Posts tagged: Clearwater River
HUNTING/FISHING — Poaching is a live and well in the region's mountains and streams, and state fish and wildlife officers in Washington and Idaho are looking for help making cases. Two in particular include:
Entiat bucks: A $2,000 reward is being offered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for substantial information leading to charges filed against the person(s) involved in poaching trophy class deer.
Two mule deer bucks were shot from Mud Creek Road in the Entiat Valley during the first two weeks of January 2014. The poacher(s) attempted to hide the deer, leaving the antlers and meat to waste (though they likely planned to return later to retrieve the antlers).
Clearwater steelhead: On Friday, Feb. 28, poachers left their mark at the Ahsahka boat ramp on the North Fork of the Clearwater River, according to Idaho Fish and Game oficials.
A call to the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline led an Idaho Fish and Game officer to the scene where six steelhead had been left to waste. Six female fish were all over the 28 inch length limit and one still had an adipose fin indicating it was most likely a wild fish. All fish had been gutted and thrown alongside the boat ramp near the water’s edge. The persons reporting the crime said they had been fishing earlier in the day at that same location and the fish were not there. They returned to go fishing in the afternoon and found the fish that had been left to waste.
One of the people reporting the crime stated, “Those fish could have feed my family for quite a while… but instead someone saw it fit to catch and kill illegal fish and then waste the meat.” Someone knows who did this. It was likely more than one person. Without the help of a responsible honest person, these dishonest violators will get away with stealing the wildlife resource that belongs to the people of Idaho.
FISHING — Matt Corsi, Idaho Fish and Game fisheries researcher based in Lewiston, put together the article above regarding a telemetry study in the Clearwater River drainage in collaboration with the Nez Perce Tribe.
Click “continue reading” to see the rest of the story.
FISHING — If you're one of those steelheaders who's been avoiding the Clearwater River because of this season's poor fish returns, here's a big THANK YOU from the anglers who've been enjoying your absence.
Read on for the Lewiston Tribune story that points out the lack of effort has resulted in some excellent fishing for those who show up to enjoy all the elbow room and unbothered steelhead.
FISHING — Two Spokane area finished first and third in the unofficial results from the 2013 Kendall Chevrolet Clearwater Snake Steelhead Derby that started Nov. 23 and ended today, according to the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Although results won't be verified until Monday, the 2013 overall winner appears to be Lance Hall of Nine Mile Falls with a steelhead weighing 18.33 pounds. The prize is $2,000.
Jason Peters of Clarkston is in second and Kyle Zipse of Spokane is in third.
Hall also is the skins game winner, set to take home an additional $500 prize.
Continue reading for the complete unofficial results.
FISHING — As predicted when the forecast for B-Run steelhead was downgraded last week, Idaho Fish and Game has reduced bag and possession limits on steelhead harvested in part of the Clearwater River drainage during the fall and spring seasons.
The change takes effect when the fall steelhead harvest season opens Tuesday (Oct.15) in the Clearwater River drainage.
The limits for the fall season and the spring 2014 season are one fish per day and two in possession. In addition, in the North Fork Clearwater River and the mainstem Clearwater River downstream of the Orofino bridge only steelhead 28 inches or less in total length may be kept.
Read on for more details.
FISHING — Columbia-Snake fisheries managers have just issued a forecast update the downgrades the prediction — again — for B-run steelhead — the large, coveted steelhead stocks that head up the Snake River each year bound primarily for the Clearwater and Salmon Rivers.
Here's the lastest in a blog post from Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune:
The group of fisheries biologists from state, tribal and federal agencies met today and calculated only 10,700 B-run steelhead, including 2,500 wild fish, will return to the Columbia River, as measured at Bonneville Dam.
On average, about 71 percent of the B-run fish counted at Bonneville Dam, make it all the way to Lower Granite Dam. Based on that conversion rate, the predicted return above Granite is about 7,600, including 1,775 wild fish.
The preseason forecast called for a return of 31,600 B-run steelhead to Bonneville Dam and 22,400 to Lower Granite.
Last week, Idaho Fish and Game officials said they would consider lowering bag limits on hatchery steelhead when the Clearwater River opens to catch-and-keep fishing Oct. 15.
FISHING – The forecast for B-run steelhead — the bigger steelhead bound primarily for Idaho's Clearwater River — has been downgraded for the second consecutive week, prompting fisheries officials to consider reducing bag limits for the Clearwater catch-and-keep season, which begins Oct. 15.
