Salmon Season Closes In Three Areas
Fishing for spring chinook will close July 4 on the Little Salmon, mainstem Clearwater and the North Fork Clearwater at the end of the legal fishing day, 9 p.m. The 9 p.m. closure is for Mountain Daylight Time on the Little Salmon River and 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on the mainstem and North Fork Clearwater Rivers. The season is closing because quotas have been filled for sport fishing harvest. Continued fishing on these waters could jeopardize hatchery production goals and tribal harvest objectives. The season for spring chinook continues on the Lochsa and South Fork Clearwater. Summer chinook fishing will begin at the South Fork Salmon River on June 30. Limits will be two per day, four chinook salmon in possession, and the 20 salmon per season statewide limit remains in effect. Regulation brochures for the South Fork Salmon River chinook fishery should be available at Southwest Region vendors and Fish and Game offices. Through the past weekend, anglers had spent 70,628 hours to catch 3,906 chinook primarily on the lower mainstem and North Fork of the Clearwater River. They caught 2,860 chinook in 41,384 hours of fishing on the Little Salmon River. This was the first chinook salmon season in Idaho since 1998. Anglers fish for hatchery-reared chinook only, which are marked by a clipped or missing adipose fin. All naturally-produced chinook must be released unharmed. All naturally-produced chinook salmon in the fishing areas are either listed under the federal Endangered Species Act or protected by State law. Anglers fishing on the South Fork Salmon River must have fish checked by Fish and Game no later than 10 p.m. of the day they are caught and anglers must receive a receipt for each fish. Salmon will be checked at a Fish and Game check station at Knox Ranch on the South Fork Road, Forest Service #474, about _ mile north of the Warm Lake Highway. The South Fork Salmon season is set to end August 4 unless harvest quotas are met before then.