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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Idaho spring chinook fishery to close Wednesday because of weak run

Spring chinook salmon caught in the Salmon River near Riggins, Idaho. (Exodus Wilderness Adventures)
Spring chinook salmon caught in the Salmon River near Riggins, Idaho. (Exodus Wilderness Adventures)

FISHING -- Idaho's spring chinook season will close on both the Salmon and Clearwater Rivers at the end of fishing hours on Wednesday, May 24, because of a weak run that's already closed some downstream fisheries in Washington, says Brett Bowersox, Idaho Fish and Game Department fisheries biologist in Lewiston.

"We will continue to monitor returns over Bonneville Dam," he said, noting that fish counts at downstream dams have improved the past few days and the season could be reopened if the run were to pick up significantly. 

"However, even with those improvements we are still very concerned regarding our ability to collect brood stock for future hatchery releases," he said. 

"In addition, returns of natural chinook salmon in the Salmon River are far below expected and are likely to fall below the level needed for incidental hook and release mortality within those fisheries."

Many anglers and guides are packing their boats and gear for Drano lake and other Columbia tributary areas that remain open for spring chinook stocks that aren't involved in endangered species protections.

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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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