Spring chinook season closed on two rivers

Print Article

Courtesy photo The spring chinook fishing season on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers is closed.

The spring chinook fishing season on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers is closed because there arenít enough adult hatchery fish returning to meet spawning goals.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials closed fishing this week on the two rivers, putting an early end to an otherwise disappointing season. Fishing was closed on the Clearwater River and its tributaries last month.

Using genetic data from returned fish to predict the run, biologists learned that about 9,100 fish, much fewer than average, were bound for the Rapid River Hatchery near Riggins.

The Rapid River Fish Hatchery is the largest collecting, spawning and rearing facility of spring Chinook salmon in Idaho.

Modeling data showed that about 3,654 chinook would likely show up at the hatchery, which requires 2,353 adult chinook for brood stock, or spawning fish, according to Fish and Game. That would leave approximately 1,300 fish, or about 650 each tribal and sport anglers.

Joe DuPont, regional fisheries manager at Lewiston who monitors the fishery, said sport anglers had already harvested 622 hatchery chinook from the two rivers, which theoretically leaves only 29 fish.

ďUsing the best data we have, we think the right thing to do is shut this entire fishery down so we can meet brood needs,Ē DuPont said. ďHopefully, the adults we collect for this yearís brood stock will make a difference in future fisheries.Ē

Last yearís forecast for the Snake River, which the fish use to enter the Salmon system, called for a return of 107,400, but just 67,595 chinook showed up.

This yearís forecast was predicted at 8,200 wild spring chinook and just fewer than 40,000 hatchery fish, but the numbers didnít pan out.

Fish spend nearly two years at the Riggins hatchery growing to a length of 4-6 inches before being released into Rapid River to begin their 600-mile journey to the ocean, which can take two months.

One to three years later, they travel back up the Columbia River and into the Snake River to return as adults to Idaho, usually between May and September. Spawning begins around mid-August and is completed by the end of September. Records going back to 1964 show adult spring salmon returns have varied from less than 200 to more than 17,000.

Reduced survival among chinook destined for Idaho waters has been blamed on poor ocean conditions, according to Fish and Game.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Grizzly moves from Kellogg to Kelly

June 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A grizzly that denned northeast of Clark Fork near Montanaís Spar Lake has turned up in the Kelly Creek drainage in Idahoís Clearwater forest. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the 2-year-...

Comments

Read More

Frascaís fly shop is rich in merchandise, memories

June 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Bud Frasca isnít your average fly fisherman. The owner of Northwest Classic Tackle in Hayden, a fly shop that sells just about anything necessary for a day trip onto local rivers ó it doesnít sell a...

Comments

Read More

Spring chinook season closed on two rivers

June 07, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The spring chinook fishing season on the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers is closed because there arenít enough adult hatchery fish returning to meet spawning goals. Idaho Department of Fish an...

Comments

Read More

Get ready for elk in the off-season

June 06, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Mike Lapinski has a passion for elk and it shows in his writing and his lifeís work. Much of his adult years since moving to western Montana in 1969 have been spent hunting elk with a rifle, bow or ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X