Clark Fork River

Pend Oreille River Drainage

  • Recommended Fishing Water

Clark Fork River in Bonner County is 97.5 miles in length.


Motor Restriction
Boat Ramp
ADA Access
Handicap Accessible


Best accessed off of Hwy 200 near the town of Clark Fork.  Several boating access sites exist.  The IDFG-operated Johnson Creek and Clark Fork Driftyard sites provide the best access to the lower river and delta.  The Derr Island site, located on the Johnson Creek Road at the upstream end of Derr Island, provides the best access during winter.  Water level of Lake Pend Oreille can influence access at boat ramps, particularly during the winter months when the lake is at lower elevation.  Another Avista-operated access site exists on the upper river a short distance downstream of Cabinet Gorge Dam along Hwy 200.

Recommended Game Fish

Fish Stocking Records

No stocking records found for Clark Fork River.
Source: IDFG Fish Stocking Database.

Licenses and Tags

Learn more about IDFG Licenses, Tags & Permits

Fishing Rules, 2022 - 2024

All Waters Open All Year

Except as modified in Special Rules
Fishing is not allowed within the posted upstream and downstream boundary of any fish weir or trap.

Daily Bag Limits

The following daily bag limits apply to all waters within each region except as modified in the Special Rules. The possession limit is 3-times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season.

Special Rules

Clark Fork River Section: Entire river upstream of a straight line extending north of county boat dock (near mouth of Johnson Creek) to Bear Paw Point (southwest tip of Denton Slough)
  • No limit on Lake Trout
  • Trout limit is 6, no harvest of Cutthroat Trout
  • Rainbow Trout catch-and-release December 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend
Nearby Rules The following special rule(s) apply to adjacent waters but exclude the Clark Fork River.
Clark Fork River tributaries (includes Lightning Creek and tributaries)
  • Rainbow trout closed to harvest December 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend
  • Trout limit is 6, no harvest of Cutthroat Trout
  • No bait allowed December 1 through Friday before Memorial day weekend
Panhandle Region Bag Limits
Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth)

  • Bass limit is 6, both species combined

Brook Trout

  • Brook Trout limit is 25

Bull Trout

  • Bull Trout limit is 0, catch-and-release


  • Burbot limit is 6

Chinook Salmon (land-locked)

  • Chinook Salmon limit is 2, none under 20 inches


  • Kokanee limit is 15


  • Fishing for or targeting sturgeon in the Kootenai River is illegal
  • Sturgeon limit is 0, catch-and-release

Tiger Muskie

  • Tiger Muskie limit is 2, none under 40 inches

Trout includes Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Golden Trout, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Splake, Arctic Grayling, trout hybrids (e.g. Tiger Trout)

  • Trout limit is 6, all species combined
  • Does not include Bull Trout and Brook Trout which are listed separately


  • Whitefish limit is 25

All Other Fish Species includes bullfrogs and crayfish

  • No bag, size or possession limit
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