The Snake River is showing really good catch rates and good water clarity but, it had very little effort this weekend. This past week, the Clearwater and Salmon rivers were running high with rain and snow melt causing the water clarity to be poor and it made fishing difficult. River section 03 mouth of Clearwater to Orofino bridge had no documented anglers and fishing effort was low during the week as well. It looks like some of the shore effort moved over to the North Fork of the Clearwater for somewhat clearer water. If you get onto the USGS site and look at the water conditions around Stites on the South Fork of the Clearwater it does look as if the water level is peaking so hopefully water conditions will improve within the near future and make for better fishing. Click here for more details.
Photo from Lindsey Bischoff shows spring runoff affecting the North Fork of the Clearwater above Dworshak Dam.
- Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician
If I am fishing for Steelhead, with proper license and permit, and I catch a Chinook salmon without a salmon permit. Can I legally take a "safe for the fish" picture with the fish before releasing it?
I am not saying beaching the fish or tossing it up on shore for a picture but can I take a picture of it in the water or have someone take a picture of me just barely holding it out of the water before releasing?
If it is out of season, and I legally can not harvest/target chinook could I take a picture with one if it were caught?
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.
Section 3 of the Snake River (Couse Crk –Cache Crk) had great catch rates this week and the highest amount of adults and jacks harvested. The guides are hitting Heller Bar hard and bringing in a lot of jacks this past week. Almost every Chinook that our clerks have been able to get their hands on has beeped positive for coded wire. We also saw a left opercule punch on a jack up at Heller Bar. I have not yet received Section 5 data, but as soon as I do I will get it out to everyone. - Jaime Mills, Clearwater Fisheries Technician
|STEELHEAD CREEL NUMBERS For Weekend of 9/30/2012|
|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||94||529||9||4||13||41||59||66||CLR|
|03 Clearwater River - Mouth to Memorial Bridge||114||492||20||14||34||14||25||55||CLR|
03A Clearwater - Memorial Bridge to Orofino Bridge
STEELHEAD CREEL NUMBERS (Unexpanded Estimates*)
For Weekend of: 9/8/2012
NO. ANGLERS NO. OF NO. OF FISH
CHECKED NO. FISH KEPT RELEASED TOTAL WATER
SECTION RIVER LOCATION HOURS FISH TEMP (°F)
01 Snake R. –
Downstream from Salmon R. 64 268 4 7 11 68
02 Clearwater River –
Mouth to Memorial Bridge 17 71 1 0 1 52
03A Clearwater River –
Memorial Bridge to Orofino Bridge ** 15 76 0 0 0 54
* The values shown are unexpanded sample data and estimates of fishing effort and success.
** Before October 15, steelhead fishing upstream of Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston is catch-and-release only.
*** CLR = clear; CDY = cloudy; MDY = muddy.
Hi all, this will be my last weekly update for spring/summer Chinook. Last week we documented harvest of Chinook at only one location –the North Fork Clearwater River (35 fish caught). Catch rates were quite good (5 hrs/fish), but reports are the fish are starting to turn. For you diehards out there, some have indicate they still are very good smoked.
We've finally have gotten to the point where it’s time to shut down all Chinook salmon fishing in the Clearwater Region. At the end of fishing hours on August 5, 2012, the Chinook salmon season will end in the Clearwater Region. This includes the Clearwater River drainage, the Snake River (Hells Canyon Reach), the lower Salmon River (Park Hole area), and the Little Salmon River. That being said, you can start harvesting steelhead in the lower Clearwater (downstream of Memorial Bridge) starting Aug 1, and the fall Chinook season will start September 1. It never ends does it? What a nice place we live in!
For those of you who like to fish for fall Chinook, details for the season are as follows:
I’ll try and get you some updates about steelhead and fall Chinook as we get more details about the run size and catch rates.
This bridge was damaged a couple of years ago and I saw a sign/gate restricting vehicle access. I don't remember if it included foot traffic as well. Any update would be appreciated.
I hope you are ready to catch some salmon because they are on their way!!
Yes, my weekly Chinook update for the Clearwater Region is going to have a much more upbeat tone than last week as the counts over Bonneville have increased dramatically. In fact, we haven’t seen as many spring Chinook salmon come over Bonneville as we saw yesterday (18,436) since the incredible years of 2001 and 2002. In case you were wondering, we had a peak one day count of spring Chinook over Bonneville in 2001 of 27,020 fish.
I’m also happy to report that a whole bunch of these fish are headed to Idaho. As you can see in the table below (or click on ‘read more’) the estimated non-tribal harvest share for fish headed to Clearwater Region release sites has about doubled since last week. It’s important to understand though that this estimate is based on the average late timing we have seen in the past. This run is even later the average late timed run so I expect to see this estimate continue to climb.
To give you some idea of what I mean, based on the average late timing, about 76% of the hatchery Chinook salmon destined to the Clearwater River and Rapid River would have passed by Bonneville on this date. Based on the number of Jacks and summer run Chinook that have come over Bonneville and the timing of when this run seems to be peaking, my best guess (for whatever that is worth) is that only about 40-50% of the hatchery Chinook destined to the Clearwater River and Rapid River have passed by Bonneville. If this is true, our harvest share for the Clearwater River will increase to 7,000 to 9,500 fish and 9,000-12,000 fish for the Riggins area. I guess only time will tell how good I am with my crystal ball. I’m still trying to fine tune it.