Fisheries managers from the federal government and Northwest states and tribes say only 15,000 B-run steelhead, including 3,700 wild fish, will return at least as far as Bonneville Dam. About 70 percent of the run typically makes it to the Clearwater.
FISHING — Some anglers are catching 10 chinook salmon a day in the Lewiston area this week in the best chinook salmon fishing season fish managers can remember. Steelheading for keepers is so-so.
The chinook salmon returns to the Snake River this fall are huge, but the steelhead returns — notably for hatchery steelhead — are sub-par.
The exception is a near-record post-dams return of small wild steelhead, according to Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager in Lewiston.
Click “continue reading” for a detailed analysis of the two fisheries DuPont has just posted.
FISHING — Inland anglers seeking big fish running upstream from the ocean kick into another gear on Sunday (Sept. 1).
Click “continue reading” for details on salmon and and steelhead fisheries in Washington and Idaho from the Snake River upstream.
WILDLIFE WATCHING — People camping and fishing in North Idaho are taking note and enjoying what appears to be a good population of colorful hummingbirds in the region.
The photos above where shot and compiled by Hal Blegen of Spokane, who was in the field for fishing last week, but equally fascinated by the creative ways campers were tending to the hummers. Here's his report:
The hummingbird population up and down the North Fork of the Clearwater and Kelly Creek was thriving (during my recent fishing trip). I found that a number of campsites had make-shift feeders. They were made from whiskey bottles, plastic drink containers, empty fruit trays, and bottle caps, patched together with tie wraps, duct tape and coat hangers.
The curious thing was that they all seemed to work just fine. There was no shortage of ideas or hummers, but finding enough sugar to keep them filled was a challenge.
FISHING — Chinook salmon fishing on the South Fork Salmon River will open July 5 under a season adopted this morning by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.
Fishing will be open only Fridays, Saturday and Sundays until further notice. Managers anticipate a shorter fishery on the South Fork because fewer fish are returning to Idaho than in recent years.
The South Fork will be open from the bridge on Forest Service Road 48 (Lick Creek/ East Fork South Fork Road) where it crosses the South Fork Salmon River main stem just upstream of the confluence with the East Fork South Fork Salmon River, upstream about 35 river miles to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream from the Idaho Fish and Game South Fork Salmon River weir and trap.
Fishing hours will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.
The daily bag limit will be four Chinook salmon, only two of which may be adults; the possession limit is 12 Chinook salmon, only six of which may be adults.
Adult Chinook salmon are 24 or more inches in length, and jacks are less than 24 inches in length. Only adipose-fin-clipped salmon may be kept.
The season-statewide limit is 10 adult Chinook salmon during salmon seasons occurring before September 1, 2013.
FISHING — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission today voted to reopen the Little Salmon River to fishing for Chinook salmon effective Friday, June 7.
FISHING — Here's the latest news for Idaho spring chinook anglers regarding the status of the season — just received via email from Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game regional fisheries manager in Lewiston:
The majority of anglers have repeatedly told us that the most important thing to them regarding the Chinook season is to extend the season as long as possible. For this reason, we have decided to make some rules changes to the Chinook salmon rules on the Salmon River.
Starting on Monday morning (June 3, 2013), between the Time Zone Bridge and Shorts Creek (Park Hole Area), no harvest of adults will be allowed. You will still be allowed to harvest up to 4 Jacks (< 24 inches) daily in this reach of river.
The area that will be closed to the harvest of adults includes the entire reach of the Salmon River from Time Zone Bridge to the posted sign at Shorts Creek. This reach includes popular holes such as Race Creek, the Park Hole, the Post Office Hole, the Confluence, the Mill Hole, Shorts Creek and anything in between.
Our hopes are that with these new rules we can extend the season for at least 2 more weekends. Only time will tell just how long the season lasts.
I know for some of you who like to fish the Park Hole area, you may not be happy with these changes. Recognize, however, that with these rules it may provide a unique experience where you can fish in less crowded conditions in an area with high catch rates, and if you eventually want to catch an adult there are other areas you can go to fish.
It is important to realize that if you catch one adult in another reach of river where adult harvest is allowed, you cannot have this fish in close possession and fish the Park Hole. In other words, if you catch 1 adult (remember if you catch 2 adults you are done fishing for the day) and you want to fish the Park Hole do not bring that fish near the Park Hole where one could assume you caught it there. Drop if off at camp, at your home, or someplace away from where you are fishing.
