Summer Chinook Fishing Opens on Salmon River June 21;
Fishery managers are estimating there are enough summer chinook returning to meet broodstock needs and have fisheries in the South Fork and upper Salmon rivers but are expecting fewer returning fish than the preseason forecast.
Returns of adult chinook to Idaho hatcheries have been variable this year.
The return of hatchery chinook to Rapid River Hatchery near Riggins is better than what was forecasted. In contrast, hatchery chinook salmon headed to the South Fork Salmon River are lower in number than the preseason forecast.
The South Fork Salmon river return is now estimated to be approximately 1,000 hatchery chinook adults available for the sport fishery harvest. This new estimate is two-thirds of what was forecasted preseason. Managers also expect the fisheries to start rather slowly as these stocks are still coming over Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River.
Returns to Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth hatcheries on the upper Salmon River also are expected to be less than forecast but large enough to support some fishing. Length of those fisheries will be influenced by the actual number of fish returning, river conditions during the fisheries and catch rates in the fisheries.
Limits on both rivers remain at 4 fish per day. Only 2 of those fish may be adults. The possession limit will be 12 fish. Only 6 of those fish may be adults. The season limit for spring/summer chinook salmon in Idaho is 20 adult salmon. The season limit applies to all chinook salmon fisheries before September 1. Any angler who has recorded 20 spring/summer chinook salmon on a permit must discontinue fishing regardless of where those fish were harvested.
The South Fork Salmon River will be open from the bridge on Forest Service Road 48 (Lick Creek Road) upstream approximately 32 river miles to a posted boundary 100 yards downstream from the IDFG weir. Fishing hours on the South Fork Salmon River will be 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Upper Salmon River will be open from a posted boundary 100 yards upstream from the mouth of the North Fork Salmon River to a posted boundary 100 yards downstream from the Fish and Game weir at Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley. Fishing hours on the Upper Salmon River will be from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
For more on seasons and rules applying to salmon fishing in Idaho, go to www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/fish/chinook/rules.
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