ifishidaho

Clearwater Region Chinook Update (5/7/14)

First, let me tell you what we know about the number of Chinook Salmon we are projecting to come to the Clearwater Region.  Last week we had some exciting times when over a three day period over 40,000 Chinook Salmon passed over Bonneville Dam.  Since then the counts have dropped back down, but that spike in numbers caused our projected non-tribal harvest share to increase to about 4,000 adult fish in the Clearwater drainage and about 6,3000 adult fish for the Rapid River run.  If you recall, last week the projected harvest share was around 3,400 for the Clearwater drainage and 4,500 for the Rapid River run.   At this point I am not expecting any large changes in harvest share as typically by this time around 75% of the run of fish heading to the Clearwater Region has passed over Bonneville Dam.  If you are wondering how these harvest shares compare to previous years.  This is very similar to what we saw in the Clearwater River basin in 2008 and 2009-2012.  Last year the harvest share in the Clearwater Basin was 640 fish.  So this will be a marked improvement over that.  For the Rapid River run, last year the harvest share was 2,100 fish and the year before that  it was  4,500 fish.  As such this year will be an improvement over the previous two years.  All in all, I think we are in store for a very good season.

Clearwater River Basin Fishery
The table below has about everything you need to know about adult harvest of Chinook Salmon in the Clearwater River basin, and I will update it every week for you.  It shows how many fish we estimated were harvested each week and where.  It shows our harvest share and how many fish are left. Finally, it shows how the public has indicated they would like the harvest share allocated to the different river reaches and how much harvest remains in each of those areas.  As we get close to reaching these different target amounts you can expect the fisheries to close in those areas (or at least the adult harvest).  Last week we estimated 21 adult Chinook Salmon were harvested in the Clearwater River drainage, all  near Lewiston.  Go to harvest data for more details.

Counts over Lower Granite Dam the last couple days were around 1,300 and 3,000 fish which is good.  Flows are also looking good, so those fish should spread upriver fast.  Expect the fishing to really pick up from here on out.

Rapid River Fishery
We did not see any harvest of fish last week on the Rapid River run, and as such I did not include a harvest summary table below.  However, once harvest begins I will display a similar table as above for this fishery as well.  I can tell you though that the first fish showed up at Rapid River Hatchery two days ago so it would surprise me if some fish are caught this weekend.  Flows are looking good right now so those fish coming over Lower Granite Dam now should start being caught in a week.

Hells Canyon Fishery
The Hells Canyon fishery is often one of the first to start up.  In fact, our creel crew check one adult last week and we estimated a harvest of three fish.  Expect this fishery to pick up in a week as well.

Well the fishery is upon us.  I hope you all are getting your gear ready as if the fish aren’t in the area you like to fish now, they should be there soon. - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager

 

Upper Salmon River Weekend Summary 4/20/14

This weekend on the upper Salmon River the majority of anglers were once again found upstream of Basin Creek, in location code 19. Few anglers were found downstream in location codes 17 and 18. Interviewed anglers in location code 17 averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 32 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 18, interviewed anglers did not report catching any steelhead. Upstream of the East Fork, in location code 19, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 26 hours per steelhead kept. Click here for more details.

River conditions upstream of Basin Creek remained good over the weekend, but river conditions downstream were poor due to increased turbidity and rising water levels. Water temperatures continued to stay in the mid-40s.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician

Weekend Summary on Salmon River 4/16/14

This past weekend on the upper Salmon River, the majority of anglers were found above Ellis in location codes 18 and 19, but anglers downstream of Salmon were still catching steelhead, as well. Anglers interviewed in location code 15, downstream of North Fork, averaged 13 hours per steelhead caught and 29 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 16, angler effort dropped from the previous weekend, but interviewed anglers still averaged 9 hours per steelhead caught and 11 hours per steelhead kept. Between the Lemhi and Pahsimeroi Rivers, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 23 hours per steelhead caught and 34 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of Ellis, in location code 18, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 51 hours per steelhead kept. Above the East Fork, in location code 19, angler effort increased significantly over the previous weekend, and interviewed anglers averaged 12 hours per steelhead caught and 30 hours per steelhead kept.  Click here for more details.

Water conditions remained favorable through the weekend, with clear water observed in all location codes and water temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician

Weekend Survey on Clearwater and Little Salmon 4/5/2014

The Little Salmon River and the South Fork Clearwater were a busy fishery over the weekend and catch rates were very good. Fish and Game has discontinued monitoring the Main Clearwater River due to minimal angler effort.  Effort observed on the Main Salmon River was also minimal.  Click here for more details - Amanda Schmidt, Fisheries Technician

Clearwater Anglers Can Keep the Big Ones.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to lift the restrictions on harvest of “B-run” steelhead on the Clearwater River for the remainder of the 2014 season effective immediately. The decision was made during the commission meeting on Thursday, March 20, 2014. 

