Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Steelhead Catch-And-Release Fishing Is Open on some Idaho waters

Steelhead fishing is open, catch-and-release only for now, or opens soon in the waters listed below:

Catch-and-release opened in the Clearwater River July 1, and fish are being caught.

Clearwater River, main stem from its mouth upstream to the Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston. The harvest season opens August 1.
In the rest of the Clearwater drainage the harvest season opens October 15.
Clearwater River, main stem and Middle Fork Clearwater River: from the Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston upstream to Clear Creek. Fishing is prohibited between posted boundaries about 100 yards upstream and downstream from the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery Ladder and extending into the river channel about 50 yards. Fishing from the shoreline or wading along the perimeter of Dworshak National Fish Hatchery is prohibited.
North Fork Clearwater River: from its mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam. Fishing from the shoreline or wading along the perimeter of Dworshak National Fish Hatchery is prohibited. Fishing from any watercraft or wading is prohibited between the posted lines about 150 yards upstream from the mouth of the North Fork Clearwater River and the Ahsahka Highway 7 Bridge. When fishing from the Ahsahka Highway 7 Bridge, it is unlawful to take any fish downstream of the railroad bridge. Fishing from the railroad bridge is prohibited.
South Fork Clearwater River: from its mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red rivers.


Catch-and-release fishing for steelhead opens in the Snake and Salmon rivers
August 1. Harvest season opens September 1.


Salmon River from its mouth to the Lake Creek Bridge (about six miles upstream from the mouth of the Little Salmon River).
Salmon River from the Lake Creek Bridge to Long Tom Creek (three-quarters of a mile upstream from the Middle Fork Salmon River).
Salmon River from Long Tom Creek (three-quarters of a mile upstream from the Middle Fork Salmon River) to posted boundary 100 yards downstream of Sawtooth Hatchery.
Little Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Bridge near Smokey Boulder road.
Snake River from the Washington state line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.

Steelhead are rainbow trout longer than 20 inches in length. Only steelhead with a clipped adipose fin, as evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept. All steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be released.

Anyone fishing for steelhead, except children under age 14, must have a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit in possession to fish for steelhead.
Children under the age of 14 may fish without permits if they are accompanied by a valid permit holder – any fish caught must be recorded on the permit holder's card and counted in that person's bag, possession and season limits.

A resident child under 14 may purchase a permit and catch their own limit of steelhead. Nonresident juveniles 14 to 18 may purchase a junior nonresident fishing license and permit and catch their own limit of steelhead.

The holder of a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit may fish for steelhead in the Snake River where it forms the boundary between Idaho and Oregon or Washington, subject to the laws of Idaho. They may not fish from the shoreline, including wading, and may not fish in sloughs or tributaries on the Oregon or Washington side. The angler is entitled to have in possession only the limit allowed by one license regardless of the number of licenses in possession.

Anglers should check the 2011-2012 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules for additional details.

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