2011 Summer Idaho Chinook Salmon Fishing

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Chinook salmon fishing is picking up in Idaho’s Lower Salmon and Little Salmon fisheries on the Rapid River Hatchery Chinook stock.

As river flows decrease, fishing is expected to continue improving. Several areas reported good fishing success during the holiday weekend

Salmon River/Little Salmon River Chinook Fisheries

As of Sunday, July 3, an estimated 1,413 adult Chinook had been harvested on the Salmon River and 987 on the Little Salmon River. The total available sport harvest share has been upgraded to 9,000 for all hatchery Chinook bound for Rapid River Hatchery and the Little Salmon River.

The number harvested thus far represents 32 percent of the harvest share, meaning that great fishing is still to come. Chinook are swimming into the Rapid River Hatchery trap daily; adult fish are spread out in all legally fishable waters. Jack salmon harvest has been good also with an estimated 2,000 harvested. Now is said to be a good time to fishing these areas,  although river flows remain challenging.

Snake River Chinook Fishery below Hell’s Canyon Dam

Harvest rates slowed below the dam recently, primarily because of a lack of anglers. So far, 695 adult Chinook and 760 jack Chinook have been harvested, well below the goal of 1,557 adult Chinook. The fish are there to be caught, but Chinook anglers are being drawn to other areas.

South Fork Salmon River Chinook Fishery

The South Fork Salmon River fishery opened on June 25. River flows remain very high with no reports of salmon harvested through July 4. Sport harvest share on this fishery is expected to be 1,891 adult hatchery Chinook and an estimated 2,300 jacks. This fishery is not expected to pick up until at least the end of the first week of July. High flows have prevented the installation of the South Fork weir, and the subsequent operation of the South Fork Fish Trap.


Fish and Game’s Southwest Region will publish weekly updates regarding local Chinook fisheries until salmon seasons close on the South Fork Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers.

More information regarding salmon fishing can be found on the Idaho Fish and Game website at:


source: Idaho Fish and Game