (adults and Jacks) at the end of fishing hours on Sunday June 22, 2014. The Little Salmon River will remain open to the harvest of both adult and Jack Chinook Salmon until further notice. These closures are being made to protect hatchery and wild Chinook Salmon migrating to upstream fisheries and because we anticipate we will be close to reaching our adult harvest share for this entire fishery by the end of the weekend.
Rule Changes for the Hells Canyon Fishery
No rules changes will occur on this fishery through the weekend. This fishery will continue until further notice.
Clearwater River Fishery Update
Chinook Salmon fishing in the Clearwater River drainage was excellent last week with catch rates below 10 hrs/fish in most areas open to fishing. Harvest totals are listed on the Fish and Game website. We have 340 fish left in our adult harvest share. For that reason, we anticipate that Chinook Salmon fishing in all reaches will not last much past this weekend.
Rapid River Fishery Update
Fishing on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers was excellent last week with catch rates less than 10 hrs/fish in the Park Hole area and Little Salmon River. I myself got involved with this fishery last week and had a great time catching fish and visiting with all of you – I look forward to doing it again. Due to the high effort and good catch rates, we estimated around 3,000 adult fish were harvested last week. This high amount of harvest is the reason for these closures. Be prepared for a quick closer on the Little Salmon River after the weekend if we are close to meeting our harvest share.
Hells Canyon Fishery Update
Fishing was also excellent below Hells Canyon Dam. In fact it was the best we have seen all year there (catch rates of 7 hrs/fish). A large reason for this is the low amount of effort that occurred there. I suspect a lot of the people that often fish there were fishing the Little Salmon or Salmon rivers. To date around 600 adult fish have been taken from the Hells Canyon Fishery. Our harvest share is around 1,000 fish.
Well it looks like we are in store for another good week of fishing before many river reaches start closing down. I’m already hearing good reports out there, so be sure to take advantage of it while you can.
Good luck and be safe. - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager
The latest indicators, as of the last week in April 2014, show a projected return of Chinook salmon to Rapid River fish hatchery of somewhere between 11,000 and 17,000 adults. Passive Induced Transponder (PIT) tags detectors at Bonneville Dam continue to show strong numbers of salmon passing through the ladder with embedded tags that were placed in the fish before they left Rapid River Hatchery on their migration to the ocean.
Fish currently passing over the dams should arrive in Idaho within the next 30 - 45 days, depending on flow conditions at the Columbia and Snake River dams.
Schedule your time-off and break-out your salmon fishing gear!
River sections 01 and 03 had the best catch rates for steelhead this week at 13hrs/catch and 9hrs/catch. The North Fork of the Clearwater has documented harvest this week of 6 steelhead. The Salmon river catch rates were poor this past week. - Jaime Mills, Clearwater Region Fisheries Technician
|STEELHEAD CREEL NUMBERS For Weekend of 10/22/2012|
|River Location||No. Anglers Checked||No. of Hours||No. of Fish Kept||No. of Fish Released||Total Fish||Hours/Fish||Water|
|01 Snake River - Downstream from Salmon River||82||392||3||27||30||13||131||58||CLR|
|02 Snake R. - Salmon R. to Hells Canyon Dam||22||151||2||2||4||38||76||60||CLR|
|03 Clearwater River - Mouth to Memorial Bridge||58||208||13||9||22||9||16||51||CL|
|05 North Fork Clearwater R||25||126||6||0||6||21||21||50||CLR|
|10 Salmon R. - downstream from Whitebird Cr.||12||45||0||1||1||45||--||50||CDY|
|11 Salmon R. - Whitebird Cr. to Little Salmon R||61||357||4||4||8||45||89||50||CDY|
|12 Salmon R. - Little Salmon R. to Vinegar Cr.||150||845||10||9||19||44||84||46||CDY|
|13 Salmon R. - Vinegar Cr. to South Fork Salmon R..||25||305||1||2||3||102||305||48||CD|
|14 Salmon R. - - South Fork Salmon R. to Middle Fork Salmon R.||8||192||0||4||4||48||--||46||CDY|