the film
Ecology and salmon related articles

Chinook Tracking Leads
to Bag Limit Revamps

by Eric Barker
Lewiston Tribune, June 8, 2018

Salmon season set to open June 23 on Lochsa

(Allen Thomas) Anglers at the mouth of the Wind River are catching lots of jack spring chinook salmon. Through Sunday, there have been an estimated 3,147 boat trips at the Wind with a catch of 512 adult chinook kept, four adult chinook released, 103 jack chinook kept and 23 jacks released. Based on tagged adults detected at Bonneville Dam, the chinook run to the Wind appears to be on track for a return of about 3,000 salmon. Carson National Fish Hatchery has 485 chinook back with a goal of 1,500.

Chinook anglers will have a chance to harvest salmon in the Lochsa River later this month.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved a summer chinook season there that will start June 23. It also closed some sections of the lower Salmon River and reduced bag limits on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers near Riggins.

The bag limit for the Lochsa River will be one adult chinook per day, and anglers will be allowed to keep chinook with intact adipose fins. The river is projected to have a small harvest share of about 100 adult chinook.

Two sections of the lower Salmon - between Rice Creek Bridge near Cottonwood and the southernmost Twin Bridges near Cottonwood, and from Short's Creek near Riggins to Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp - will close Saturday. The bag limit on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers will also fall from two adult chinook per day to one starting Saturday.

The harvest share for the Rapid River run is now projected to be just 640. However, Joe DuPont, regional fisheries manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston, said that could change soon. Fisheries biologists are comparing detection of Rapid River chinook at Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, via tags a percentage of the fish are carrying, with genetic sampling conducted at the dam. In recent years, the tags have underrepresented the actual run strength DuPont said.

"We will have this analysis done later in the week," he said. "This could bump up the Rapid River harvest share some, but don't expect any large changes."

On the Clearwater River and its North, South and Middle forks, DuPont is now projecting a harvest share of 1,771 adult salmon. Anglers fishing in the lower Clearwater River have 260 fish remaining in the quota for that section of the river. DuPont said it's possible that quota could be exhausted following the four-day fishing interval that began Thursday. The department attempts to manage salmon fishing on the Clearwater and its tributaries so that harvest is distributed somewhat evenly up and down the basin.

The commission also approved summer chinook seasons to begin June 23 on sections of the South Fork of the Salmon River and the upper Salmon River.

Eric Barker
Chinook Tracking Leads to Bag Limit Revamps
Lewiston Tribune, June 8, 2018

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