Chinook Salmon


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    Spirit Lake Chinook Fishing | A Few Reminders

    Since 2016, Spirit Lake has been part of a statewide study to evaluate the performance of hatchery-stocked Chinook salmon. These Chinook are landlocked (meaning they do not migrate to the ocean), but can still reach large sizes in waters with abundant kokanee.  Prior to 2016, there were no Chinook salmon in Spirit Lake.  Chinook can be found in several other lakes and reservoirs around the state, including Lake Coeur d’Alene where they have supported a fishery for nearly 40 years.

  • Releasing a wild Fall Chinook salmon

    Fall chinook offer a chance to catch and keep big fish

    Fishing season is in full swing, and mid September is the peak period to catch them in the Lewiston area, and October is prime for Hells Canyon. 

  • Chinook salmon at MK Nature Center 2017
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    Kokanee Salmon Arrive and Chinook Salmon are Spawning

    Forty beautiful Kokanee salmon arrived at MK Nature Center yesterday and they have added a "splash" of color in the alpine lake.

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    Next generation of Chinook get started on the S.F. of the Salmon River

    For Chinook at the McCall Fish Hatchery, their lives start (and end) at the South Fork of the Salmon River with the adults returning from the Pacific and Fish and Game crews spawning the fish to produce the next generation of Idaho 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.

  • chinook, Clearwater River, fishing season, summer Chinook

    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.

Chinook Salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

IDAPA Classification: Threatened, Game Fish
View Species Profile