Coho Salmon Fishing

Coho salmon is the newest salmon fishery in Idaho, thanks to the efforts of the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery Program.

These fish were declared extinct in Idaho in 1986, but the Nez Perce Tribe successfully reintroduced Coho salmon to the Lower Snake and Clearwater rivers. Coho now return in numbers that support a sport and tribal fishery with fish ranging from 8-12 pounds.

The Coho season typically begins September 1 on sections of the Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and North Fork Clearwater rivers. How long anglers can fish for Coho depends on the size of the run.

Unlike Chinook salmon, Coho salmon in Idaho do not have a wild population that is listed as ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ under the federal Endangered Species Act. For the angler, this means Coho do not have a clipped adipose fin, so it is legal to keep Coho with an intact adipose fin.

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Coho salmon bright, illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri

Coho Salmon 2017 Season Rules

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