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Salmon Fishing Reduced to Four Day Week

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has approved changes to the statewide spring Chinook salmon season. The Commission approved Fish and Game staff recommendations to allow fishing for spring Chinook on Friday through Monday only on the rivers that remain open statewide. The Commission also approved the standardization of spring Chinook limits. The new limits will allow anglers to take one fish per day, have three in possession, and take a total of ten for the entire season. The updated forecast for spring Chinook returning to Idaho is 18,300. The rules will allow the department to conservatively manage a limited number of surplus hatchery Chinook and limit the amount of incidental take on natural origin Chinook salmon in Idaho. By this time last year, 50,877 Chinook had passed Lower Granite Dam, the final hurdle on their journey to Idaho from the Pacific Ocean. Fisheries managers hope the changes will also extend the season to allow anglers more opportunity through space and time. "In our public hearing process that's what people told us they wanted" said Anadromous Fisheries Manager Sharon Kiefer. The new rule changes will take effect on Friday May 30. Closing dates will remain as printed in the Chinook salmon rules brochure. Those dates are all subject to change, to allow for earlier closures if necessary for biological reasons. Fisheries managers say they are beginning to get data from summer Chinook passing Bonneville dam, but don't have enough data to make any recommendations about a possible summer Chinook season. Kiefer said the data on summer Chinook should be more complete by early June.