Why does the fall season provide limited access for non-boater's? Access to the mouth of the salmon river is limited to boating and the Hells canyon Dam access is limited to the probably 10 adults at the Idaho Border. Unless you have a river boat or have the $$$ for a guided trip the fall season is worthless for most of us fisherman. Oregon is profiting from my need to purchase an Oregon 3 day license to fish and I don't even bother to purchase an Idaho salmon permit for fall season. (Spring and Summer Salmon Fishing is so crazy it's not worth my time to fish).
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!
I am very happy to be able to fish in the historic chinook return this year. I was wondering about the quote on fishandgame.idaho.gov "The timing and length of Idaho’s salmon fishing seasons depends on the number of fish returning to Idaho in any given year."
Is this a strong possibility this year given the return over Bonneville (844083 fall chinook) and Lower Granite (42276 fall Chinook)?
I was just curious how that process worked and when the decision would be made? It seems like if it were ever extended this would be the year.
I want salmon recovered as much as anyone but it frustrates me to no end to see fish being exploited in the clearwater when we knew in advance they would not meet brood stock goals. Furthermore, we knew Pahsimeroi was not going to meet goals yet we continued to fish in and around Riggins. Conversely, the Sawtooth hatchery met its goal but with little to spare. Am I to understand that if I want to fish for chinook I must prepare to travel to Riggins or Lewiston to do so? Seems like the more logical route would to fish salmon closer to the hatcheries.