On Friday, Aug. 30, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s fall Chinook fishery permit, and anglers should be aware of some changes to the structure of the season in the Clearwater River, as well as modifications to the daily and possession limits in all of the state’s fall Chinook fisheries.
With the permit approved, new fall Chinook seasons are now open on the Clearwater River from Memorial Bridge in Lewiston upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork Clearwater and South Fork Clearwater rivers, as well as the mouth of the North Fork Clearwater River upstream to Dworshak Dam. These new areas are open four days per week, Thursday through Sunday. While fishing for fall Chinook on the Clearwater River upstream of Memorial Bridge is only permitted Thursday through Sunday, fishing downstream of Memorial Bridge remains open seven days a week.
The daily bag limit in the Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Snake, and Salmon rivers has been adjusted to six adult fall Chinook Salmon, only one of which may have an adipose fin, and an unlimited number of jacks (Chinook less than 24 inches long). The possession limits for those waters are three times the daily bag limits (18 adult fall Chinook Salmon, only three may have an adipose fin).
For the complete Chinook fishing rules see the Chinook Fishing Seasons and Rules. There are two brochures, one for the Clearwater and North Fork Clearwater rivers, and one for the Salmon and Snake rivers. They have been updated to reflect the changes to the fall Chinook season following the approval of the NMFS permit.
To read an in-depth report about the Chinook and steelhead runs for fall angling, go to Clearwater Regional Fish Manager Joe DuPont's detailed analysis of the runs and trends.