Changes in fall Chinook Salmon rules

Hi everybody.  Our Director recently signed a Closure Order that will make it illegal to harvest adult fall Chinook Salmon with an adipose fin in the Snake and Salmon rivers.  This change will take effect at 12:00 am on October 5, 2019. 

The reason for this rule change is we are nearing the impacts we are allowed to have on wild adult fall Chinook Salmon in the Snake and Salmon rivers.  Restricting harvest to only those adult salmon with a clipped adipose fin will allow us to keep the season open longer. 

With changes occurring to both our salmon and steelhead rules this week, I thought it would be good to clarify what Idaho’s salmon and steelhead rules will be starting Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Steelhead 

  • The Clearwater River basin and the Snake River downstream of Couse Creek boat ramp:  These areas are closed to all steelhead fishing (these sections closed on September 30, 2019).
  • Snake River upstream of Couse Creek boat ramp and the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers:  Open seven (7) days a week with a daily limit of one (1) adipose fin clipped steelhead. No size restrictions.

Fall Chinook 

  • Clearwater River from its mouth to Memorial Bridge:  Open seven (7) days a week.  Closes at midnight on October 13, 2019.  Daily limit is six (6) adult fish and only one (1) may have an adipose fin.  No limit on jacks (clipped and unclipped jacks may be harvested).
  • Clearwater River from Memorial Bridge upstream to Clear Creek and the North Fork:  Open four (4) days a week (Thursday through Sunday).  Closes at midnight on October 13, 2019.  Daily limit is six (6) adult Chinook Salmon and only one (1) may have an adipose fin.  No limit on jacks (clipped and unclipped jacks may be harvested).
  • Snake River from WA/ID border to Cliff Mountain Rapids:  Open seven (7) days a week.  Closes midnight on October 31, 2019.  Daily limit is six (6) adipose clipped adult Chinook Salmon, no (0) adult Chinook Salmon with an adipose fin may be kept.  No limit on jacks (clipped and unclipped jacks may be harvested).
  • Snake River from Cliff Mountain Rapids to Hells Canyon Dam:  Open seven (7) days a week.  Closes midnight on November 17, 2019.  Daily limit is six (6) adipose clipped adult Chinook Salmon, no (0) adult Chinook Salmon with an adipose fin may be kept.  No limit on jacks (clipped and unclipped jacks may be harvested).  
  • Salmon River from its mouth upstream to Twin Bridges boat ramp:  Open seven (7) days a week.  Closes midnight on October 31, 2019.  Daily limit is six (6) adipose clipped adult Chinook Salmon, no (0) adult Chinook Salmon with an adipose fin may be kept.  No limit on jacks (clipped and unclipped jacks may be harvested).

If you plan to fish for Chinook Salmon around the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, you should be aware of the following:  If you harvest an adult fish with an adipose fin while fishing the Clearwater River, you can no longer fish the Snake River.  Be aware of where the mouth of the Clearwater River is (see page 43 in Idaho Fishing 2019-2021 Seasons and Rules pamphlet).

Coho Salmon

  • Clearwater River from its mouth to Memorial Bridge:  Open seven (7) days a week.  Closes at midnight on October 13, 2019.  Daily limit is two (2) Coho Salmon.  Adipose clipped and unclipped Coho Salmon may be harvested.
  • Clearwater River from Memorial Bridge upstream to Clear Creek and the North Fork:  Open four (4) days a week (Thursday through Sunday).  Closes at midnight on October 13, 2019.  Daily limit is two (2) Coho Salmon.  Adipose clipped and unclipped Coho Salmon may be harvested.

Be aware that closures can occur quickly and earlier than detailed above.