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Idaho Fish and Game

angler with his Spring chinook salmon July 2014

F&G Commission sets 2021 spring season for Chinook salmon


During their meeting on March 18, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved spring Chinook fishing on the Snake, Lower Salmon, and Little Salmon rivers to start April 24, and run until August 8 unless closed earlier by the Fish and Game director.

Because returns of Chinook to the Clearwater River are forecasted to be insufficient to meet hatchery broodstock needs, no season was opened on the Clearwater River.

Full rules are available on the Chinook fishing webpage. Printed rules will be available prior to the season opener.

Fisheries managers are forecasting a total run of about 11,500 hatchery spring Chinook Salmon that are bound for either the Clearwater, Snake, Salmon or Little Salmon rivers to return to Lower Granite Dam this year.

The harvest share forecasted for Idaho sport anglers is about 1,200 adult Chinook in the Lower Salmon/Little Salmon rivers, and 190 adults in the Snake River. The actual run has just started, with just five adult spring Chinook crossing Bonneville Dam as of March 14.

Rules will include open fishing four days per week, Thursday through Sunday, in the Lower Salmon/Little Salmon rivers, and seven days per week in the Snake River. Daily bag limits for all open waters will be four per day, with no more than one being an adult (24-inches or longer).

Seasons may have to be adjusted after fisheries managers get a better idea of how many Chinook are actually returning to Idaho during spring.