The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has voted to reopen steelhead fishing in the Clearwater River and lower Snake River downstream of Couse Creek Boat Ramp, beginning January 1st.
The daily bag limit in those sections will be limited to one adipose-clipped steelhead per day, none over 28 inches in length.
Commissioners closed steelhead fishing entirely on the Clearwater in September, as well as the Snake River below Couse Creek, amid concerns that returns of hatchery steelhead would not be sufficient to meet broodstock needs for Clearwater hatcheries. Fisheries managers were waiting to see if enough steelhead would return to replenish hatcheries before proposing to the commission to resume fishing for both waterways. An additional month of trapping steelhead gave officials confidence that there are enough steelhead both for hatcheries and for fishing opportunities.
Anglers should note that the North Fork Clearwater River will be closed to steelhead fishing during the 2020 spring season. Otherwise, all season dates remain the same as what is printed in the 2019-21 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure. (IDFG)