The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has adopted spring chinook seasons as proposed by Idaho Department of Fish and Game managers.
Chinook fishing will open April 23 in the Clearwater River, Snake River, Little Salmon and part of the lower Salmon River - except in the lower Salmon River from Short's Creek upstream to Vinegar Creek, where the season will open June 18.
Closing dates will be announced by Fish and Game.
The season is based on forecasts that about 20,500 fish would return to Idaho hatcheries in the Clearwater, lower Salmon and lower Snake drainages. Hatchery-specific forecasts estimate 2,000 chinook would be available for nontribal recreational anglers in the Clearwater; 4,200 in the lower Salmon and Little Salmon; and about 800 in the Snake River below the Hells Canyon dams.
In the Clearwater River drainage the daily limit would be three chinook; only one may be an adult (24 or more inches long). The possession limit would be nine; only three may be adults.
In the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit would be four Chinook; only two may be adults. The possession limit would be 12; only six may be adults.
The statewide annual limit would be 20 adult chinook in the 2011 seasons closing before September 1.
Waters that open April 23 are:
Lower Salmon River:
- Mainstem Lower -- from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge at Lewiston upstream to the Cherrylane Bridge.
- Mainstem Middle -- from the Cherrylane Bridge upstream to the Orofino Bridge, excluding the perimeter of Dworshak National Fish Hatchery at Ahsahka, and excluding the ladder to the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery as marked by posted boundaries about 100 yards upstream and downstream of the ladder and extending into the river about 50 yards.
- Mainstem Upper -- from the Orofino Bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River.
North Fork Clearwater: From the mouth to the Dworshak Dam, excluding the perimeter of the Dworshak National Hatchery at Ahsahka.
- South Fork Clearwater: From its mouth to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.
- Middle Fork Clearwater: From the South Fork upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers.
- Lochsa River: From its mouth to the Twin Bridges immediately upstream from the confluence of Crooked Fork and Colt Killed Creeks.
- Pine Bar - From the Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the posted boundary about 200 yards downstream of the Hammer Creek boat ramp.
- Hammer Creek - From a posted boundary about 200 yards downstream from the Hammer Creek boat ramp upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Time Zone Bridge.
- Park Hole -- From the Time Zone Bridge upstream to a posted boundary at the mouth of Short's Creek, about 1.4 miles upstream of the mouth of the Little Salmon River.
- Lower -- From the mouth to a posted boundary about 200 yards upstream of the mouth of the Rapid River.
- Upper -- from the posted boundary about 200 yards upstream of the Rapid River upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.
Opening June 18:
- From the Dug Bar boat ramp upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.
All these waters would remain open until further notice. All salmon anglers 14 years old and older must have a 2011 Idaho fishing license and salmon permit.
- Vinegar Creek -- From posted boundary at the mouth of Shorts' Creek upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek.
Seasons for chinook fishing in the South Fork Salmon and the upper Salmon rivers will be proposed to the commission at the scheduled May meeting.
Idaho Adopts Spring Chinook Fishing Seasons, Expects Return Of 20,500 Hatchery Fish
Columbia Basin Bulletin, April 8, 2011
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