Idaho Fish and Game Closes Steelheading in Clearwater River Basin
Unfortunately the continually low return of natural and hatchery fish has this decision reached. If we want the Steelhead population to sustain we must protect it.
There has been some years of chatter about low numbers of hatchery and wild Steelhead. So Idaho Fish and Game on September 20th to close Steelheading in some areas. No more Steelheading or targeting these fish as of midnight on Sept. 29, 2019 on these waters: (Clearwater River upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork, along with the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork tributaries).
When I was spending a day with Idaho Fish and Game on the Chinook spawn, they talked about the tracking devices and how they can tell that about 1200 fish have passed through the damn by September 18th which is about half and that is not enough according to Idaho Fish and Game to meet any harvest numbers. So the issues isn't just with the wild steelhead not returning, that has been an issue for a long time but this year not enough hatchery fish are either.
There are still ways to fish and actually IFG actually approved a way during the decision on Steelhead in the Clearwater Basin. Idaho Fish and Game stated that " Although the steelhead fishery will be closed in the Clearwater River basin, there will be no changes to the ongoing fall Chinook season, which is scheduled to close on Oct. 13. In addition, the commission approved a Coho salmon fishery in the Clearwater River basin during their conference call on Sept. 20. This Coho fishery is open effective immediately, and will run concurrent with the fall Chinook fishery."