Chinook salmon fishing for Rapid River Hatchery fish is very good in the Lower Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers.
This past weekend saw record numbers of anglers and more than 100 fish harvested per day in and around Riggins, as river levels have dropped to ideal fishing flows on the Little Salmon River. Salmon are also beginning to arrive in the upper South Fork Salmon River.
Idaho Fish and Game reports:
Salmon River/Little Salmon River
As of Sunday July 10, an estimated 1,022 adult chinook have been harvested on the Salmon River and 2,542 on the Little Salmon River. Jack salmon harvest has also been good with an estimated 2,158 harvested. About 4,000 adult fish from the Rapid River Hatchery run remain to be harvested; more than 2,000 fish have arrived at the hatchery trap. Adult fish are spread out in all legally fishable waters, with a few fish harvested in the Little Salmon River upstream of the Rapid River confluence. Salmon fishing in this area appears to be at its peak; now is the time to go fishing. Bag limits for these two fisheries have been upgraded to six fish per day, only three of which may be adult fish (defined as 24 inches or longer). Possession limits for these two fisheries have also been upgraded to 18 fish total, only nine of which may be adult fish.
Snake River below Hell's Canyon Dam
Harvest rates have been sporadic as water temperatures fluctuate. So far, 741 adult chinook and 760 jack chinook have been harvested, well below the goal of 1,557 adult chinook. Fish are there to be caught, but chinook anglers are being drawn to other areas. The daily bag limit remains four, only two of which may be adults. Possession limit remains 12, only six of which may be adults.
South Fork Salmon River
Salmon have finally begun arriving on the upper South Fork Salmon River, with an estimated 16 adults harvested this past weekend. River flows continue to drop, and the water is clearing. The McCall Hatchery weir was installed July 11, with a few fish trapped the first night. Sport harvest share on this fishery remains 1,881 adult hatchery chinook and 1,872 jacks; these numbers will be re-evaluated each week. Typical of this fishery, salmon are expected to arrive in large numbers in a short period of time, resulting in a few days of high catch rates before harvest share is met and the season closes. Good fishing is anticipated for the weekend of July 16/17 throughout all legally fishable areas. Daily bag limits on the South Fork are six fish, no more than two of which may be adults. The possession limit is 18 fish, not more than six of which may be adults.
While a Boise River chinook fishery has been approved, no salmon have yet been transported and released into the Boise River. More information on this potential fishery will be released if and when a Boise River plan is developed.