“B-run” steelhead are those that spend two years in the ocean as opposed to “A-run” steelhead which typically return to Idaho after only one year in the ocean. Prior to this change, anglers on the Clearwater River were only allowed to keep steelhead between 20 and 28 inches in length. The change will allow those anglers to keep steelhead longer than 28 inches as long as they have evidence of a clipped adipose fin. The daily bag limit of 1 and the possession limit of 2 remain the same on the Clearwater River for the remainder of the 2014 spring season.

 

Weekend Creel Survey for Clearwater 3/23/14

The busiest area this past weekend in the region was on the South Fork of the Clearwater (river sect 07). Hours per fish caught was only 4 hours, which resulted in really good fishing. Many anglers chose to release a lot of the hatchery fish they caught, which resulted in higher hours per fish kept.  Effort has continued to drop on the main stem of the Clearwater. The Little Salmon also had a lot of anglers on it this past weekend and had some pretty could catch rates. Click here for more details. Over all the weather was nice and the water was clearer than the previous weekend.  - Jaime Robertson. Fisheries Technician

Upper Salmon River Weekend Report 3/23/14

The steelhead fishing improved once again last weekend on the upper Salmon River. The average catch rates in location codes 14 through 19 either improved or remained close to those observed during the previous weekend. Interviewed anglers in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, averaged 6 hours per steelhead caught, and no steelhead were reported kept. In location code 15, anglers had catch rates similar to last weekend and averaged 9 hours per steelhead caught and 16 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 16, interviewed anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead caught and 27 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 17, anglers did considerably better this weekend compared to the previous one when only one steelhead was reported caught. Interviewed anglers from this weekend reported a total catch of 36 steelhead which resulted in averages of 12 hours per steelhead caught and 26 hours per steelhead kept. The fishing in location code 18 also improved this weekend. Anglers there reported averages of 19 hours per steelhead caught and 54 per steelhead kept. Anglers at the upper end of the river, in location code 19, averaged 15 hours per steelhead caught and 35 hours per steelhead kept, which was similar to the previous weekend. Click here for more details.

River conditions did not change much over the past week with river temperatures remaining in the low 40s.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician

Upper Salmon River Weekend Summary 3/16/14

This past weekend on the upper Salmon was the best steelhead fishing that has been observed so far this spring with the majority of angler effort located downstream of North Fork in location codes 14 and 15. Interviewed anglers in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, averaged 13 hours per steelhead caught and 280 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 15, 149 interviewed anglers caught a total of 98 steelhead which resulted in averages of 8 hours per steelhead caught and 18 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 16, between North Fork and the mouth of the Lemhi, interviewed anglers averaged 9 hours per steelhead caught and 12 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 17, interviewed anglers had a tough time finding fish and averaged 286 hours per steelhead caught or kept. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, in location code 18, the fishing was also slow, with anglers averaging 146 per steelhead caught, and no steelhead were reported kept. The fishing improved upstream of the East Fork, in location code 19. Interviewed anglers there averaged 14 hours per steelhead caught and 21 hours per steelhead kept. Click here for more details.

River conditions over the weekend were relatively good, with cloudy water observed downstream of the Pahsimeroi River and clear water observed upstream. River temperatures were in the low 40s and remained fairly stable. Springtime conditions continue to cause rock falls on the Salmon River road downstream of North Fork , and anglers are advised to use caution while driving and deciding where to park.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician

Upper Salmon River Weekend Summary 3/09/14

With the low level snowmelt that is occurring, water conditions on the upper Salmon River continue to fluctuate daily. The Deadwater ice jam went out on Wednesday, March 5th, and the river visibility downstream began to improve by Saturday. Rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days, but then clear weather is predicted to move in. If that is the case, then river conditions may continue to improve heading into the upcoming weekend. The road downstream of North Fork is passable, with typical spring time conditions causing rocks to fall in some areas. Anglers are advised to use caution when driving and deciding where to park.

This weekend on the upper Salmon River, angler effort increased considerably in a couple of river location codes. In location code 14, angler effort remained similar to the previous weekend and no interviewed anglers reported catching a steelhead. In location code 15, angler effort increased from 39 hours of effort during the previous weekend to 268 hours this weekend. Anglers in location code 15 also averaged the best catch rates of the weekend at 7 hours per steelhead caught and 17 hours per steelhead kept. Location code 16, from the mouth of the North Fork to the mouth of the Lemhi River, did not receive much angler effort with only one steelhead reported caught. This resulted in catch rates of 22 hours per steelhead caught or kept. Location code 17, from the mouth of the Lemhi River to the mouth of the Pahsimeroi River, had a large increase in angler effort, but anglers only reported catching two steelhead. This resulted in catch rates of 208 hours per steelhead caught and 416 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 18, anglers averaged 42 hours per steelhead caught, and none were kept. In location code 19, anglers averaged 131 hours per fish caught, and no steelhead were reported kept.  Click here for more details. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician