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Several Chinook salmon seasons will open in time for the Fourth of July holiday on parts of the Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers.
A season in a section of the lower Salmon River upstream of Shorts Bar opens Saturday, June 18; seasons on the South Fork Salmon and a section of the upper Salmon rivers open June 25; and a new stretch of water near the town of Salmon opens July 2.
In addition, a jacks-only season opens from July 9 to 17 in a short reach near Stanley.
The Vinegar Creek section area of the lower salmon River will open June 18, providing anglers some opportunity to harvest hatchery Chinook salmon destined for the South Fork Salmon River.
The season opens June 18 until further notice on:
· Lower Salmon, Vinegar Creek – From posted boundary at the mouth of Shorts’ Creek upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek.
Adult hatchery salmon bound for the South Fork Salmon River and the Pahsimeroi hatchery in the upper Salmon River basin a little later getting started, but the forecast is for sufficient returns to support sport fishing seasons.
The seasons open June 25 until further notice on:
· South Fork Salmon, lower – From the bridge on Forest Service Road (Lick Creek/East Fork South Fork Road) where it crosses the mainstem South Fork Salmon River just upstream of the confluence with the East Fork South Fork Salmon River, upstream about 16 river miles to a posted boundary about one mile upstream from Fourmile Campground (about two miles downstream from Poverty Flat Campground).
· South Fork Salmon, upper – From a posted boundary about one mile upstream from Fourmile Campground (about two miles downstream from Poverty Flat Campground) upstream about 17 river miles to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream from the Idaho Fish and Game South Fork Salmon River weir and trap.
· Salmon River, Section 17, Ellis Area – From the cable car crossing at the USGS flow gauging station, about 150 yards downstream of Island Park in Salmon, upstream to the posted boundary about 20 yards above the mouth of the Pahsimeroi River in Ellis.
A season will open on July 2 until further notice on:
· Salmon River, Section 16, Salmon Area – From the posted boundary by the private bridge crossing about 1.5 miles upstream from the confluence of the main Salmon River and North Fork Salmon River upstream to the posted boundary by the cable car crossing at the USGS flow gauging station, about 150 yards downstream of Island Park in Salmon.
These waters will remain open until closed by further notice. Fishing hours on the South Fork will be from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on the upper Salmon from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Daily bag limits are six Chinook, no more than two of which may be adults, and the possession limit is 18 Chinook, no more than six of which may be adults. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon when daily, possession or season limits of adult salmon are reached, whichever comes first.
All adult Chinook that are caught and kept must be recorded on the angler’s salmon permit. The statewide season limit remains 20 adult Chinook during any 2011 salmon seasons occurring before September 1.
Adult Chinook returns to the Sawtooth Hatchery are poor and cannot support a fishery, but enough jacks are expected to return to that facility to support a short fishing season. A reach of the Salmon River near Stanley will open for harvest jack salmon only. Jacks are less than 24 inches total length.
The jacks-only season will open on July 9 and close on July 17 in:
· Salmon River, Section 19, Stanley Area – From a posted boundary about 20 yards upstream of Valley Creek in Stanley, upstream to the posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the weir at the Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley.
The daily bag limit in the Stanley area is two jack Chinook salmon and the possession limit is six. No adult Chinook may be taken. Only Chinook less than 24 inches long, with a clipped adipose fin, as evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept.
Chinook seasons already are open on the Clearwater mainstem, North Fork, South Fork and Middle Fork, Lochsa, lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers.
For additional rules, please refer to the 2011 Chinook Salmon Seasons and Rules brochure, available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/rules/chinook_seasons/. All salmon anglers 14 years old and older must have a 2011 Idaho fishing license and salmon permit.
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