fishing

Clearwater Weekly Chinook Update (7/9/12)

Many of you have stopped fishing for Chinook in the Clearwater Region, but I know some of you still are so I am going to keep providing these updates until we shut down the season.

Most of the effort and catch we see right now in the Clearwater is near the release sites. Fishing in the North Fork continues to be good, and based on the fish I saw last week, it appears that many of them still have orange meat.  Some are starting to turn though.  What is interesting is that the catch rates we saw last week on the North Fork Clearwater (5 hrs/fish) was the best we have seen all year in any river section in the Clearwater River drainage.  So if you still want to catch a Chinook, you have a good opportunity.

Clearwater River Drainage        
  Chinook Salmon Kept Angler Hours Hours per fish kept  Unclipped salmon released
  Adults Jacks Total      
Railroad Bridge to Cherrylane Bridge 0 0 0 0 - 0
Cherrylane Bridge to Orofino Bridge 0 0 0 0 - 0
North Fork Clearwater River 73 6 79 665 8 30
Orofino Bridge to Kooskia Bridge 0 0 0 9 - 0
Middle Fork Clearwater River 4 0 4 142 36 0
South Fork Clearwater River 3 0 3 435 145 3
Lochsa River 0 0 0 171 - 0
Clearwater River drainage          Week total 80 6 86 1422 17 33
Clearwater River drainage         Season total 3371 204 3575 76294 21 1110

Fishing in the Riggins area has really dropped off. Almost all the fish caught last week were in the Little Salmon with catch rates being about 20 hrs/fish. 

Believe it or not, the fishing picked back up below Hells Canyon Dam as we estimated that 18 adult Chinook were harvested last week. The fishing pressure was light so we actually estimated the best catch rate of the season below the dam last week at 11 hr/fish.

Snake River at Hells Canyon Dam Chinook Salmon Kept Angler Hours Hours per fish kept Unclipped salmon released
  Adults Jacks Total      
  18 0 18 201 11 0
Snake River Season Total 182 16 198 6268 32 10

For you die hards out there, even though the season is winding down, we are seeing some of the best catch rates of the year in certain locations.

Why did you put clipped hatchery trout in the south fork of the clear water. This is considered a trash fish to a lot of fisherman and damaging to our native rivers.

We found that we were forced to only keep hatchery trout on what was a very expensive outing to the south fork river this past week. This is a fish we could have fished for a few miles from home. We also found that while fishing for trout in the south fork, it was very hard to find a native fish. The native fish we did catch were small and a lot were foul hooked. I have fished this river for years and have never foul hooked as many fish. I feel that this was a bad addition to south fork or any river. I think the hatchery fish will starve out the native fish.

Upper Salmon River Weekly Chinook Harvest Update 7/1/2012

Angler effort picked up significantly this past weekend compared to the one before, but there were still a lot of open holes out there. For the week, sixty three adults and six jacks were kept, while 27 non ad-clipped adults were released. Anglers averaged approximately 25 hours per Chinook caught and 36 hours per Chinook kept. Last week, most fish were caught downstream of the Yankee Fork, while this week a much larger proportion were caught upstream of the Yankee Fork. To date, season totals are 78 hatchery Chinook kept and 29 unclipped Chinook released. As of today (July 2nd), the number that have been trapped at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery is 160 hatchery adults, 13 hatchery jacks, and 10 wild. The best is yet to come since fishing should only keep improving as more Chinook continue to move into section 19.  - Brent Beller, Salmon Region Fisheries

Expanded Effort and Catch estimates for  July 1, 2012                  
Salmon River Stanley Area # of Salmon kept     Total Salmon Released Total Salmon caught Breakdown of salmon released Angler Hours     Hours/Fish  
  Adults Jacks Total     ad-clipped adults ad-clipped jacks non ad-clipped adults non ad-clipped jacks Boat Bank Total Caught  Kept
Section 19      Weekly Total 63 6 69 33 102 2 2 27 2 0 2508 2508 25 36
Section 19      Season Total 72 6 78 33 111 2 2 27 2 17 2933 2950 27 38

 

Weekly Clearwater Chinook Update 6/26/12

Hi everybody, it’s time for the weekly Chinook update (6/26/12).  Harvest shares for the Clearwater River, Riggins area and Hells Canyon are shown below and are not much different than last week. 

