Fishing

Weekly Chinook Update 6/13/12

To start, we are proposing NO CLOSURES in the Clearwater drainage or Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers fisheries this week.

In the Clearwater drainage effort and harvest dropped considerably last week (June 4 – June 10) resulting from increased flows and rainy weather. Last week the adult harvest in the Clearwater drainage was estimated to be less than 200 fish with the majority coming from the North Fork and South Fork Clearwater Rivers. Flows are dropping so hopefully effort and harvest jump back up. For those who fish the South Fork Clearwater the current estimate of hatchery adults that have entered is a little more than 2,000. For a chart on the running progress of the harvest and harvest share for the Clearwater drainage fishery, see below or click on 'read more.'

 

The adult harvest in lower Salmon around at Riggins and the Little Salmon rivers are finally picking up. Below is running progress of the harvest and harvest share for the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.

 Again, we are proposing NO CLOSURES in the Clearwater drainage or lower Salmon and Little Salmon river fisheries this week.

There are still a lot a fish to harvest so go get them while you can (just save a few for me). Stay tuned for next week’s updates. - Don Whitney, Clearwater Region Fisheries Biologist

 

Weekly Chinook Update 6/5/12

Hi everybody.  It looks like people were catching fish about everywhere last week (May 28-June 3, 2012).  Hopefully there are a lot of happy anglers out there.  For those who like to fish the Clearwater River basin, I have some good news.  It appears that survival of migrating adults between Bonneville Dam and McNary Dam was higher than we typically see which has increased our projected harvest share to above 5,000 fish (see table below).  The bad news is survival for the Rapid River fish in this same reach appears lower than expected and has resulted in a lower projected harvest share estimate for these fish.  These differences in survival  are largely based upon when these runs migrated through the fisheries on the Columbia.  Rapid River fish came a little earlier this year which made them more susceptible to harvest.  The final harvest share estimate will be based on the number of fish that pass over Lower Granite Dam, so these harvest shares could still change some.  There was considerable harvest in the Lower Snake River (between Ice Harbor and Lower Granite) so we will have to wait and see how this influences our harvest share. (Click 'read more' for more information.)

Adult Chinook salmon run estimate based on PIT tags passing over McNary Dam
Release group Current number over McNary based on PIT tags Projected total run estimate to McNary based on late run timing Broodstock needs Estimated non-tribal harvest share above LGD
Dworshak 5,040 5,235 1,200 1,739
Kooskia (Dwrs) 2,389 3,460 800 1,161
Kooskia (Clwr) 1,138 1,155 NA 550
Selway 2,043 2,132 NA 594
Powell 1,305 1,360 694 311
SF Clearwater 3,478 3,664 1,014 1,127
Total Clearwater R. 15,395 15,850 3,708 5,482
Rapid River 11,220 11,338 2,000 4,240
Upper Little Salmon 646 653 NA 300
Total Riggins Area 11,867 11,991 2,000 4,540
Hells Canyon  2,253 2,276 400 847

In the Clearwater Region last week, people were catching fish from the mouth all the way to the South Fork Clearwater River.  The only place we didn’t document harvest was in the Lochsa River, although I know they were there.  Some of the best catch rates last week were from Cherrylane Bridge to Orofino Bridge, the North Fork, the South Fork, and yesterday I heard fishing was really good in the Kooskia area.  There should still be a couple thousand adult Chinook destined for the Clearwater yet to come over Lower Granite so don’t over look the lower Clearwater as well.  Finally, I have good news for all of you Clearwater anglers.  Because of the higher than expected survival, we will be proposing NO closures this week in the Clearwater River basin.  So go find your favorite place and catch some fish.  We will look at the harvest numbers next week and get back to you. 

Fishing in the lower Salmon River picked up last week which was good to see. Catch rates were not the greatest (20-25 hr/fish), but I certainly talked to some people who limited out over multiple days.  I was surprised to see that more fish were not harvested in the Little Salmon River last week; but after I was informed that high flows made the fishing difficult, it made more sense.  The rain we had over the last couple days brought flows up considerably in the Salmon and Little Salmon which turned the rivers muddy and has turned off fishing.  Based on the flow prediction services, flows should start coming down by Thursday which should mean the fishing will be good this weekend.  Obviously, this will depend on what the water conditions are like.  Let’s hope it stops raining, as the fish are there and ready to be caught.   

Friends take friends steelhead fishing.

I haven't missed going up and fishing for steelhead on the Salmon in 20 years. I look forward to it all year. This year I took a friend who had never been steelhead fishing. When we arrived I walked him down to a hole that has always been successful for me. I was explaining the hole to him and kind of where to cast and what to feel for. Anyway I took his pole and cast out the line (this was the very first cast of the trip) to kind of show him how to do things. It hadn't been in the water only 10 seconds and Wham!! There he was! I handed the pole to him and he reeled in his first steelhead - a wild one! Second steelhead of the day was smaller but a keeper. Good Times!!
- Lance Murray

Cast and Blast

Oct 10 2010. Sun up found us launching at Heller Bar. By noon we had released a native salmon, caught a hatchery 15 lb steelhead and shot a handful of chukars. A sack lunch on the white sandy beach of the Snake River didn't compare to the dinner yet to come. We hooked into a couple more steelies, but couldn't keep 'em on. As the sun went behind the Oregon Blues the smallmouth started to bite. Harvesting a few for dinner, we made a course for the cabin. Before we could even take one bite of our all Idaho dinnerm which consisted of Chukar Surprise over potatoes and fried bass, the sturgeon rod went nuts. 45 minutes later the 7.5 foot fish finally cooperated for a quick pic and healthy release.
- Eric Hart 'n friends

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Creel Report for the Weekend of 11/26/2011

Slightly warmer weather this weekend allowed more anglers to come out then the previous weekend, and they had more success. Fishing actually improved this weekend with the hours per fish caught dropping or holding steady in all sections. The season is definitely slowing down and beginning to wrap up, but as long as above freezing temperatures continue to persist and keep the slush ice away, the fishing should remain solid.

Also, this will be the last report issued for the Fall 2011 season.

A little bit of salmon.

"I call this picture a good days work. This was my first serious year of salmon fishing and I was determined to catch salmon with a bobber jig set up.  It took me five days before my first hit. It was at the end of my drift and I had a good hook up and after five spectacular jumps the fish spit the hook. In the next three hours I had two more hits and successfully hooked up and landed both of them."

- David Kalanick

Patience Pays Off

"Caught this one at Granite Lake, i.e. the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, at the state line.  Reeled it in about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 8th.  We had been on the river since about 6 a.m. that day.  Using mostly purple shrimp for bait."

- Steve Miller
 

Another First!

"It was a lot of fun to catch this fish on the Salmon River just upstream from White Bird. This was my first Idaho Steelhead."

- A.J. Balukoff

My first ever steelhead - Jeanne

my first steelhead

"I caught my first ever steelhead on a solo stop in the spring 2011 near the Yankee Fork on the Upper Salmon. Luckily an experienced old-timer was right next to me on the bank to coach me through it since I had never hooked one before (and took the photo too!). It was so much fun and especially great to share the excitement with strangers fishing next to me."

- Jeanne