Image from Idaho Fish and Game
Earlier in 2019, we wrote about Idaho closing their steelhead season in the Clearwater River Basin due to low broodstock return numbers. In order to meet the spawning needs for this season, Dworshak National Fish Hatchery needs a total of 1300 broodstock fish to return, and as of December 18, 2019, the hatchery has welcomed a total of 864 adult fish. Some Idaho Fish and Game managers are cautiously optimistic that the hatchery will reach its goal.
“We are just excited at this point we have the potential to provide some fishing opportunity for this run,” said Lance Hebdon, anadromous fish manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Boise, “I’m just a little unsteady about the conservation risk.”
The state plans to allow anglers to keep one hatchery steelhead per day from the Snake River below Couse Creek, the Clearwater River, and its South and Middle forks. However, anglers will be required to release any steelhead longer than 28 inches, and the North Fork of the Clearwater would remain closed to fishing under the state’s proposed rules.
To read more about the proposed season opening and the state of Idaho Steelhead, check out this article from The Lewiston Tribune!