Harvest dropped off some in the Clearwater Region from last week, but there are still areas where the fishing is good.  Catch rates were below 10 hr/fish for both the North Fork Clearwater and Kooskia hatchery area.  One of our creel clerks told me how surprised she was with how light the fishing pressure was in the Kooskia area last week especially since the fishing was good.  In fact, in her break from work, she managed to go down to the rive and catch two Chinook.  Surprisingly, catch dropped substantially in the South Fork Clearwater last week even though our PIT tag array indicates around 3,000 hatchery fish have moved into this river with fish still trickling in.  We still have a lot of fish remaining on the non-tribal harvest share, so there will be NO closures or rule changes in the Clearwater River drainage this week.   Based on the way the fishery is progressing, it looks like the season could last through July in the Clearwater drainage.

Clearwater River Drainage Chinook Salmon Kept Angler Hours Hours per fish kept Unclipped salmon released
  Adults Jacks Total      
Railroad Bridge to Cherrylane Bridge 0 0 0 115 - 0
Cherrylane Bridge to Orofino Bridge 7 0 7 575 82 26
North Fork Clearwater River 150 2 152 1730 11 33
Orofino Bridge to Kooskia Bridge 2 1 3 163 54 0
Middle Fork Clearwater River 82 7 89 852 10 18
South Fork Clearwater River 28 4 32 1468 46 27
Lochsa River 0 0 0 0 - 0
Clearwater River drainage Week Total 269 14 283 4903 17 104
Clearwater River drainage Season Total 3169 191 3360 71396 21 1021

Harvest dropped in the Riggins area last week after two weeks of good catch rates.  Surprisingly, the best catch rates were not in the Park Hole area or the Little Salmon River last week.  They were actually in the Salmon River downstream of Time Zone Bridge and upstream of Shorts Creek.   I think a combination of lower effort and the presence of upriver bound fish made the fishing good in these areas.  There certainly are many fish around the Riggins area, as they continue to flow into the hatchery.  Sometimes it seems that later in the run Chinook just don’t bite as much which can cause catch rates to decline.  Despite this, it seems that there are always groups of anglers that figure it out and catch lots of fish.  Maybe you are one of those anglers?  To date we have harvested about 83% of the Rapid River run which means we have over 700 adult fish still left to harvest (see table below).  Based on these numbers, there will be NO closures or rule changes proposed through Four of July for the lower Salmon or Little Salmon rivers.  Be sure to check in with us after the 4th to see if we have any changes in mind.

Lower Salmon River Chinook Salmon Kept     Angler Hours Hours per fish kept Unclipped salmon released
  Adults Jacks Total      
Rice Creek Bridge to Hammer Creek Boundary 44 5 49 910 19 57
Hammer Creek Boat Ramp to Time Zone Bridge 127 22 149 3175 21 141
Time Zone Bridge to Mouth of Short's Creek 109 6 115 3700 32 15
Short's Creek to Vinegar Creek 54 4 58 1242 21 17
Salmon River Week Total 334 37 371 9027 24 230
Salmon River Season Total 2233 227 2460 51559 21 540

People seem to have lost interest in the Hells Canyon fishery as we documented no harvest in this area last week.  That being said, I would have to guess that the fishing pressure will be light next week  and that there should be plenty of areas to fish if you plan on visiting.

Upper Salmon Chinook Fishery Update 6/25/12

Last Saturday (6/23) was the opening day for the upper Salmon River Chinook fishery in section 19, and we are happy to report that the fish are here! Three harvested adult Chinook were observed by creel technicians and a small number were also seen at the Sawtooth Hatchery weir. The majority of the angler effort was concentrated near the mouth of the Yankee Fork in the middle of section 19, but Chinook anglers were also found upstream and downstream of that area. It is also worth mentioning that the Salmon river was at a very good level for fishing in section 19 this weekend. The water is clear, the level is relatively low, and the river, as well as the fishing, should only keep getting better.   - Brent Beller, Salmon Region Fisheries

Expanded Effort and Catch estimates for (June 23 - June 24, 2012)          
Salmon River Stanley Area # of Salmon kept     Total Salmon Released Total Salmon caught Angler Hours     Hours/Fish  
  Adults Jacks Total     Boat Bank Total Caught  Kept
Section 19 Weekly Total 9 0 9 0 9 17 425 442 49 49
Section 19 Season Total 9 0 9 0 9 17 425 442 49 49

Chinook Update on lower Salmon and Little Salmon Fishery 6/20/12

Hi everybody.   I promised to get back to you on the Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers.  I just wanted to let all of you know that there will be no closures or rule changes for Chinook salmon fishing on the lower Salmon or Little Salmon rivers through this weekend (6/24/13).  To date, it looks like we have harvested around 60% of our harvest share, and we estimate that we have around another 1,500 adult fish to harvest.  We will look at our catch data next Tuesday and determine then whether any closures or rule changes need to be made.  If you could help spread the word, I’d appreciate it.   Until then, have fun fishing.  - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager