The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Tuesday, April 30, approved a spring Chinook salmon fishing season to start Saturday, May 4, on parts of the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers.
Fish counts from Bonneville Dam suggest that the 2013 return of Chinook salmon to Idaho may be significantly lower than forecast but large enough to support fisheries. Projected returns for the Clearwater River are farther below forecast levels than returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers.
Fish and Game tailored the 2013 fisheries proposals to meet hatchery broodstock needs, focus fishing efforts in areas where hatchery fish are most abundant, and still allow fishing in river reaches that anglers have grown accustomed to fishing in recent years.
The proposal for the Clearwater River approved by the commission achieves these goals by limiting fishing to four days per week and reducing the length of river open to fishing in each of the recently fished sections.
Only the Lochsa River is closed entirely to fishing.
Salmon returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers do not appear to be as far below forecast levels as those to the Clearwater. Fisheries in the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers are similar to fisheries in recent years. These areas will be open seven days a week, and river sections recently fished will not be shortened - except the Shorts Bar to Vinegar Creek stretch of the lower Salmon River, which is closed.
River sections open to fishing are:
Clearwater River drainage: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday only.