THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Chinook seasons open Saturday
The spring Chinook salmon fishing season will open Saturday, April 23, on parts of the mainstem Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Lochsa, Snake Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.
The returns of hatchery origin adult Chinook salmon in 2016 are forecasted to be about 30 percent less than robust returns observed in 2015 but still among the top five observed since 2000. Through April 13, over 3000 adult Chinook have crossed Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, while 25 adult salmon fish have crossed Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River.
Fish and Game tailored the 2016 fisheries proposals to meet hatchery broodstock needs, focus fishing efforts in areas where hatchery fish are most abundant, and still allow fishing in river reaches that anglers have grown accustomed to fishing in recent years.
In the Clearwater Basin, except for the South Fork Clearwater River, limits are set at four fish per day, only one of which may be an adult. The possession limit in these parts of the Clearwater River drainage will be twelve fish, only three of which may be adults.
In the South Fork Clearwater, lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake River fisheries, anglers will be allowed to keep four fish per day, only two of which may be adults. The possession limit in these fisheries will be twelve fish, of which only six may be adults.
These areas will be open seven days a week. The season limit will be 20 adult Chinook salmon for seasons prior to September 1.
Only hatchery origin Chinook salmon with a clipped adipose fin, as evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept. Only harvested adult Chinook salmon must be recorded on the salmon permit. Adult Chinook Salmon are those 24 or more inches from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Chinook salmon less than 24 inches (jacks) count against the daily limit but need not be recorded on the salmon permit.
An angler must cease fishing for Chinook salmon once they have retained their daily, possession, or season limit of adult Chinook salmon or their overall (fish of any size) daily or possession limit of Chinook salmon, whichever comes first.
Other rules and special restrictions for the Chinook salmon fishery are in the 2016 Spring Chinook Salmon Seasons and Rules brochure available at Fish and Game offices, license vendors, and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.
The Commission will consider Chinook salmon fisheries on the South Fork Salmon and Upper Salmon rivers at its May 17 meeting in Coeur d’ Alene. Salmon return to these areas later than to the Clearwater River and Rapid River Hatcheries, giving managers more time to develop fishery proposals for those areas.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Snake River spring chinook fisheries to open
Action: Spring chinook salmon fishing opens on the Snake River.
Species affected: Chinook salmon.
SPOKANE ANGLER JEFF MAIN SHOWS OFF A SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT AT THE WALL BELOW LITTLE GOOSE DAM SEVERAL SEASONS AGO NOW. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)
A) Below Ice Harbor Dam: Snake River from the Southbound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam.
B) Below Little Goose Dam: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream from the mouth of the Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility).
C) Clarkston: Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).
Dates: Each area is open two days per week until further notice.
Area A (Below Ice Harbor Dam) open Friday, April 29, and will be open only Friday and Saturday each week.
Areas B and C (below Little Goose Dam and near Clarkston) open Sunday, May 1, and will be open only Sunday and Monday each week.
Daily Limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon. For all areas open for chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing for salmon when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.
Reason for action: The pre-season forecast indicates a relatively strong return of spring chinook and anglers have stressed their desire for a longer fishery season. For this reason, Snake River fisheries in each zone will be limited to two days per week (with only one weekend day included each week) with a daily bag limit of one adult hatchery chinook. These restrictions will help prolong the duration of the season, enable sharing of fishing opportunities with upriver fishery zones, and facilitate compliance with Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions and harvest allocations available for the Snake River.
Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook salmon is 12 inches. Jacks are less than 24 inches in length and adults are over 24 inches in length. The adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon that can be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All chinook salmon with an intact adipose fin, and all bull trout and steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed.
In addition: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for any species during the days of the week the salmon fishery is open in any area. Only single-point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon. It is unlawful to use any hook larger than 5/8 inch (point of hook to shank) when fishing for all species except sturgeon. Anglers cannot remove any chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.
Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2015/2016 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures.
THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Spring Chinook fishing in northeast Oregon kicks off on Saturday, April 23 with the opening of the upper Snake River to salmon fishing.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will open the upper Snake River for spring chinook fishing under the following regulations:
- Open to sport fishing seven-days-a-week from Dug Bar Boat Ramp to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam. The fishery will remain open until a notice of closure is announced.
- The daily bag limit is four hatchery spring Chinook salmon (adult and jacks) per day, no more than two can be an adult salmon more than 24-inches long. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon for the day when they have kept four jack salmon (equal to or less than 24-inches long) or two adult salmon, whichever comes first.
- Only barbless hooks may be used. Anglers are reminded to review the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for other applicable regulations.
ODFW and Idaho Fish and Game fishery managers, who co-manage the upper Snake River sport fishery, anticipate over 2,700 hatchery adult salmon will return to the base of Hell’s Canyon Dam. “Currently, the run is coming in later than expected but we’re optimistic we will have a good Snake River fishery this year” said Jeff Yanke, ODFW district fish biologist in Enterprise. “We expect the catch rates to pick up in the upper Snake around mid-May,” he said.
Managers are also monitoring detections of Chinook salmon stocks that support fisheries in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha Rivers. Spring Chinook returns to these basins are much lower than previous years “Our pre-season projections suggest there may be enough fish in both the Imnaha and Grande Ronde basins to have limited opportunity”, Yanke said.
Season changes and closures announcements will be posted on the ODFW website and released through local news outlets.