The steelhead spring harvest season opens Saturday, January 1, on parts of the Clearwater, the Salmon, the Little Salmon, the Snake and the Boise rivers.
The steelhead limit is three per day, nine in possession and 20 for the season. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch and release.
On January 1, anglers need a 2011 Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit.
Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, and may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released unharmed immediately - except on the Boise and the Snake above Hells Canyon Dam where barbless hook are not required.
Steelhead fishing on the:
- Clearwater River mainstem and Middle Fork from its mouth upstream to Clear Creek is open until April 30.
- North Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam is open until April 30.
- South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red Rivers is open until April 30.
- Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the Lake Creek Bridge about six miles upstream from the mouth of the Little Salmon River, and from Long Tom Creek (about a quarter mile upstream from the Middle Fork Salmon River) to the posted boundary 100 yards downstream from the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir, near the town of Stanley is open until April 30.
- Salmon River from the Lake Creek Bridge to Long Tom Creek (about a quarter mile upstream from the Middle Fork Salmon River) closes March 31.
- Little Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road remains open until May 15.
- Snake River from the Washington state line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream to Hells Canyon Dam is open until April 30.
- Snake River upstream of Hells Canyon Dam to Oxbow Dam is open until May31.
- Boise River from its mouth upstream to Barber Dam is open until May 31.
In the boundary waters on the Snake River between Idaho and Oregon or Washington, an angler with a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit may fish where the river forms the boundary between Idaho and Oregon or Washington, but may not fish from the shoreline, including wading, and may not fish in sloughs or tributaries on the Oregon or Washington side. An angler may have only the limit allowed by one license regardless of the number of licenses the angler holds.
Consult the 2011-2012 fishing rules brochure for exceptions and special restrictions. For more information on steelhead fishing in Idaho, check the Fish and Game Website http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/rules/steelhead.pdf.