Spring Chinook Salmon Fishery Update (6/23/2021)
Rapid River Run, Hells Canyon, and Clearwater River Fisheries
Hi everybody, the spring Chinook Salmon season is starting to wind down, so I am going to keep this update quick and to the point (6/23/2021). That being said, there is a summer Chinook Salmon fishery opening up this weekend on the South Fork Salmon River that I do not manage. If you would like updates on the status of this fishery, send Jordan Messner an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let him know that you would like to be added to his e-mail list.
The run estimates and harvest shares for each of the spring Chinook Salmon fisheries are listed below. They have changed very little from what we reported last week. The vast majority of spring Chinook that have not been harvested are now in the terminal areas or have been trapped for broodstock.
Rapid River Return
The Rapid River return fishery is now over as we have used up 96% of our harvest share. Last week we estimated that in the Little Salmon River 77 adult Chinook Salmon were harvested and another 71 were released (see table below). Effort had dropped off significantly from the previous week which helped contribute to the best catch rates of the year at 7 hrs/fish. For a quick recap of the season, we were able to keep the Rapid River return fishery open three to four weeks (depending on where you fished) once the fish arrived which is not bad for a run of this size. We were also able to divide harvest between the lower Salmon River and Little Salmon River close to the 50/50 split that we shoot for so that everybody has a chance to fish in areas they prefer most.
This is the second week in a row that we did not observe any Chinook Salmon being harvested below Hells Canyon Dam. Trapping for broodstock has also slowed down considerably which suggest this run is about over. We estimate that 90 adult fish were harvested from this fishery this year. For those of you willing to still give it a try, this fishery will remain open.
Clearwater River Return
Fishing has remained red hot in the North Fork Clearwater River with catch rates averaging 2 hrs/fish last week. Outside of the North Fork, we aren’t seeing much effort. Right now we are about 60% of our way to our adult harvest share (through catch-and-release mortality), and 45% of the way to our jack harvest share (see tables below). As such, this fishery will remain open for another four days.
The rest of this week is supposed to be a scorcher. I hope you all find a good way to stay cool.