There will soon be fewer miles of river in Idaho to fish for steelhead but an opportunity to fish for coho salmon for the first time in two years.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted this morning to close all steelhead fishing on the Clearwater River and its North, South and Middle forks and on the Snake River from the Idaho/Washington state line at Lewiston to the Couse Creek Boat ramp south of Asotin. The closure will take effect at midnight Sept. 29.
The move is in response to poor B-run steelhead numbers. This year’s return of hatchery B-run steelhead is projected to be among the worst ever and far fewer than what is needed for spawning at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery.
Commissioners also approved a coho season on the Clearwater River starting today and lasting through Oct. 13 from its mouth to the confluence of the rivers South and Middle forks near Kooskia and on the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam. Coho fishing will be allowed seven days a week from the mouth of the Clearwater River to Memorial Bridge. The rest of the Clearwater River will be open to coho fishing Thursdays through Sundays.
The daily bag limit is two coho with or without clipped adipose fins.