On September 20th, Idaho Fish and Game made the call to cancel the remainder of the Steelhead fishing season in the entirety of the Clearwater River Basin including the Clearwater River upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork, and the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork tributaries. The cancellation of the season is due to a continually dwindling number of returning fish, both wild and hatchery-raised.
“Based on average run timing, we estimate that this will result in approximately 2,300 fish crossing Bonneville Dam by the end of the season,” said Lance Hebdon, anadromous fishery manager for IDFG. “The result for Idaho anglers is that only 1,700 hatchery steelhead destined for the Clearwater River will make it to Lower Granite Dam by the end of the season.”
Idaho Fish and Game is going so far as to halt even catch and release angling.
According to CBS News 2 Idaho, “In order to meet broodstock needs for Clearwater River hatcheries (a total of 1,352 fish), 100 percent of the steelhead destined for the North Fork Clearwater River, and a high percentage of the fish destined for the South Fork Clearwater River would have to be collected, leaving no surplus fish for harvest.”
Source: CBS 2 Idaho