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Salmon Season in the Boise, North Fork Payette Rivers

Contact: Bill Horton 334-3791 Meeting by conference call May 30, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved seasons on hatchery chinook salmon for the Boise and North Fork of the Payette Rivers. Seasons will open May 31 in both locations, and run through Sept. 3. Rules brochures should be available at most Boise license vendors by Thursday morning, May 31. The salmon are adults which have migrated from the Pacific Ocean to Rapid River Hatchery, on a tributary of the Little Salmon River near Riggins. Fish and Game will release 200 salmon in the Boise May 30, and again on June 1. The North Fork of the Payette will get 130 each day. Further releases will take place once or twice per week as fish are available over the next month. The large run of hatchery fish returning this year allows the department to provide some hatchery salmon and fishing opportunity in these rivers where chinook once migrated naturally. This action will not affect fishing in the Little Salmon River, or Rapid River Hatchery production. Limits are two per day. Anglers may have four salmon in possession in the field or while in transit home. Anyone who has caught their daily limit in another area, for instance the Little Salmon River, cannot come to the Boise or Payette rivers and continue to fish with the other salmon still in possession since the daily limit on the Boise would have already been reached or passed. The statewide season limit is 40, if a second salmon permit is purchased, otherwise it is 20. All salmon harvested statewide must be included in the season limit. The Boise River will be open from the mouth of the river upstream to Barber Dam. The part of that stretch from mid-town to Barber will receive fish May 30, and from mid-town down to Glenwood Bridge Friday. The North Fork Payette will be open from Cabarton Road to Cascade Dam, which is also the release area. Barbless hooks are not required in the Boise and Payette rivers because there is no possibility of hooking a wild salmon that would have to be released. Anglers may fish for these hatchery salmon 24 hours per day, unlike in some other areas where fishing is restricted to daylight hours. Anglers need a salmon permit to fish for these hatchery fish, and with each fish kept, the permit must be notched to indicate the catch. Kids under 14 can fish without a permit as long as they fish with an adult who has a permit, and their catch is recorded on the adult's permit. Resident youngsters can also purchase a permit of their own and keep their own limit, even if they are younger than the required age for buying a fishing license. So far this season, an estimated 4,270 hatchery salmon have been caught on the Lower Salmon River, 5,370 in the Little Salmon, and 9,690 in the Clearwater River drainage.