Steelhead are arriving in Idaho a little earlier than usual, but it's catch-and-release fishing until August.
Early steelhead returns to Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River are on record pace, but may have a hard time eclipsing last year's huge steelhead run.
The 2009 steelhead count at Lower Granite Dam, which is the last dam the fish cross before reaching Idaho, was 324,000 and nearly doubled the 10-year average of 164,000 steelhead.
Forecasters are expecting another solid chinook return to the Snake River this fall, which will allow anglers to catch and harvest hatchery fish starting Sept. 1.
Here's what's open for fishing:
- Catch-and-release opened in the Clearwater River on July 1.
- The Clearwater River mainstem, from its mouth upstream to the Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston, opens for harvest Aug. 1.
- The rest of the Clearwater drainage opens Oct. 15 for harvest.
- Catch-and-release fishing for steelhead opens in the Snake and Salmon rivers Aug. 1. Harvest season opens Sept. 1.
When harvest season opens, steelhead limits will be two per day and six in possession in the Clearwater system, and three per day and six in possession for the Snake and Salmon river systems.
- FALL CHINOOK
- Anglers can harvest fall chinook salmon in the Snake River from Lewiston to Hells Canyon Dam starting Sept. 1.
- The hatchery fall chinook salmon run to Idaho is forecast to be large, and anglers may harvest adipose fin-clipped fall chinook during the early portion of the steelhead season in the SnakeRiver.
- From Sept. 1 until Oct. 31, anglers in the Snake River with a valid salmon permit may harvest two fall chinook salmon per day, only one of which may be an adult.
Steelhead, Fall Chinook Seasons are Set
Bellingham Herald, July 21, 2010
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