The rules in all other areas in the Clearwater Region have not changed through this weekend.
“There is no season limit on jacks,” he said.
FISHING — Anglers had very good success rates for spring chinook in Idaho waters upstream from Lewiston last week with catch rates below 10/hrs a fish in the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers.
Check out the following detailed Clearwater Region salmon update for the week of May 20-27, by Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game's regional fisheries manager in Lewiston:
First, the majority of Chinook destined for release sites in the Clearwater Region appear to have mostly passed over Lower Granite Dam. Some Chinook are stuck behind a couple of the dams. Once these fish figure their way out, Idaho's harvest shares should go up some, but not a lot. We are estimating that our harvest share for the Clearwater River will end up around 600 fish.
Clearwater River drainage (only the harvest of Jacks are allowed): The most Jacks were harvested in the Clearwater River near Dworshak Hatchery although the best catch rates (3 hrs/fish) occurred near Kooskia Hatchery in the Middle Fork Clearwater River (a lot of adults were caught and released there). We are very close to our harvest share of adults in the Clearwater River. We still have some harvest share remaining so the fishery will remain open with the same rules this coming weekend as we had last week. (Open Friday – Monday; Jacks only; Jack limit 4; same areas open to fishing). Harvest this coming weekend and how much the harvest share changes will dictate how long the season will remain open.
Salmon River area fishing was very good as well last week. Early in the week most fish were being harvested downstream of Time Zone Bridge; however, by the weekend fishing picked up considerably in Park Hole (between Time Zone Bridge and Shorts Creek). People are now reporting that fishing is good in both the Park Hole and Little Salmon River. With good flow conditions and a bunch of adults reaching the Riggins area, I expect fishing to be excellent this week. It would not be unexpected if over 1,000 adults were harvested this week. The only thing I could see that would slow down the fishery is if it rained like crazy and muddied up the river.
Now is the time to fish the Rapid River run. Due to the expected high harvest, we are currently having discussions on how to prolong this fishery and make sure we don’t go over our harvest share in the future.
Hells Canyon fishery was also very good with catch rates running at 7 hrs/fish. Our anticipated harvest share for this fishery is 336 fish, and last week we estimated we harvested 132 adults bringing the total adult harvest to 183 fish. I expect another good week of fishing at Hells Canyon Dam.
FISHING — Here's an update to with more and clearer details regarding my earlier post on Idaho's decision to close fishing for adult spring chinook salmon in the Clearwater River. This was just released from Idaho Fish and Game's Lewiston office.
Tuesday, May 21, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game closed the lower Clearwater River from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge in Lewiston to the Cherrylane Bridge to all salmon fishing. The other sections of the Clearwater previously open to salmon fishing will remain open for harvest of jack salmon four days per week, Friday through Monday.
Sections of the Clearwater River basin that remain open to jacks-only harvest include:
- The mainstem Clearwater: From Lenore Bridge to Greer Bridge
- The North Fork Clearwater River: From the mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam excluding the perimeter of the Dworshak National Hatchery at Ahsahka. Fishing from any watercraft is prohibited.
- The Middle Fork Clearwater: From the mouth of the South Fork Clearwater River upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers.
- The South Fork Clearwater: From its mouth upstream to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.
Anglers are not be allowed to retain adult Chinook salmon anywhere in the Clearwater basin, but can continue to retain four adipose fin-clipped salmon less than 24 inches total length (jacks), per day. Jack salmon count against the daily limit but need not be recorded on the salmon permit. There is no season limit for jacks.
Jacks are salmon that return after one year in the ocean. They are relatively abundant this year, are not necessary in the brood stock and are all available for harvest. Managers estimate that over 2000 jacks returning to hatcheries in the Clearwater River will be available for harvest by sport anglers.
Fishery managers had consistently predicted that a relatively small number of adult hatchery Chinook salmon would return to the Clearwater River in 2013 and that over 50 percent would be needed to fill the hatchery brood stock quota. With the support of the public, managers structured a conservative fishery framework that allowed fishing four days per week with a daily limit of one adult Chinook salmon per day. The hatchery fish available for harvest are shared with Tribal fishers, resulting in less than 25 percent of the hatchery adults available for the sport fishery. Excellent fishing conditions and a pulse of fish moving through the lower Clearwater River resulted in the sport fishery achieving the harvest objective more quickly than expected.
Salmon fisheries on the Snake, lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers remain unchanged at this time.
