Outdoors

Idaho steelheading continues; note new rules this year

Steelhead have been pouring over Lower Granite Dam in double the numbers to date of last year’s record run up the Snake River.  (File)
Steelhead have been pouring over Lower Granite Dam in double the numbers to date of last year’s record run up the Snake River. (File)
FISHING — Idaho's steelhead harvest season continues on the Clearwater, Salmon, Little Salmon and lower Snake rivers with some new rules that went into effect Aug. 1.
 
 
In case you didn't catch on to them, the new rules allow anglers to transport anadromous salmon and steelhead without the head and tail attached – but only under a number of conditions:
  • The fish must be recorded on the angler’s salmon or steelhead permit.
  • The processed fish must have the skin attached, including the portion with a healed, clipped adipose fin scar.
  • It must be packaged in a way that the number of harvested fish can be determined.
  • The fish must be processed ashore when the angler is done fishing for the day.
  • No processed salmon or steelhead may be transported by boat.
  • No jack salmon may be processed in the field.
  • Processed salmon or steelhead count toward an angler’s possession limit while in the field or in transit.
The steelhead limit on the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon is three a day and nine in possession. The limit on the Clearwater is two fish per day and six in possession. Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the season. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch-and-release.
 
Idaho waters open for steelhead harvest are:
  • Boise River from its mouth upstream to Barber Dam.
  • Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the posted boundary 100 yards downstream from the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir, near the town of Stanley.
  • Little Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.
  • Snake River from the Washington state line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.
  • Clearwater Rivermainstem and Middle Fork from its mouth upstream to Clear Creek.
  • North Fork Clearwater Riverfrom its mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam.
  • South Fork Clearwater Riverfrom its mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red Rivers.
Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, except on the Boise River, and they may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released immediately.
 
Click here for more information on steelhead fishing in Idaho.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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