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Fish & Game Sets Chinook Seasons

by Jason Kauffman
Idaho Mountain Express, March 25, 2009

Department will set rules for the upper Salmon River in May

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Tuesday adopted rules guiding chinook salmon fishing on the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers.

Under the rules approved by the commission, the season will open April 25 on the Clearwater, lower Salmon, Little Salmon and the Snake rivers, a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game states. The chinook season will open May 23 on the Lochsa River, and June 20 on the lower Salmon River from the mouth of Shorts Creek upstream about 25 miles to the boat ramp at Vinegar Creek. All seasons will remain open until further notice.

Fisheries managers are forecasting that 105,600 hatchery chinook and almost 23,000 wild Chinook will return to Idaho this year. That translates into estimates of 13,341 fish available for non-tribal anglers in the Clearwater River, 9,700 in the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers and 1,365 in the Snake River.

The 2009 statewide limit is 40 adult chinook. Anglers can only use barbless hooks no more than five-eighths of an inch from point to shank. Only chinook with a clipped adipose fin, the small fin between the dorsal fin and tail, can be kept.

According to the news release, Fish and Game's anadromous fish manager Pete Hassemer expects to return to the commission in May with proposals for summer chinook fishing on the upper Salmon River near Stanley and on the South Fork of the Salmon River.

So far this spring, the arrival of Idaho-bound chinook is late, the news release states. As of Monday, March 23, just 63 chinook had been counted at Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River. The 10-year average for this point is more than 1,354 chinook.

Fish and Game will release a spring chinook season and rule brochure for 2009 before the season opens.

Jason Kauffman
Fish & Game Sets Chinook Seasons
Idaho Mountain Express, March 25, 2009

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