January 9, 2014

Spring steelhead season open

   For some anglers, the best thing about New Year's is the start of the spring steelhead season, which opened Jan. 1. Anglers are reminded that they will need a 2014 fishing license and steelhead permit. 

   Spring steelhead season is open on the:

   Salmon River from its mouth to the posted boundary 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir, near the town of Stanley.

   Little Salmon River from its mouth to the U.S. Highway 95 Bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.

   Snake River from the Washington state line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream to Oxbow Dam.

   Clearwater River mainstem and Middle Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to Clear Creek.

   North Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to Dworshak Dam.

   South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to the confluence of American and Red Rivers.

   Boise River from its mouth to the Barber Dam.

   The season runs through April 30 in most areas, except:

   On the Salmon River from Lake Creek Bridge to Long Tom Creek, about a quarter mile upstream of the Middle Fork, the season ends March 31.

   On the Little Salmon River, the season runs through May 15.

   On the Snake River from Hells Canyon Dam to Oxbow Dam, the season runs through May 31.

   On the Boise River upstream to Barber Dam, the season ends May 31.

   Steelhead are in the Boise River only when stocked by Idaho Fish and Game. Here steelhead are defined as rainbow trout longer than 20 inches with a clipped adipose fin. During late November, 200 steelhead were stocked in the Boise River. Barbless hooks are not required in the Boise, but anglers must have a steelhead permit to fish for and keep steelhead.
   Steelhead anglers must have a valid
Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit. 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.

   The steelhead limits for the spring 2014 season on the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon are three per day and nine in possession. The limits in the Clearwater drainage are one fish per day and two in possession. In addition, in the North Fork Clearwater River and the Clearwater River downstream of the Orofino Bridge only steelhead 28 inches or less in total length may be kept.

   The statewide limit for the spring season is 20 steelhead. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch-and-release.
   Please consult the Fish and Game Website at, license vendors or regional offices for changes to rules published in the 2013-2015 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure.