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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Steelhead counts steady over Lower Granite Dam; expect good fishing

Steelhead counts at Lower Granite Dam. (Fish Passage Center)
Steelhead counts at Lower Granite Dam. (Fish Passage Center)

FISHING -- The number of steelhead heading up the Snake River toward Idaho waters isn't as large as it's been in the past, but savvy anglers know that doesn't necessarily mean they'll catch fewer fish.

With thousands of fish climbing over Lower Granite Dam, the number of steelhead migrating into Idaho is increasing..

During the four day period ending on Sunday, the average count at Lower Granite was over 2,700 fish per day.

 “Although this run won’t be as large as most runs we’ve seen in the last five years, it is important to realize that in these situations fewer people will often fish which reduces competition and keeps catch rates high,” said Joe DuPont, fisheries manager based in Lewiston. 

“In fact, during the run of 2013, when the run was down in the Clearwater, I had several people commenting how they had some of their best steelhead fishing, as they had the river to themselves and caught a bunch of fish.” 

Harvest season for steelhead opened Aug. 1 on the Lower Clearwater downstream of the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge and on Sept. 1 and in the Snake and Salmon rivers. 

The Clearwater River upstream of the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge, the Middle Fork, North Fork and South Fork Clearwater rivers are catch-and-release only until Oct. 15, when the harvest season in those sections opens.

See more information on steelhead fishing in Idaho

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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