Press Release

Salmon Bag Limit Cut in the Lower Clearwater River

No adult Chinook salmon may be taken on the mainstem Clearwater River downstream of the Cherrylane Bridge effective at the end of fishing hours Monday, May 25.

But anglers may still keep four Chinook salmon less than 24 inches in total length, commonly referred to as jacks, per day in that stretch of river until further notice.

Reducing the bag limit of Chinook salmon greater than 24 inches, commonly referred to as adults, downstream of Cherrylane Bridge is intended to provide salmon fishing opportunities for upstream communities, such as Orofino, Kamiah, Kooskia and Grangeville, while still allowing anglers a chance to catch some of this year's relatively abundant jack returns.

If anglers harvest an adult Chinook upstream of Cherrylane Bridge, they must cease fishing for salmon for the day in the Clearwater River drainage, including downstream of Cherrylane Bridge.

Only hatchery salmon with a clipped adipose fin (as evidenced by a healed scar) may be kept in Idaho's nontribal Chinook fishery.

Idaho Fish and Game fishery managers estimate that as of May 17, anglers had harvested about 20 percent of the state's harvest share of adult hatchery Chinook returning to the Clearwater River drainage. Most of these fish were caught downstream of the Cherrylane Bridge, and to date, Idaho Fish and Game has not checked any harvested fish upstream of the Orofino Bridge.

Managers forecast that by May 25, more than 55 percent of the nontribal harvest share of adult Chinook will have been caught. Harvest is estimated by weekly angler surveys.

Anglers must have a valid 2009 Idaho fishing license and salmon permit, and they are urged to consult the 2009 Idaho spring Chinook salmon rules brochure for details.