FISHING — Good conditions and a surge of fish into Idaho's Clearwater River provided excellent fishing for spring chinook over the weekend, as predicted.
But the turnout was so heavy and the fishing was so good, anglers virtually caught their entire meager allotment of this year's spotty run in one swoop.
Idaho Fish and Game has closed the river to fishing for adult spring chinook after anglers caught about 540 mature salmon over four days. The estimated season harvest share is about 640 fish.
The good news is that when the season on the Clearwater reopens on Friday (May 24) anglers will continue to have good fishing for a big run of about 4,000 jacks.
Read on for details and more explanation from Joe DuPont, IFG regional fisheries manager in Lewiston:
FISHING — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission today (May 16) expanded Chinook salmon fishing to include additional reaches of the Clearwater main stem and South Fork Clearwater rivers.
The Clearwater River main stem is open from the Camas Prairie railroad bridge at Lewiston upstream to the Cherry Lane Bridge and from the Lenore Bridge upstream to the Highway 11 Greer Bridge. The South Fork Clearwater Riveris open from its mouth upstream to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.
Fish and Game asked commissioners to delay a decision on Chinook fisheries in the upper Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers to early June when fish managers will have a better idea of how many fish are heading for those waters.
“The fishing should be good tomorrow (Friday) as the river is clearing, flows are dropping, and lots of fish are passing over Lower Granite Dam,” said Joe DuPont, IFG regional fisheries manager in Lewiston.
Read on for details on all the areas open for spring chinook:
FISHING — The long-term news is not great, but in the short term anglers should be prepared this weekend to take advantage of spring chinook streaming into Idaho waters.
Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager just posted an update on all the details. In addition to the above details, he gives the sobering news that last week's surge of salmon hundreds of miles downstream into the mouth of the Columbia has pooped out.
As the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners prepare to set chinook seasons during a Thursday meeting in Coeur d'Alene, read on for some of the data they'll be working with, as summarized by DuPont:
FISHING — On Tuesday, anglers got a heads up from an Idaho fisheries manager that jack counts were the highlight of this year's spring chinook run.
He wasn't kidding.
Washington Fish and Wildlif Department fisheries manager Joe Hymer in Vancouver points out that through May 9 the total of 18,032 spring chinook jacks counted at Bonneville Dam is only 97 fish off the record count for the same day logged in 2009.
That year ar record of nearly 82,000 jacks were counted through June 15 (the end of the spring Chinook count at the dam).
So we're on a possible record pace.
Jacks are good eating… and the future for adult returns is bright.
FISHING — Things are looking somewhat better, according to a just-posted report on the run of spring chinook salmon headed for Idaho waters.
Here's what Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game's regional fisheries manager in Lewiston, has to say:
I would say that things are looking better this week than last. For the Clearwater River drainage, it looks like our harvest share will be somewhere between 300 and 1,000 adult fish (see last two columns in the table below). If this trend continues it may allow us to expand the area we have open to fishing. The Commission will be meeting next week on May 16 and will likely make a decision on this. For the Riggins area fishery, it looks like the harvest share will end up somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 adult fish.
The exciting news is the Jacks are starting to pour over Bonneville Dam like we have never seen before. In my glance over past year’s data, it looks like the only year when we had more Jacks over by this date was 2000, and that was a really early run year. If this continues, the Jacks should provide an excellent fishery especially seeing they tend to be easier to catch than the adults. The Commission may also look at Jack limits during their meeting next week as well.
To date, the only place we have documented harvest of Chinook salmon is in the lower Clearwater River. Based on our creel surveys, we estimated that 6 adults were harvested since the season started. In the future I will also provide a table that shows how many fish were harvested in different reaches so you all can follow along to see where the fishing is good and how close we may be to closing down harvest in various reaches.
Right now decent numbers of Chinook salmon are starting to come over Lower Granite Dam so I suspect fishing will get much better during the next four day stretch on the Clearwater River assuming the river stays fishable. The rivers are all supposed to rise due to these warm temperatures we are experiencing. We have already collected one Chinook salmon at the Rapid River trap so I suspect some fish will be caught over the next week in the Riggins area assuming the river remain fishable.
Fish should also start showing up at Hells Canyon Dam and I expect a few will be caught there over the next week as well. As a reminder, the Cleawater River drainage is only open to Chinook fishing 4 days a week (Friday through Monday) whereas the Riggins area and Hells Canyon fisheries are open 7 days a week.