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Fall Fishing for Chinook Continues in Idaho

Anglers still have plenty of good fall fishing opportunities in Idaho with Chinook salmon in addition to steelhead.

The fall Chinook harvest season continues in the Snake River between Lewiston and Hells Canyon Dam and, this year, in the lower Clearwater River downstream of the Memorial Bridge near Lewiston until October 31 or until further notice, whichever occurs first.

The daily limit is two fall Chinook, only one of which may be an adult and the possession limit is six of which three may be adults. Jacks, which are fish less than 24 inches in total length, are part of the daily and possession limits but anglers are not required to record them on their permits.

They may keep 40 adult Chinook salmon for the calendar year, including spring, summer and fall seasons. Anglers may keep only fish with a clipped adipose fin, evidenced by a healed scar. All salmon with an intact adipose fin must be released.

Salmon anglers may use only barbless hooks no larger than five-eighths inch from the point to the shank. When the daily, possession or season limit is reached, the angler must stop fishing for salmon, including catch-and-release.

It is unlawful to take or fish for salmon by snagging. Salmon caught in a legal manner must be either released or killed immediately after landing.

Anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and salmon permit in possession to fish for salmon. A salmon permit from the spring or summer season still is valid.

To increase flexibility, the fall Chinook fishery has been divided into several management areas.

Clearwater River: The Clearwater is open from its mouth, a line from a posted sign on the north bank, south to the western-most point on the south bank, upstream about 1.7 miles to the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge.

Snake River: The Snake is open in four sections:

  • From the Washington-Idaho border - a line from a posted sign on the west side of Confluence Island due south to the point off the Green Belt Boat Ramp - upstream to the U.S. Highway 12 bridge, known as the Blue Bridge, between Lewiston and Clarkston.
  • From the Blue Bridge upstream to the Oregon-Washington border.
  • From the Oregon-Washington border to the mouth of Sheep Creek.
  • From the mouth of Sheep Creek to Hells Canyon Dam.

A map showing the boundaries is available in the 2010 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure.

The statewide annual limit is 40 adult Chinook salmon.

When the limit of adults is caught and kept, the angler must stop fishing for salmon - including catch-and-release. Only Chinook with a clipped adipose fin, evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept.

For additional rules and restrictions, please refer to the 2010 Chinook Salmon Seasons and Rules, available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors or online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/rules/chinook_seasons/. All salmon anglers 14 years old and older must have a 2010 Idaho fishing license and salmon permit.

For an interactive map of open Chinook salmon seasons click here http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/rules/chinook_seasons/Salmon_Seaso....