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Board opts to wait to decide summer chinook fishing rules

DuPont: Dam counts pick up

Since I talked to you last week, we have seen counts of adult chinook salmon over Bonneville Dam pick up considerably only to drop back down. The counts were actually fairly exciting for five days and brought us up from the sixth worst count ever at Bon- neville (out of 80 years) to the 22nd worst.

So, I would say things are looking much better.

— Idaho Fish & Game Clearwater Region Fisheries Manager Joe DuPont

Find DuPont’s full column at IDFG.IDAHO.GOV/PR... WATER-REGION-CHINOOK-UPDATE- 51118

A late chinook salmon return prompted Fish and Game com- missioners on May 10 to post- pone a decision on summer fish- ing seasons on the Clearwater, South Fork of the Salmon and Upper Salmon rivers.

Spring chinook fishing is cur- rently open on several rivers, but fish have been slow to re- turn and by Monday, May 14, less than 800 spring chinook had crossed Lower Granite Dam about 25 miles downstream from Lewiston. That’s less than 5 percent of the 10-year average for that date.

However, more than 46,000 spring chinook have crossed Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River since May 13, which is the first dam the fish cross after leaving the Pacific. Some of those fish, and more behind them, are bound for Idaho.

A few summer chinook bound for the South Fork of the Salmon River have already crossed Bonneville Dam, but it’s too early to tell how many more are coming. The preseason fore- cast is for enough summer chi- nook to return to provide for a fishing season.

“We’re waiting to see what’s going on with the fish before opening the summer season up,” said Lance Hebdon, Fish and Game’s anadromous fish manager.


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