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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, more than 3,000 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 Sept. 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. Find details online here.


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