Tuesday morning, June 27, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game closed spring Chinook salmon fishing statewide.
The department director's office signed a closure notice for the Little Salmon River effective Tuesday. The harvest target for spring hatchery Chinook in the Little Salmon has been reached.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission earlier in June had closed the spring Chinook season on the Lower Salmon River at the end of fishing on Saturday, June 24, in hopes of extending the season in the Little Salmon.
Salmon fishing in the Clearwater and Snake rivers closed earlier in June.
As of June 26, more than 25,500 salmon had crossed Lower Granite Dam, the last obstacle before they reach Idaho. The 10-year average for this date is 54,265 and last year's number was 27,790 Chinook.
The number of Rapid River hatchery fish returning up the Lower Salmon and the Little Salmon was estimated at 4,100 to 4,200 fish. The state's harvestable share of those is about 1,000 fish.
Fish managers noted that anglers had reached the limit and feared that additional fishing would exceed the state's share.
Meanwhile, the commissioners earlier in June also adopted a summer Chinook salmon season on the South Fork Salmon River, starting June 29. The South Fork will be open every day, starting Thursday, until further notice, from the mouth of Goat Creek upstream to about 100 yards below the South Fork salmon weir and trap. The bag limit is one fish per day, three in possession and 10 for the season statewide for all salmon fisheries.