The spring Chinook salmon is opening this Saturday, April 24, on the Clearwater, Snake, Little Salmon and the lower Salmon rivers. That’s the word from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game which said Chinook fishing will open May 23 on the Lochsa River and June 19 in the lower Salmon River from Short’s Creek upstream to Vinegar Creek. Fish and Game also will open a new section of the lower Salmon River from Rice Creek to Hammer Creek during the same time as the other sections of the lower Salmon. Chinook salmon fisheries in the South Fork Salmon River and upper Salmon River will be set at a later date by the Fish and Game Commission.
In the Clearwater drainage, the daily limit is three Chinook of which only one may be an adult 24 or more inches long. The possession limit is nine of which just three may be adults.
In the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four Chinook of which two may be adults. The possession limit is 12 of which six may be adults.
The statewide annual limit is 20 adult Chinook. Only Chinook with a clipped adipose fin may be kept.
Only barbless hooks no more than 5/8 inch from point to shank may be used except on the Lochsa where only artificial lures with one barbless hook per fly or lure are permitted. No bait may be used on the Lochsa.
A new rule prohibits fishing from any watercraft within 30 yards of the west shoreline of the Salmon River from the Riggins City Park boat ramp upstream to a posted boundary about 200 yards upstream of the Little Salmon River, and the lower 200 yards of the Little Salmon. The change was deemed necessary to reduce conflicts between boat and bank anglers. However, it’s not all bad news for boat anglers. Additional boat fishing will open June 20 on 25 miles of the Salmon River just upstream from Riggins.