This past weekend on the Clearwater River was still pretty warm weather wise but, many anglers hit the water in the mornings and evenings. Many anglers are off the water by 12pm. The confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers, which is creel section 1 river sect. 01, is still getting the most amount of effort of the creel sections. Most people coming off the water are commenting on the ratio of unclipped vs. clipped fish. Many people are using herring and eggs for bait. Check harvest information. - Jaime Robertson Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region
Chinook fishing on the upper Salmon River closed at the end of fishing on Sunday, July 27th.
During the previous week, anglers in location codes 16 and 17 averaged 45 hours per Chinook caught and 84 hours per Chinook kept. Upstream, in location code 18, anglers did not report harvesting a Chinook and averaged 70 hours per Chinook caught. For the season, an estimated 79 adult Chinook were harvested out of location codes 16 and 17 and an estimated 529 adult Chinook were harvested out of location codes 18 and 19.
This is the last weekly report for the upper Salmon River Chinook season. Our weekend steelhead reports will begin Monday, October 6th. - Brent Beller, Salmon Region Fishery Technician
Hi everybody. This will be the last update I provide regarding fishing for spring Chinook Salmon in the Clearwater Region for you die hard, never say stop Chinook anglers.
Currently the remaining river reaches open to Chinook Salmon fishing in the Clearwater Region include:
- Little Salmon River from its mouth to Hwy 95 bridge near Pollock (adipose clipped jacks only).
- Little Salmon River from Pollock 95 bridge to the Smokey Bolder Road (adipose clipped adults and jacks)
- Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam (adipose clipped adults and jacks)
All Chinook Salmon fishing will end on July 27 at the close of fishing hours in these waters. After July 27 no Chinook Salmon fishing will be allowed in the Clearwater Region.
As a heads up, the Fall Chinook Salmon season starts on September 1. It is supposed to be another great run, so it is never too early to start planning. Unfortunately we were not able to get a permit from NOAA fisheries that would allow us to harvest unclipped fish. As a result the rules will remain the same as in past years where only adipose clipped fish may be harvested. - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager
The Chinook season in location code 19, upstream of the East Fork of the Salmon River, was closed at the end of fishing on Saturday, July 19th. The season is still open in location codes 16, 17, and 18 until the end of fishing (10:00 PM) on Sunday, July 27th.
During the previous week, the best Chinook fishing was still found upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location codes 18 and 19. In location code 19, which is now closed, anglers averaged 13 hours per Chinook caught and 75 hours per Chinook kept. In location code 18, anglers averaged 34 hours per Chinook caught and 85 hours per Chinook kept. Downstream of the Pahsimeroi, in location codes 16 and 17, the fishing was slower. Anglers in location code 17 averaged 106 hours per Chinook caught and 138 hours per Chinook kept while anglers in location code 16 did not report any harvest. See harvest details.
The Salmon River has continued to drop over the past week and the water temperatures keep rising. As of today, the river is flowing at approximately 1,300 cfs through the town of Salmon with mid-day water temperatures around the middle to high 60s. - Brent Beller. Salmon Region Fisheries Technician
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
Chinook fishing opened on the upper Salmon River this past weekend, and fish were being caught right away. The river was running at approximately 3,000 cfs through the town of Salmon on Saturday and the visibility was good. Interviewed anglers harvested Chinook in all the river sections open to fishing. Anglers were having to put in a lot of effort to find them, especially in section 16 between North Fork and the Lemhi River. Fishing should improve as we move forward and more Chinook continue to move up river into the fishery while the river level keeps dropping.
As of June 19th, two adult Chinook had been trapped at the Pahsimeroi Hatchery and two adults had also been trapped at the Sawtooth Hatchery. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician
Hi everybody, this is the Clearwater Region’s Chinook Salmon Update (6/24/14).
Because harvest shares haven’t changed from last week and many of the fisheries are ending, I’m going to jump right into what’s going on for each of the fisheries in the Clearwater Region.
Clearwater River Basin Fishery
First, I’d like to let everybody know that right now the only river reaches open to Chinook Salmon fishing in the Clearwater River Basin are the Middle Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, and Lochsa rivers and only Jacks are allowed to be harvested in these river reaches. Because we have met our overall harvest share in the Clearwater River Basin we will be closing the remaining open river reaches to all Chinook Salmon fishing at the end of fishing hours on Sunday June 29, 2014. That means on Monday June 30, 2014 the entire Clearwater River basin will be closed to Chinook Salmon fishing.
All in all I think this was a fairly good Chinook Season. The fish did come in fast and furious and as the result many of the fisheries didn’t last long, but that is the nature of the beast for Chinook Salmon fisheries. Most of the river reaches we managed got at least two or three good weeks of fishing, and unfortunately that is all about you can expect when the run doesn’t get spread out when migrating up the Columbia and Snake rivers (likely due to the lower and clearer water conditions in the Columbia during their migration.) Most of the river reaches we manage we were able to get within a few percent of our harvest goals. We may have been off a little more on a couple of the river reaches, but in reality it is very difficult for us to get more accurate than this.
Many of you had comments about how we might be able to do a better job managing this fishery in the future, and I look forward to chatting more about these ideas during our public meetings this winter.
Rapid River Fishery
Last week was another good week of fishing on the Rapid River run although it wasn’t as good as the previous week. Catch rates were around 11 hours a fish in the Little Salmon River and about the same in Salmon River. Based on reports from our creel personnel, it looks like we are seeing similar catch rates in the Little Salmon River for the beginning of this week as well. Some have asked why we closed the entire lower Salmon River to fishing last week. The reason is to protect upstream migration hatchery and wild salmon. In fact, the Pahsimeroi run is so weak this year that if we didn’t make the closures we did, we could actually harvest enough of their fish to could close this fishery down before the fish really got there. Right now the only area open to Chinook fishing (for the Rapid River run) is the Little Salmon River. We will look at harvest numbers as well as the number of brood stock we are collecting and let you know tomorrow (Wednesday) if there are any closures for the Little Salmon in the immediate future.
Hells Canyon Fishery
The Hells Canyon Fishery did not receive much effort last week and the fishing was tough (32 hrs/fish). As result, we estimated that only 14 adults were harvested bringing our total harvest to 420 fish. Our harvest share is around 1,000 adult fish and as a result this fishery will likely remain open for quite some time.
I’m leaving for vacation this Friday and as such this will be the last weekly update I provide. Don Whitney (Harvest Monitoring Biologist) will keep you posted on the status Little Salmon Fishery.
So this is it from me until the Steelhead and Fall Chinook seasons begin. Have a great summer. - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region Fishery Manager