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Salmon River Anglers Get To
Go Again for Spring Chinook

by CBB Staff
Columbia Basin Bulletin - June 13, 2003

Salmon anglers who missed their chance to fish while the Salmon River was flowing too high will have an extra week, until June 22, to try their luck.

Meeting in a telephone conference call June 10, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved a department recommendation to extend the spring chinook season on the Lower Salmon because anglers could not fish during the high spring flows. Instead of the scheduled closing of June 15, anglers may now fish through June 22. All other rules for salmon fishing remain the same.

The spring run of Rapid River chinook continues to exceed predictions. The May 12 forecast that called for 61,000 adult spring chinook to pass over Lower Granite Dam -- the last dam on the Lower Snake River before entering Idaho -- has been increased to 65,000 fish. As of June 8, the size of the run had already hit 58,100. Last year at the same time, the run was counted at 65,100.

The state harvest goal is 8,300 Rapid River chinook on the Lower Salmon River and Little Salmon River. Biologists estimate that 3,870 hatchery chinook have been taken to date, 1,590 from the Little Salmon and 1,280 from the Lower Salmon.

Fisheries biologist Bill Horton explained to the Commission that only about 46 percent of the allowable catch of Rapid River fish had been reached. Fish and Game wanted anglers to have the opportunity to catch more hatchery chinook. Virtually no fishing took place for about two weeks of the season while river flows were highest. Horton noted that the river flow in the Salmon River reached more than 92,000 cubic feet per second, measured at Whitebird. When the river was fishing well in May, flows were less than 14,000 feet per second. Water levels are now dropping back to more normal flows.

Fishing on the Little Salmon River is scheduled to continue through Aug. 3.

CBB Staff
Salmon River Anglers Get To Go Again for Spring Chinook
Columbia Basin Bulletin, June 13, 2003

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