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Salmon Forecast Revised, Some Seasons to Close

Idaho Fish and Game salmon managers have revised projections of Chinook salmon returns to Idaho and determined that some salmon fishing seasons on the Little Salmon, North Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater and Lochsa rivers must close. Salmon fishing will close at the end of fishing hours on Tuesday, July 1, on:
  • Little Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Creek.
  • North Fork Clearwater River from the mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam
  • South Fork Clearwater River from the mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red rivers.
  • Lochsa River from the mouth upstream to the Twin Bridges immediately upstream of the confluence of Colt Killed and Crooked Fork Creeks
Previous in-season estimates of Chinook salmon returns to Idaho hatcheries were based on detections of PIT tagged hatchery fish passing Bonneville Dam. Subsequent detections of PIT tagged fish at Lower Granite Dam indicate that the survival rate of adults during passage from Bonneville Dam to Lower Granite Dam is lower in 2008 than in most years. Fewer Chinook will return to Idaho hatcheries than previously projected, and the shares of returns available for nontribal fisheries are also smaller. Based on these revised projections of Chinook salmon returns to Idaho fisheries, managers have determined that some fishing seasons must close. Clearwater River: The Chinook salmon seasons on the North Fork Clearwater River from the mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam, the South Fork Clearwater River from the mouth upstream to the confluence of Red and Cooked rivers, and the Lochsa River from the mouth upstream to the confluence of Colt Killed and Crooked Fork creeks rivers will close at the end of fishing hours July 1. Fishery managers for the Idaho Fish and Game estimate that by July 1 anglers will catch the state's harvest share of adult hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the hatcheries and hatchery satellite facilities in the Clearwater River drainage. Therefore managers have determined that it is necessary to close salmon fishing in the North Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, and Lochsa rivers. Little Salmon River: The Chinook season on the Little Salmon River - from the mouth upstream to the Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Creek will close at the end of fishing hours July 1. Fish and Game anticipates that the state's harvest share of Chinook salmon destined for the Rapid River Hatchery will be caught. Salmon fishing is open on the South Fork Salmon River and the Upper Salmon River. Anglers should consult 2008 Chinook fishing rules for details on salmon fishing.