Salmon Season Starts Slow, Counts Look Good
Chinook fishing started slow on the first two weekends of the
but counts at Lower Granite Dam,
the last barrier to salmon entering Idaho rivers, indicate good times for anglers on the way.
Idaho Fish and Game
The anadromous salmon seasons got underway in parts of the Snake, Clearwater
and Salmon rivers on April 21. Salmon fishing was slow on the weekend, but
as the fish have been crossing Lower Granite Dam in large numbers in recent
days, the fishing activity is picking up. Through April 29, 71,806 salmon
have crossed the dam this year, all during the month of April.
Fish and Game is currently surveying anglers in the Clearwater, Salmon, and
Little Salmon rivers to determine how the fishing is going. Catch rates on
the lower Clearwater River from Lewiston to Orofino were as low as 66 hours
per fish over the weekend. The fish have not come to the upper Clearwater and
tributaries in big enough numbers to provide good fishing yet.
The lower Salmon River and the Little Salmon River fisheries are also slower
since the salmon have much farther to travel. The Department will report on
angler activity each Monday throughout the season.
For comparison to the same time in previous years, the 10-year average of
adult spring chinook crossing Lower Granite Dam by April 28 is only 1,138
fish. Last year, 1,900 spring chinook had crossed the last of the eight dams
on their migration back to Idaho to spawn. The bulk of the run is hatchery
fish, bound for the Clearwater and Little Salmon rivers. This year's run has
already surpassed the highest run size since 1977, which was 40,900 spring
chinook in 1978. In that year, most of the fish were wild salmon, and that
was the last year Idaho had a statewide salmon season. Many of the areas
that were open for salmon fishing in 1978 still remain closed.
Additional information will be on the IDFG website at http://www2.state.id.us/fishgame, and will be updated weekly.
Rewritten with IDFG permission
Best Books on Salmon Fishing:
Spinner Fishing for Steelhead, Salmon and Trout
Field Guide to the Pacific Salmon
Steelhead Jig Fishing Techniques & Tackle :