Come on in, the angling’s still on

Roy Akins, left, and a client take a picture of a steelhead caught from the Salmon River near Riggins recently.

Bad news travels quickly and sometimes gets twisted as it permeates the public’s consciousness.

Take the recent closures of steelhead fishing on the Clearwater River and the Snake River downstream of the Couse Creek boat ramp as an example. It’s bad news for sure, but it doesn’t mean all steelhead fishing is closed. However that is the message many people have received.

“Most people think it’s closed,” said Toby Wyatt, owner of Real Time Fishing.

Roy Akins, owner of Rapid River Outfitters at Riggins, has experienced the same thing. Akins said most of his clients have told him they heard from others that all steelhead fishing was closed. He said even some people in Riggins think the seasons on the Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers were included in the closure.

“We are kind of in triage mode. The numbers on our bookings are down,” he said. “It sounds like a lot of people in the Boise Valley think the whole season is closed. I tell them we are open on the Salmon River.”

The steelhead closure pertains to the Clearwater and its tributaries and the Snake River downstream of the Couse Creek boat ramp. Fishing for steelhead is open on the Snake River upstream of Couse Creek and on the Salmon, Grande Ronde and Imnaha rivers.

The bag limits on those rivers have been reduced to one fish per day because of low numbers of fish. But fisheries managers in Idaho, Washington and Oregon expect enough steelhead to return to meet hatchery spawning goals and provide for some fishing opportunity.

Barker may be contacted at ebarker@lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2273. Follow him on Twitter @ezebarker.

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