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Spring chinook seasons set to open April 26

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted the 2014 spring-season chinook salmon fisheries on Thursday, March 20. Fishery managers are anticipating a large increase in the number of salmon returning to Idaho compared to last year’s numbers. Early projections indicate around 80,000 hatchery and wild salmon will make it to Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River in Idaho.

If projections hold true, Idaho anglers will be allowed to harvest:

• 4,800 hatchery spring chinook on the Clearwater River and its tributaries;

• 5,900 on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers;

• 700 on the Snake River in Hells Canyon.

Seasons will begin on April 26 on the mainstem Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Lochsa, Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers and on the Snake River in Hells Canyon from Dug Bar upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.

Fisheries will be open seven days per week. Closing dates will be determined and ordered by the Commission based on harvest quotas.

Daily limits will be four fish per day. Only two of the daily limit of four fish may be adult salmon (24 inches or larger) on the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon, Snake and South Fork Clearwater rivers.

Only one of the daily bag limit fish may be an adult salmon on the Main stem Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and the Lochsa rivers. Salmon anglers should refer to the salmon season rules brochures for more information on limits and the season.

A special restriction will be placed on a short stretch of the Clearwater River known as Big Eddy. That stretch will be closed to fishing from watercraft. Only fishing from the bank will be allowed in that section and boundaries will be posted.

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