Outdoors blog

Idaho fall chinook fishing opens Sept. 1

Lewiston angler Chuck Thompson holds the huge chinook salmon he hooked Sunday morning in the Clearwater River. It weighed in at almost 36 pounds more than four hours after being caught.  (Courtesy photo)
Lewiston angler Chuck Thompson holds the huge chinook salmon he hooked Sunday morning in the Clearwater River. It weighed in at almost 36 pounds more than four hours after being caught. (Courtesy photo)

SALMON FISHING -- A fishing season for fall chinook salmon will open Sept. 1 in the Snake and Clearwater rivers under rules adopted by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

The harvest season will continue until further notice or Oct. 31, whichever comes first, in the Snake River and the lower Clearwater River.

Fishery managers predict 18,272 adult hatchery origin chinook salmon will cross Lower Granite Dam, the last of four federal dams on the lower Snake River on their way back to Idaho.

Read on for details.

Anglers may keep fish with a clipped adipose fin. All salmon with an intact adipose fin must be released.

The daily limit is six adult fall chinook, and the possession limit is 18.

There is no season limit on adult fall Chinook. There are no daily or possession limits on jacks and anglers are not required to mark jacks on their salmon permit.

Anglers may use only barbless hooks no larger than five-eighths inch from the point to the shank. When the daily possession limit is reached, the angler must stop fishing for salmon, including catch and-release.

Anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and salmon permit in possession to fish for salmon. A salmon permit used during the spring or summer season is still valid for the fall season.

The Snake River fishery will open in four sections:

  • From the Washington-Idaho border to Bridge Street bridge.
  • From Bridge Street bridge to the Oregon-Washington border.
  • From the Oregon-Washington border to the mouth of Sheep Creek.
  • From the mouth of Sheep Creek to Hells Canyon Dam.

The Clearwater River will open from its mouth to the Memorial Bridge.

A map showing the boundaries is available in the 2012 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure.




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Rich Landers
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.

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