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

7 Awesome Things To Do Without Leaving Hells Gate State Park

When is a park not just a park? When it’s Hells Gate State Park! Read on to learn about the unexpected adventures that await you during a stay beside the Snake River in the LC Valley …

Camp out
Breakout the JiffyPop, S’mores and dutch ovens for a stay at any one of the 104 spots available within the tree covered slice of heaven that is Hells Gate State Park Campground. Wether you love RV, tent or cabin camping, Hells Gate has you covered!

Big Game Expedition
Come face to face with 65 mounted game heads from around the world and learn about one of North America’s most successful outdoor writers and hunting enthusiasts, Jack O’Connor, at The Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center.

Pedal Away the Day
Don a helmet, check the air in your tires and head out for a ride through the park. There are three camp loops to explore and any number of paved or dirt trails that wind all over the public green spaces on the grounds – guaranteed smiles for miles.

Explore the Corps
Grab a compass and head into the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center to meet Weetxuwiis and the Nez Perce, just like Lewis & Clark did over 150 years ago. Everyone can wander through 2 acres of outdoor exhibits at their own speed and the live stream with hidden animal sculptures and footprints is a great scavenger hunt.

Become a Jr. Ranger
Kids and families can suit up and become a resident expert on raptors, bees, flowers, bugs, birdwatching and a whole lot more during the totally free and totally fun 3-hour Jr. Ranger Programs inside the park. Learn more about the Jr. Ranger Program on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Events Tab on our Facebook Page.

Swim, Splash and Snorkle
Slap on the sunscreen and paddle around in the shallows or venture out into the deep end of the swimming area at the north end of the park.

Drop a Line
Kids 13 and younger don’t even need a license, so find a spot on the bank, bait your hook and you might just catch dinner!

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what adventures you had in the park and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

Free Family Fishing in the LC Valley

If the inevitable infection of Spring Fever among kids of all ages is threatening to break out in your home, we suggest getting to the LC Valley for a little outdoor recreation.  A road trip and fishing might be just what the doctor ordered.

What’s that?  You have no fishing equipment?  You don’t really know what you’re doing?  No worries! Getting the family outside to enjoy spring fishing in the LC Valley just got a lot less stressful and a lot more fun in 2013, thanks to Idaho Fish & Game’s Take Me Fishing Trailer.

The Take Me Fishing Trailer is fully stocked with fishing equipment that can be checked out for free, on a first-come, first-served basis and has friendly, knowledgeable IDFG staff who can get you started in no time.

Everyone, of any age is welcome to use the equipment.  While anglers 13 and under are always able to fish Idaho waters for free, anglers 14 and older will will be granted a permit to fish without a license.  You can get information on Idaho Resident and Non-resident licensing here.

From March through June, the trailer is making eight visits to Lewiston, Idaho, at two ponds this year.  Here’s a Google Map of Lewiston Take Me Fishing locations, so you can find the ponds easily.

  • March 30 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 6 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 7 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 14 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 20 at Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area, from 10am-1pm
  • April 28 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 4 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • May 5 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 26 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • June 1 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • June 23 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm

What happens if your family gets hooked?  Come on back and fish again – maybe take a full-fledged fishing trip with one of the LC Valley’s fantastic guides.

If you come, check the weather and dress appropriately, bring something to drink and don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see your catch and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.