Chinook season shaping up to be best since 2015
March 29, 2022
Seasons will run no later than August 7, but are typically closed sooner by Fish and Game when harvest shares are met by sport anglers.
Bag limits on the Snake River, Mainstem Clearwater River, North Fork will be:
Snake River, Clearwater River, Middle Fork Clearwater River and South Fork Clearwater River: Daily: Four Chinook, only one may be an adult 24 inches or longer. Possession: 12 Chinook, only three may be adults.
Salmon River and Little Salmon River: Daily: Four Chinook, only two may be adults 24 inches or longer. Possession: 12 Chinook, only six may be adults.
Full seasons are rules for Chinook fishing will be available on the Chinook Fishing webpage.
Preseason forecast for adult Chinook returning to Idaho is 39,631, which would be the highest run since 2015, but still below the 10-year average or 44,259 Chinook.
Fish and Game Anadromous Fish Manager John Cassinelli told commissioners that when Chinook returns are trending upward, the return often exceeds forecast. For example, last year’s forecast was 18,000 fish and about 30,000 returned. Fisheries managers will be monitoring Chinook returns as they come over dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
In addition to the adult Chinook returning this year, additional Chinook are likely to return as juvenile male “Jacks” that have spent only one year in the ocean and are less than 24 inches long. Jacks provide anglers more opportunities to harvest fish without affecting the number of fish available to replenish hatcheries.
Cassinelli also noted that ocean condition surveys taken in 2021 were good to excellent, which bodes well for future Chinook returns to Idaho.
Mike Weland, Publisher
6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
A 9B Media LLC publication
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