This is a message from IDF&G Regional Fisheries Manager, Joe DuPont:
Hi everybody, this is the Clearwater Region Chinook Salmon update for the week of June 17-23.We have decided to close down the Chinook salmon fishery on the Little Salmon. The final harvest numbers are shown in the tables below. As you will notice there are still fish on our harvest share, but at this point our main concern is to make brood stock needs. We still have around 500 more adults we need to collect so we want to be on the safe side and help insure we get the fish we need.The Hells Canyon salmon fishery will remain open 7 days a week until further notice. The fishing was extremely slow there last week as only 2 adults were caught.I know this season was not the same as we have experienced the last few years and at times seemed/was confusing and unfair. I think, despite these issues, we should not forget that at times we experienced some incredible fishing as we documented some of the higher catch rates we have seen for some time. Unfortunately, when we have these types of catch rates, the fishery can’t last long when the run is down. Several people have asked me if we could meet and talk about this fishery while issues are fresh in their minds. I think this is a great idea, and as such, would like to invite anybody who can make it to the Clearwater Hatchery near Orofino on to talk about this year’s Chinook salmon management in the Clearwater Region. I want to make it clear that at this meeting we will not make any decisions. This will just be an opportunity to brainstorm ideas, ask questions, and get a better feel for why we managed the Chinook season the way we did. We will summarize what we discuss at this meeting and present it in a future e-mail as well as at the public meetings next winter where others can comment on any ideas that came forward. For those of you who can’t make it to this meeting, you can always send (e-mail/call) me your ideas and thoughts, and I will summarize them as well for the next winters public meetings. I hope to see some of you at this meeting.This will about wrap it up for my weekly spring Chinook salmon updates. Probably the only other update I will provide is when we decide to close down the Hells Canyon spring Chinook fishery.Stay tuned for updates on other fisheries or interesting work we are up to.
Joe DuPontClearwater Region Fishery ManagerIdaho Department of Fish and Game