Salmon Season to Close Wednesday
by Roger Phillips
If you want to fish for salmon on the South Fork of the Salmon River, you´d better hurry because the season closes Wednesday.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced Monday that the season will close at 10:26 p.m. Wednesday.
Anglers had caught 4,140 salmon from the South Fork through Sunday and were catching about 400 fish per day between Thursday and Sunday.
At those catch rates, Fish and Game projected the sport fishing share of the salmon run would be met by the end of fishing Wednesday, according to Sharon Kiefer, anadromous fish manager for Fish and Game.
The department is estimating about 10,600 summer chinook salmon will return to the South Fork.
F&G needs about 1,400 adults to replenish its hatcheries.
The surplus fish are then divided between the tribal and sport fisheries.
The sport anglers are allowed about 4,600 salmon this year, she said.
“It looks like we will be there by this Wednesday,” Kiefer said.
The season was scheduled to run until Aug. 3. However, the South Fork season usually closes before that date.
Anglers were expecting the season to close soon due to the large number of fish being caught, said Mike Boxberger, co-owner of Tackle Tom´s in Cascade.
“I think they were expecting it,” Boxberger said. “Everyone figured it was coming to an end.”
With a couple of days left in the season, Fish and Game officials expect anglers will end up with fewer fish than last year.
Last year, 13,649 anglers caught 6,627 salmon during a 30-day season, according to Fish and Game biologist Kim Apperson in McCall.
Through Sunday, with three days remaining in the season, 12,353 anglers had caught 4,140 in 26 days.
Peak angler days were also similar to those last year.
About 1,100 anglers per day fished the South Fork during peak season in the two years, Apperson said.
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