Anglers Catch Salmon Limit on South Forkby Roger Phillips
The Idaho Statesman, July 3, 2001
After 6,000 fish, F&G closes the Salmon River
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game closed salmon fishing on the South Fork of the Salmon River at 9 p.m. Monday.
The season was originally set to remain open until Aug. 5 unless quotas were met sooner.
"Our hatchery chinook harvest quota has been reached," F&G Anadromous Fish Manager Sharon Kiefer said Monday.
Anglers caught about 6,000 hatchery chinook during the 23-day season.
Both the number of fish caught and the number of anglers were greater than expected on the South Fork, Kiefer said.
Last week, F&G counted an average of about 450 anglers daily. They caught between 364 and 587 fish daily during the week.
In addition to the 6,000 salmon caught by anglers, about 4,000 more had been captured at the South Fork's fish trap by Monday, Kiefer said. F&G is projecting a total run of about 20,000 salmon returning to the South Fork.
The South Fork's run has a larger percentage of wild salmon than other rivers, and those fish are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The South Fork's wild salmon, which are those with adipose fins, cannot be harvested by anglers. But each one caught and released was counted against an "incidental take" quota, which also was reached by Monday, Kiefer said.
Salmon fishing will continue until Aug. 5 on the Little Salmon and Snake rivers, the Clearwater River system, and Panther Creek.
The Boise and Payette Rivers will remain open for salmon fishing until Sept. 3.
There are no harvest quotas on those rivers, but some could be closed earlier to protect wild salmon.
"There is still plenty of salmon fishing opportunity for the Fourth of July," Kiefer said.
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