APRIL 8, 2010

April 8, 2010

   In years when sufficient spring chinook salmon return to Idaho to hold a fishing season, salmon fevers grips the area during their brief migration through the Clearwater Region. Chinook typically migrate through the lower rivers quickly, and mainstem river fishing in the Lewiston area is usually good for only 3-4 weeks. After that, fishing shifts to locations near hatchery release areas.

   These release areas include: the South Fork Clearwater River, the North Fork Clearwater below Dworshak Dam, the Middle Fork Clearwater at the mouth of Clear Creek, the Lochsa River at Powell, Hell's Canyon Dam, and Rapid River Fish Hatchery near Riggins.

   Chinook generally start appearing in Idaho at Lewiston the last week of April, and fishing can be good through June if you follow the migration upstream.

   Just like during the spring steelhead season, the towns of Orofino, Kooskia, Kamiah, and Riggins are considered "chinook central" during late May and early June during a good chinook run.

   A major goal of Idaho fishery managers is to maximize salmon fishing opportunity for Idaho anglers, but a variety of biological and regulatory factors generally make setting chinook seasons a somewhat complicated process.

   Because of this, chinook anglers should stay informed of season changes and be flexible in their fishing plans. IDFG will strive to keep anglers informed of preseason run size predictions, in-season run size estimates, and fishing regulations.

   For more information, visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website at

Sportsmen's Report sponsored by John and Lorraine Weiland

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