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Idaho Fish and Game

salmon caught in North Fork

Spring Chinook Salmon Fishery Update (7/8/2024) Clearwater River Return, Rapid River Run, and Hells Canyon Fisheries


by Joe DuPont

Hi everybody.

It is time for my weekly spring Chinook Salmon update (July 8, 2024). There will be no additional closures this week for any of the spring Chinook Salmon fisheries.



Harvest shares for the different Chinook Salmon fisheries in the Clearwater Region are shown in the table below. Harvest shares as of July 8, 2024 are 4,755 adult fish for the Clearwater River Return fishery (darker peach row), 2,449 for the Rapid River Return fishery (darker blue row), 822 for the Hells Canyon fishery (green row), and 236 for the Lochsa Summer Run fishery.

Estimated spring Chinook harvest shares 7-8-24



Clearwater River Basin Fishery

Harvest and effort continue to drop in the Clearwater River basin fishery (see table below). We estimate that last week 38 adult fish were harvested, all from the North Fork Clearwater River (river section 3). Catch rates continue to remain excellent in the North Fork at 4 hrs/fish. We interviewed a few other anglers fishing the South Fork Clearwater (sections 7-8) and Middle Fork Clearwater (section 5) rivers, but none said they harvested an adult salmon. We estimate the total harvest for the season is now 4,254 fish which leaves 501 more fish to go before our harvest share is met. The North Fork (River Section 3) has 30 more fish to go before it reaches its harvest distribution goal (see blue area in table below). For that reason, all river reaches currently open will remain open for another week. With only 30 fish to go for the North Fork, this may be the last week this river section remains open. 

weekly chinook harvest in the Clearwater 7-8-24

Lochsa River Summer Run Fishery

Harvest picked up last week in the Lochsa River as we estimate that 23 fish were harvested with most being jacks. The average catch rate was decent last week at 15 hrs/fish. With our harvest share currently at 236 fish, this fishery will continue to remain open. 


Rapid River Run Fishery

Fishing effort dropped considerably last week in the Little Salmon River. The few people fishing there appeared to be diehards who are close to achieving their season limit. As such, we estimate that more adult fish were released (16) than harvested (8). Catch rates remained good at 8 hrs/fish. We estimate 1,956 adult Chinook Salmon have been harvested for the season which leaves 493 fish before our harvest share is met (see table below). As such, the Little Salmon River will remain open for at least another week.

weekly chinook harvest in the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers 7-8-24

Hells Canyon Fishery

We estimate that 43 adults and 3 jacks were harvested last week below Hells Canyon Dam (see table below). Catch rates remained good at 6 hrs/fish. As of last Sunday (July 7, 2024), we estimate that 786 adult fish have been harvested which leaves 36 more before we reach our harvest share. As such, this fishery will remain open for at least another week. 

Weekly chinook harvest in Hells Canyon 7-8-24


It’s going to be a hot this week! 

Do your best to stay cool and hydrated.