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Thursday, February 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

About 1K spring chinook in Idaho as season opens

Anglers pose with their spring chinook salmon at The Guide Shop in Orofino, Idaho, after returning from a Clearwater River fishing trip. (Rich Landers)
Anglers pose with their spring chinook salmon at The Guide Shop in Orofino, Idaho, after returning from a Clearwater River fishing trip. (Rich Landers)

FISHING -- About 1,000 spring chinook will be holding in Idaho water's when the season opens in the Clearwater Region on Saturday -- and that's more than usual for the opener.

Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries managers made these observations Thursday:

  • This year’s run appears to be earlier than we have seen in the past few years, and I suspect by opening day there will be around 1,000 adult hatchery Chinook in Idaho.  I know this isn’t a lot, but that’s considerably more than we have seen on most opening days. 
  • We certainly won’t see good catch rates this opening weekend, but I bet we will see a few lucky anglers who catch a fish in the Lower Clearwater.   
  • Based on counts at Bonneville Dam, I suspect it won’t get real good around Lewiston for another 10 days. 
  • If these lower flows and clearer waters persist, the fish will move faster than they have in the past. 
  • When large numbers of fish start coming over Lower Granite Dam, they could reach the lower Salmon River and upper Clearwater River fisheries in a week.


Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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