Spring Chinook Salmon Season Opens In The Lewis-Clark Valley

The 2012 Chinook Salmon Season is about to open with an estimated 83,600 adult hatchery origin fish expected to cross Lower Granite Dam into  the waters surrounding  the LC Valley at the north entrance to Hells Canyon.  It’s FISH ON!

These massive, ocean going fish are often so big that fishermen call them “hogs” and anglers from across the nation head our way each year for their chance at hooking into one of these legendary game fish.

Washington fisheries on the Snake River open April 25 and Idaho fisheries on the Clearwater and Snake Rivers open April 22.

Get a great deal on your Chinook salmon fishing adventure by checking out the Fisherman’s Specials for a hotel and book your charter from one of these licensed guides and outfitters in good standing with Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau.

Things to know if you go:

The Catch

  • Adult Chinook measure 24 inches or more
  • Jack Chinook measure under 24 inches and must be at least 12 inches to qualify for harvest.

Know Your Limits

  • Washington; All Chinook with an adipose fin must be released.Washington allows for a daily limit of 6 hatchery chinook, with a cap of 2 adults. Anglers must cease fishing when the adult limit has been retained for the day.
  • Idaho; All Chinook with an adipose fin must be released.On the Clearwater River drainage allows for a daily limit of 4 hatchery Chinook, with a cap of 2 adults.  Possession limit is 12, with a cap of 6 adults.On the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four hatchery Chinook, only 2 may be adults. The possession limit is 12, with a cap of 6 adults.

Photographing Wild Chinook Salmon

  • In Washington, wild salmon must be unhooked and released without being removed from the water.  Have your camera ready for a quick image capture and keep the fish low to the water.
  • Idaho allows anglers a bit more leeway and lets fishermen remove wild fish from the water for photographing.  Remember to wet your hands before touching the fish. Use both hands to support the fish, over the water if possible, so that if the fish struggles free it doesn’t fall onto a hard surface such as rocks or a boat floor.

Get Licensed

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what your fishing adventure was like and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

~image property of HellsCanyonSportFishing.com