For some Idaho anglers, the best thing about the New Year is the start of the spring steelhead season, which opened January 1.
Idaho Fish and Game reminds anglers that they will need a 2016 fishing license and steelhead permit.
Spring steelhead season is now open in the following areas:
- Salmon River from its mouth to the posted boundary 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir, near the town of Stanley.
- Little Salmon River from its mouth 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 Oxbow Dam.
- Clearwater River main stem and Middle Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to Clear Creek.
- North Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to Dworshak Dam.
- South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to the confluence of American and Red Rivers.
- Boise River from its mouth to the Barber Dam.
The season runs through April 30 in most areas, except:
- On the Salmon River from Lake Creek Bridge to Long Tom Creek, about a quarter-mile upstream of the Middle Fork, the season ends March 31.
- On the Little Salmon River, the season runs through May 15.
- On the Snake River from Hells Canyon Dam to Oxbow Dam, the season runs through May 31.
- On the Boise River upstream to Barber Dam, the season ends May 31.
Steelhead are in the Boise River only when stocked by Idaho Fish and Game. In the Boise River, steelhead are defined as rainbow trout longer than 20 inches with a clipped adipose fin. During November, more than 300 steelhead were stocked in the Boise River. Barbless hooks are not required in the Boise, but anglers must have a steelhead permit to fish for and keep steelhead.
Steelhead anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit. Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks (except in the Boise), and may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released unharmed.
The statewide steelhead limits for the spring 2016 season three per day, nine in possession, and 20 steelhead for the season.
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