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F&G May Raise Steelhead Limits Today

by Roger Phillips
The Idaho Statesman, August 27, 2003

More steelhead in the rivers could mean more steelhead in the bag limit.

Steelhead season opens Monday on most Idaho rivers. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet via conference call today to decide on an F&G staff proposal to raise the fall season steelhead limit to three fish per day, nine in possession and 20 for the season. Normally, limits are two steelhead per day, four in possession and 10 for the season. The agency also increased the steelhead bag limit in the spring.

F&G biologists are predicting a fall run of 150,000 steelhead returning to Idaho. That would be slightly smaller than last year´s run, but twice the 10-year average.

Only steelhead with their adipose fin clipped are allowed for harvest on the Snake, Salmon and lower Clearwater River below Memorial Bridge at Lewiston.

The harvest season on the Clearwater River above Memorial Bridge will open Oct. 15. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed until then.

Barbless hooks are required. Steelhead anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit.

Many early-season steelhead that cross Lower Granite Dam, the last one before Idaho, head for the lower Clearwater River. That stretch of river remains cool because of water releases out of Dworshak Dam.

“The lower river should be great fishing for these early arrivals,” said Larry Barrett, F&G fisheries biologist. “Anglers should focus their efforts there until flows from Dworshak Reservoir are brought down.”

Anglers participating in the catch-and-release season on the lower Clearwater are doing well using Hot Shots, Wiggle Warts, and Hawg Boss-type plugs, Barrett said. Anglers also are catching fish after dark in the Lewiston area trolling lighted lures.

For more information on steelhead fishing, visit F&G´s Web site at fishgame.

Roger Phillips
F&G May Raise Steelhead Limits Today
The Idaho Statesman, August 27, 2003

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