Ed Mitchell (208) 334-3700
As of the end of fishing hours Sunday, June 7, no adult Chinook salmon, 24 or more inches long, may be taken on the mainstem Clearwater River downstream of the Orofino Bridge.
Anglers may keep only Chinook salmon less than 24 inches in total length, commonly referred to as jacks, in that stretch of river until further notice.
The Middle Fork Clearwater River will remain closed to Chinook salmon fishing. There have been no other changes in the Chinook seasons and limits this week. Fisheries managers will review the harvest data again on Monday, June 8, to determine whether any changes are required.
Fishery managers for Idaho Fish and Game estimate that as of May 31, anglers had harvested about 42 percent of the state's harvest share of adult hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the Clearwater River drainage. Most of this harvest has occurred downstream of the Orofino Bridge. Managers forecast that by June 7, more than 65 percent of the nontribal harvest share will have been caught, with the majority of that harvest occurring downstream of the Orofino Bridge. Harvest is estimated by weekly angler surveys.
Reducing the adult Chinook salmon bag limit in the mainstem Clearwater River downstream of the Orofino Bridge will help ensure salmon fishing opportunities for upstream communities, such as Kamiah, Kooskia and Grangeville.
Until further notice, the daily bag limit in the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, the mainstem Clearwater River above the Orofino Bridge, and the South Fork Clearwater and the Lochsa rivers will continue to be four Chinook salmon but only one may be 24 inches or more in total length, whichever comes first.
Open waters effective June 8 will be:
Clearwater River, mainstem:
Lower: From the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge near Lewiston, upstream to the Cherrylane Bridge. Open to fishing for Chinook less than 24 inches in total length.
Middle: From the Cherrylane Bridge upstream to the Orofino Bridge. Open to fishing for Chinook less than 24 inches in total length.
Upper: From the Orofino Bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River.
North Fork Clearwater River: From its mouth to Dworshak Dam.
South Fork Clearwater River: From its mouth to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.
Lochsa River:. From its mouth to the Twin Bridges, immediately upstream from the confluence of Crooked Fork and Colt Killed creeks.
In these waters, Chinook salmon anglers may use only barbless hooks no larger than five-eight inch. Snagging or attempting to snag salmon is unlawful.
Only Chinook salmon greater than or equal to 24 inches total length need to be carded.
Only Chinook salmon with a clipped adipose fin (as evidence by a healed scar) may be kept.
Anglers must cease fishing for Chinook salmon - including catch and release - when they retain the daily, possession or season limits for the water in which the are fishing.
Anglers may not harvest more than 40 Chinook salmon 24 inches or more in total length during the season.
Anglers must have in their possession a valid 2009 Idaho fishing license and salmon permit to fish for Chinook. They should consult 2009 Chinook salmon rules on the Fish and Game Web site at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/salmon/, and published in the season brochure available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.