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The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, March 18, adopted Chinook seasons as proposed by Fish and Game managers.
Most areas will open to Chinook fishing on April 24. Seasons also will open on May 23 in the Lochsa River; and June 19 in the lower Salmon River from Shorts Creek upstream to Vinegar Creek. In addition, this year Fish and Game 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.
The season is based on forecasts of nearly 160,000 hatchery-origin fish and about 26,000 wild fish, crossing Lower Granite Dam, destined for Idaho. That means a harvest share of about 62,000 fish may be available to Idaho recreational anglers.
In the Clearwater River drainage the daily limit if three Chinook, but only one may be an adult 24 or more inches long; the possession limit is nine and only three may be adults.
In the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four Chinook, only two may be adults. The possession limit is 12, only six adults.
Anglers are not required to record jacks, which are less that 24 inches long. But when once the daily limit of adults is caught, the angler must stop fishing for the day.
The statewide annual limit is 20 adult Chinook.
Daily fishing hours will be presented in the rule brochure in a table.
Waters that open April 24 are:
· Clearwater River, mainstem:
o Lower from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge at Lewiston upstream to the Cherrylane Bridge
o Middle from the Cherrylane Bridge upstream to the Orofino Bridge, excluding the perimeter of Dworshak National Fish Hatchery at Ahsahka, and excluding the ladder to the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery as marked by posted boundaries about 100 yards upstream and downstream of the ladder and extending into the river about 50 yards.
o Upper from the Orofino Bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River.
· North Fork Clearwater: From the mouth to the Dworshak Dam, excluding the perimeter of the Dworshak National Hatchery at Ahsahka.
· South Fork Clearwater: From its mouth to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.
· Middle Fork Clearwater: From the South Fork upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers.
· Lower Salmon River:
o Pine Bar From the Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the posted boundary about 200 yards downstream of the Hammer Creek boat ramp. This is a new section added this year.
o Hammer Creek From a posted boundary about 200 yards downstream from the Hammer Creek boat ramp upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Time Zone Bridge.
o Park Hole From the Time Zone Bridge upstream to a posted boundary at the mouth of Short's Creek, about 1.4 miles upstream of the mouth of the Little Salmon River.
· Little Salmon:
o Lower From the mouth to a posted boundary about 200 yards upstream of the mouth of the Rapid River.
o Upper from the posted boundary about 200 yards upstream of the Rapid River upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.
· Snake River: From the Dug Bar boat ramp upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.
Opening May 23:
· Lochsa River: From its mouth to the Twin Bridges immediately upstream from the confluence of Crooked Fork and Colt Killed Creeks.
Opening June 19:
· Lower Salmon:
o Vinegar Creek From posted boundary at the mouth of Shorts' Creek upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek.
All these waters would remain open until further notice. For additional rules and restrictions, please refer to the 2010 Chinook Salmon Seasons and Rules brochure, which will be available soon. All salmon anglers 14 years old and older must have a 2010 Idaho fishing license and salmon permit.
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