Chinook Salmon


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    View Chinook salmon at the Fish and Game MK Nature Center

    Visitors to the Fish and Game MK Nature Center now have the opportunity to see one of Idaho's most amazing animals: Chinook salmon.

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    Despite a down year for salmon, early signs point to improvement

    While most of this year’s salmon fishing was disappointing, it should be taken in the context of recent decades.

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    Fall Chinook fishing to open August 18

    Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a fall Chinook salmon fishing season to open August 18 on parts of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers.

    Commissioners approved the 2017 fall Chinook fishing seasons during their meeting in Bonners Ferry on Thursday, July 27.

    The 2017 fall Chinook forecast is 27,190 hatchery and naturally-produced fall Chinook returning to the Snake River basin. Last year's actual return was 37,400 fall Chinook.

    Areas opening for fall Chinook fishing on August 18, 2017 are as follows;

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    Idaho’s Chinook salmon seasons to end July 30

    Chinook salmon seasons on the Snake, Little Salmon and Upper Salmon rivers will close at the end of fishing hours on Sunday, July 30. The closures to these fisheries are occurring because harvest objectives are being met and/or because the Chinook run has ended.

    Although the spring/summer Chinook season will close, the Fish and Game Commission will consider a fall Chinook season at their July 27 meeting in Bonners Ferry. More information will be available on Fish and Game’s website at

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    Upper Salmon River Chinook Update (7/24/17)

    Chinook anglers had another successful week on the upper Salmon River. Angler effort was almost twice as high as the previous week, and the majority of anglers were observed near the Buckhorn Bridge area. Catch rates were the best of the season to this point, with Chinook anglers averaging 6 hours per Chinook salmon caught, and 9 hours per Chinook salmon harvested. To date, Chinook anglers have harvested 239 hatchery adult Chinook and 266 hatchery jack Chinook from the upper Salmon River.

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    Clearwater Chinook Update (7/18/17)

    I wanted to get a final fishery update out today, even though the Clearwater Region’s spring/summer Chinook fisheries are still winding down for the year. I have included the most recent fishery information from the Little Salmon River and Hell’s Canyon as well as a look toward next year based upon the jack returns we have seen in 2017.  In addition, Joe DuPont is back from his time in Boise so look for future updates from him in the next few months on upcoming Fall Chinook and steelhead seasons as well as an end of season spring Chinook brood stock collection update.

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    Upper Salmon River Chinook Fishery Update (7/17/17)

    Chinook angler effort and success increased this past week on the upper Salmon River. Angler effort was highest over the weekend, and the majority of anglers were observed fishing near the Buckhorn Bridge area. Since Monday July 10th, Chinook anglers have harvested an estimated 43 hatchery adult Chinook and 48 hatchery jack Chinook. During this time, Chinook anglers averaged 14 hours per Chinook caught and 20 hours per hatchery Chinook kept.

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    Chinook fishing update: Lochsa River to close July 13

    Fisheries managers have concluded that by the end of fishing hours on Thursday, July 13 the sport-harvest share will be caught so Chinook fishing on the Lochsa River will end at that time. 

    Chinook fishing remains open until further notice on Little Salmon River, Upper Salmon River and Hells Canyon. Fish and Game tries to give 48 hours notice before closing the season.

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    Clearwater Region Chinook Update (6/27/17)

    Here's the latest update on last week’s Chinook fisheries on the Salmon River around Riggins, Hell’s Canyon and the Lochsa River. I’ve included some more detailed information on the status of each of the fisheries below; but, bottom-line, all three fisheries are staying open this coming week. Hell’s Canyon and the Lochsa River will remain open on their 7 day / week schedule and the Salmon River around Riggins will start up again this Thursday the 29th.

    Rapid River:

Chinook Salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

IDAPA Classification: Threatened, Game Fish
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