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Ecology and salmon related articles

Spring Steelhead Season Opens

by Staff
Bonner County Daily Bee, January 15, 2017

Chris Clemens of Asotin, Washington, holds a wild steelhead caught and released in the Clearwater River. The intact adipose fin between the dorsal fin and the tail distinguish the fish from hatchery-reared steelhead, which have their adipose fins clipped off before they leave the hatchery. Idaho allows wild fish to be removed from the water before release. Washington does not. (Reel Time Fishing) COEUR d'ALENE -- For some anglers, the best thing about New Year's is the start of the spring steelhead season, which opens Jan. 1 on parts of the Clearwater, Salmon, Little Salmon, Snake and Boise rivers.

But before wetting a line, anglers will need a 2017 Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit.

River sections to open include:

The steelhead limit is three per day, nine in possession and 20 for the season. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch and release. Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, and may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released unharmed immediately.

Steelhead are in the Boise River and the Snake River above Hells Canyon Dam only when stocked by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

During November, more than 300 steelhead were stocked in the Boise River. A steelhead permit is required to fish for and keep steelhead (rainbow trout longer than 20 inches with a clipped adipose fin). Barbless hooks are not required on the Boise River.

Consult Idaho's 2016-2018 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure for exceptions and special restrictions. For additional information on steelhead fishing including the latest catch rates, dam counts and useful instructional videos, go to

Spring Steelhead Season Opens
Bonner County Daily Bee, January 15, 2017

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