Steelhead Salmon Rules Defined

In the regulations it states that if you catch your daily limit of steelhead or salmon you must cease fishing. So my question is: while fishing in an area where you can keep steelhead, chinook salmon, and now coho salmon do you have to cease fishing for all three species after you fill your limit for just one species? I ask because I catch all three species with a very similar technique and may obviously hook any species. I would like clarification so I do not get a ticket due to ignorance.
Very good question. When we write the rule pamphlets we often don't take into account how they may effect other species and fishing opportunities.  To answer your question, I went to the Administrative Rules section of Idaho Code. For Steelhead, when you reach your daily bag limit, you only need to stop fishing for Steelhead as per IDAPA  This means you can no longer target Steelhead - but you can still fish for Fall Chinook and Coho or resident fish species.  When an officer contacts you in the field and you show him you have filled your bag limit for Steelhead and then he asks you, "what are you trying to catch" the correct answer is, "anything but Steelhead." In the case of Fall Chinook and Coho - things are a little more tricky.  IDAPA says, when you reach your daily bag limit for salmon you need to stop fishing for salmon.  When the rule was written, we did not consider the overlap between Coho and Fall Chinook.  In practical terms, your chances of catching bag limits for either species is very slim.  If you have your bag limit of Coho and are approched by an officer, when he asks the question, "what are you trying to catch" specifically state, "Fall Chinook" - unless that stretch of the river is closed to the take of Fall Chinook. 
Answered on: 
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 9:56 AM MDT