2017 Proposal to open a steelhead harvest fishery in the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater Rivers.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission will entertain a proposal to open a steelhead harvest fishery in the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater River drainages. 

The proposal follows an increase in steelhead return numbers that have crossed Bonneville Dam in recent weeks. Fisheries staff monitors steelhead returns to the Snake River Basin using window counts and detection of tagged steelhead at dams on the Columbia River and Snake Rivers.

On August 14, The Director of Idaho Fish and Game implemented an emergency order reducing the bag limit (harvest) of adipose-clipped hatchery steelhead to zero (0) fish statewide in Idaho. The projected passage at the time of this decision was less than 85,000 steelhead at Bonneville Dam, compared to a pre-season forecast of 119,000 fish.

September 29 the steelhead window counts and tag detections at Bonneville Dam indicated a much-improved run. The current run size estimate at Bonneville Dam is 113,400 with an expected 52,252 steelhead to Lower Granite Dam (37,779 Hatchery Steelhead, 14,810 wild). Biologists now expect the return of hatchery fish will easily exceed the number of fish needed for hatchery broodstock, with about 22,000 hatchery steelhead over and above broodstock needs destined for Idaho Rivers. Returns to the Clearwater River require length limits in place to conserve the large “B-run” steelhead needed for broodstock.

 

2017 Steelhead harvest and bag limit PROPOSAL for the Mainstem Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, South fork Clearwater

  1. Seasons - Steelhead
    1. Opening Dates
      1. The following areas open to harvest and retention of adipose fin-clipped Steelhead on October 15, 2017:
        • Mainstem and Middle Fork Clearwater River - from its mouth upstream to Clear Creek
        • North Fork Clearwater River - from its mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam
        • South Fork Clearwater River - from its mouth upstream to the Confluence of American and Red Rivers
    2. Closing Dates
      1. December 31, 2017.
  2. Limits
    1. Bag and Possession limits for the Mainstem Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and South Fork Clearwater are:
      1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
      2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
      3. All other rules apply- see Idaho Fishing Seasons and rules 2016-2018, pages 39-44.
    2. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.
    3. All other rules apply- see Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules 2016-2018

 

2017 Steelhead harvest and bag limit PROPOSAL for the Salmon River

  1. Seasons - steelhead
    1. Opening Dates
      1. The following areas open to harvest and retention of adipose fin-clipped Steelhead on October 15, 2017:
        • Salmon River - from its mouth upstream to the posted boundary approximately 100 yards downstream of the weir and trap at Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley.
        • Little Salmon River - from its mouth to the U.S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder road.
    2. Closing Dates
      1. December 31, 2017.
  2. Limits
    1. Bag and Possession limits for the Salmon River and Little Salmon River are:
      1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead
      2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead
    2. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.
    3. All other rules apply- see Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules 2016-2018

 

2017 Steelhead Harvest And Bag Limit Proposal For The Snake River And Boise River

  1. Seasons - Steelhead
    1. Opening Dates
      1. The following areas open to harvest and retention of adipose fin-clipped Steelhead on October 15, 2017:
        • Snake River - from the Washington State line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers upstream to Couse Creek Boat Ramp at river mile 156.6 (approximately 17 miles upstream of the ID/WA border).
        • Snake River - Upstream from Couse Creek Boat Ramp to Hells Canyon Dam.
        • Snake River - from Hells Canyon Dam to Oxbow Dam
        • Boise River - from its mouth to Barber Dam
    2. Closing Dates
      1. December 31, 2017.
  2. Limits
    1. Bag and Possession limits for the Snake River from the Washington State line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers upstream to Couse Creek Boat Ramp are:
      1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
      2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
      3. All other rules apply- see Idaho Fishing Seasons and rules 2016-2018, pages 39-44.
    2. Bag and Possession limits for the Snake River Upstream of Couse Creek Boat Ramp, Snake River from Hellsn Canyon to Oxbow Dam and the Boise River are:
      1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead,
      2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead,
    3. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.
    4. All other rules apply- see Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules 2016-2018