IDFG Reduces Steelhead Bag Limit To One Due To Low Return Rates
IDAHO – Rainbow trout season on the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers is open to anglers on Friday, September 3. daytime.
“We generally expect the daily number of rainbow trout at Bonneville Dam to exceed around 3,500 rainbow trout in a single day,” said Lance Hebdon, Idaho bureau chief. Fish and Game Fisheries, at the Commission meeting. “Last year’s peak was less than 2,500 and that year’s peak was less than 1,600.”
The comeback is the sixth worst in history since 1980. Right now, the IDFG says they expect more than 70% of the rainbow trout return to be over. above Bonneville Dam, but that did not happen.
“The fish that are appearing in Bonneville now contain a lot of ‘A run’ fish, so we are unprecedentedly late. So in this world they are either late or not showing up,” said Ed Schriever, Idaho. Fish and Game Director. during the meeting. “A week ago we were in no-show mode and a week ago we were preparing staff recommendations that we would not have been able to meet the needs of the broodstock.”
The IDFG says that over the past week, the number of rainbow trout returns has started to increase.
“We saw a bit of encouragement in Bonneville, and these ‘A run’ fish are appearing later than we’ve ever seen them before,” said Schriever. “This gives us a high degree of confidence that the hatchery release will in fact exceed the needs of the broodstock even while providing a fishery.”
The IDFG sets a threshold number of rainbow trout that must be met in order to meet spawning stocks, and even with the low run they are still exceeding that number.
“We are confident that we have enough returning fish to meet the needs of the broodstock for the hatcheries and to provide harvest fisheries,” Hebdon said.
For this reason, the IDFG has reduced the rainbow trout angling limit on the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater rivers to one fish per day.
“With the hope that a lot of people don’t show up when the run is small, so we’re very confident that with the low run escapement and a catch limit of one fish, participation rates will be low and we meet broodstock, ”Schriever said.“ And the conservation aspects of what Idaho has put on its rainbow trout for 30 years will continue to adequately manage the risk to wild fish while balancing the possibility for the public to participate. “
Emergency season closures are still possible if the IDFG does not respond to the collection of broodstock, or if fishermen start to impact wild stocks.
The rainbow trout season on the Salmon, Clearwater and Snake rivers runs from September 3 to December 31.
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