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Ecology and salmon related articles

F&G Commission Approves 2020
Spring Chinook Salmon Season

by Brian Pearson
Clearwater Tribune, March 25, 2020

Graphic: Survival of juvenile salmon from the Washington/Idaho border to beyond Bonneville Dam has averaged around 50% survival.  In other words, half of them die while migrating through the federal hydropower system. The Fish and Game Commission on March 20 approved spring Chinook fishing on the Clearwater, Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers to start April 25, 2020 and run until closed by the Fish and Game director.

Full rules will be available on Fish and Game’s website soon. Printed rules will be available prior to the season opener.

Fisheries managers are forecasting a better run this year compared to last year, although in recent years forecasts have overestimated the actual run size. This year’s forecast is projecting a return of about 30,000 hatchery fish to Lower Granite Dam, which is about 35 miles downstream from Lewiston and the last of the eight dams that returning salmon cross on their way back to Idaho.

The harvest share forecasted for Idaho sport anglers is 2,900 adults in the Clearwater, Lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers, which includes about 1,000 fish in the Clearwater, 1,600 in the Lower Salmon/Little Salmon Rivers, and 300 in the Snake River.

The actual run has just has just started, with just 15 adult spring Chinook crossing Bonneville Dam as of March 14.

Rules will include open fishing two days per week, Saturday and Sunday, in the Clearwater River system, four days per week in the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers, Thursday through Sunday, and seven days per week in the Snake River.

Daily bag limits for all open waters will be four per day, with no more than one being an adult (24-inches or longer).

Areas open to fishing for Chinook Salmon include:

Related Pages:
States Set Columbia River Spring Chinook Seasons; Urged to Restrain Early-Season Fishing in Lower River so More Fish Reach Idaho by Staff, Columbia Basin Bulletin, 2/20/20

Brian Pearson, F&G Conservation Public Information Specialist
F&G Commission Approves 2020 Spring Chinook Salmon Season
Clearwater Tribune, March 25, 2020

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