Sorry, you only get one salmon permit for the spring/summer Chinook season. The first 20 notches are to record Chinook salmon from the Spring and Summer Chinook seasons. The second group of 20 notches are for the Fall Chinook and Coho season.
Our preseason forcast for Spring Chinook returning to Pahsimeroi was just over 2,100 adults. Incomplete PIT tag data is currently suggesting numbers may be less than our forecast - but it's still early and subject to change.
Are we talking about a water with landlocked Fall Chinook or a river system that Chinook Salmon can use to reach the ocean?
Anadromous (ocean-going) juvenile Chinook are typically defined as being two years of age or less. They will be 3 - 5" in length - depending on their diet and water temperatures. At approixmately 18 months of age they begin to smolt (body change to adapt to salt water). They become silvery and usually begin their downstream migration to the ocean. When they return to fresh water (1 - 3 years later) they are considered adults. Chinook Salmon that live one year in the ocean are mostly males and will be 20 - 24" in length. Two and three-ocean fish will be considerably larger.
Land-locked Chinook Salmon are stocked in several locations around Idaho to help manage Kokanee Salmon populations. They are raised in a fish hatchery for their first year of life and will grow to 8 - 10". When stocked in reservoirs they typically begin eating juvenile Kokanee and add roughly 8 - 10" of length per year. Land-locked Fall Chinook will live 4 - 5 years in most Idaho reservoirs. Most are unsuccessful at naturally reproducing.
We haven't finalized the quota for the South Fork Salmon River - as of the last week in May.
The number of fish that are in excess of our brood stock needs and available to anglers (harvest quota) is not actually determined until we have data on the number of passive induced transponder (PIT) tags detected over Lower Granite Dam - the last dam before the fish enter Idaho. PIT tagged fish destined for the South Fork Salmon River are currently below our pre-season forecast, however there are still PIT tagged South Fork fish coming over Bonneville Dam in the lower Columbia River. At this point in time, we are going to wait until the second week in June to release our harvest quota estimates for the South Fork Salmon run.
In Idaho Code, landlocked salmon are considered "trout" unless otherwise denoted. In the case of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Fall Chinook salmon are included in your daily trout bag limit. Therefore, you can keep 6 "trout/Fall Chinook" per day.
When fishing in Idaho, it doesn't matter if you have an "Alabama rig" or gear names after any other state - you can only have 5 hooks per line under your direct control.
I will say a "qualifying yes" to your question on lures. Provided the lure isn't scented, they would be legal. Scented lures would be considered "bait" and illegal in"no bait" waters. The only other way a lure would be illegal is if the hook gap was greater than 5/8" and you were fishing for anadromous Chinook Salmon or Steelhead.
All of those lighted, vibrating, battery operated lures are legal for use in Idaho.
We are anticipating a very successful Chinook Salmon season on the South Fork Salmon River in 2015. Actual dates of the season and bag limits will be set at the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Commission meeting that will be held in Lewiston on May 19th and 20th, 2015.
With the low flow conditions I would anticipate late June/early July to be prime fishing on the South Fork. What a way to spend the 4th of July weekend!
The rules that were approved by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Commission: Clearwater River Basin - Daily Limit: 4 fish only 1 of which may be an adult except in the South Fork Clearwater River where 2 adults can be harvested. Fishing will occur 7 days a week. No river section closures, except the Big Eddy Hole will be closed to boat fishing. This area will be marked by signs on the upstream and downstream borders.
At the present time fisheries staff are projecting 14,073 hatchery-produced Chinook will cross Lower Granite Dam and head for the Clearwater drainage. When you subtract the Tribal share and hatchery broodstock needs - that will leave roughly 4,500 fish for licensed anglers.
Yes there is. Our latest estimate is for 14,073 adult hatchery-produced Chinook salmon passing Lower Granite Dam and headed to the Clearwater River system. A total of 5,452 are headed to Dworshak Hatchery; 2,247 adults to Kooskia; and the remainer are headed to Clearwater River tributaries where they were stocked as smolts (juvenile salmon).
The ony difference between a "newby" biologist and a bald biologist is the "newby" is arrogant enough to predict how fish and wildlife will respond to changing environmental conditions. I'm a "gray-haired" biologist so I'm not going to give you a definitive answer to your question.
What I will say is, Mother Nature has contingencies for all environmental changes and variation. Typically, when the water warms early, the fish mature and spawn earlier than on a normal year.flow and temperature year. Just a guess - this is probably a programmed response to the risk of rivers warming and flows dropping earlier than an average flow and temperature year.With that said, all it takes is a cold-front to slow the maturation process and put conditions back to what we consider "normal" in our short-term vision of the world.
Peak of spawning (time when most steelhead will spawn) may shift a week or two, but there will still be steelhead spawning in April and early May. Again, variable spawning timing is one way to make sure some segment of the steelhead population will successfully reproduce.