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Steelhead catch picks up: 10 hours per fish on the Little Salmon

Steelhead catch rates are picking up and there is plenty of exciting fishing left.

Steelhead fishing is unique, considering it is very good anytime catch rates are lower than 20 hours per fish caught.

Angler reports ending Oct. 25 show catch rates at six hours per fish on the Snake River downstream of the Salmon River, 10 hours per fish on the Little Salmon River, 10 hours per fish on the Clearwater from the mouth upstream to Orofino, 14 hours per fish on the Salmon River from the Middle Fork upstream to the North Fork Salmon, and 20 hours per fish on the Salmon from Whitebird Creek upstream to the Little Salmon.

Catch rates by river section are updated weekly at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/fish/steelhead/harvest.

Limits on the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon are three per day and nine in possession. The limit on the Clearwater is two fish per day and six in possession. Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the season, with the season ending Dec. 31.

Hunters encouraged to complete big game reports soon

Idaho Fish and Game encourages hunters who purchased a deer, elk, or pronghorn tag to report the results of their 2015 big game hunts as soon as possible.

Reporting is required either 10 days after a deer, elk or pronghorn is harvested, or ten days following the end of the season for which a tag is valid. Hunters are required to file a report for each tag they purchased whether they went hunting or not.

In addition, hunters like having harvest estimates well before the application period for fall controlled hunts. If Fish and Game receives hunter reports early, wildlife managers are able to complete the harvest estimates sooner so hunters can plan their hunting next fall.

Hunters can file their reports online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=106 or can call 1-877-268-9365 and speak to a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Survey under way

Fish and Game is getting opinions from hunters about possibly changing controlled hunt drawing odds and increasing the number of big game tags offered through auction.

For many years, some hunters have expressed interest in changing Idaho’s controlled hunt drawing system to favor those who were unsuccessful in previous drawings. Others have suggested auctioning big game tags as a way to increase revenue for conservation and hunter access programs. Both issues have generated interest in the Idaho Legislature.

In early October, the department mailed 4,400 paper questionnaires to a random sample of hunters. Those who responded are being entered into a database.

On Oct. 17, an email request was sent to a random sample of 27,000 hunters asking them to take the same survey online. They were selected from among hunters who had previously provided their email address to Fish and Game, and more than 3,000 responses were received in the first 48 hours.

The survey is available online for anyone who wants to take it at fishandgame.idaho.gov. Comments will be taken through Nov. 16.



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