Steelhead Season Closing on Clearwater

Sean Visintainer - 09/24/19

Fall fly fishing along the Spokane River, WA is a great time for dry fly fishing for native Redband trout and fall colors.

Clearwater River closing to steelheading midnight September 29th, 2019

It's a sad state of affairs for steelhead fishing in Idaho this season on the Clearwater River. The Idaho Fish & Game has announced that they will close the Clearwater River for all steelhead at midnight on September 29, 2019. The lack of returning steelhead has been on all steelhead angler's radar this season, and this big blow comes at almost no surprise.

Since the "glory years" of 2009/10 steelhead populations have been on the decline, each year getting a little worse. Why for the decline? I'm not sure exactly, I hear all sorts of "reasons". It's hard to sift through the rumors and finger pointers.

According to the press release the wild component of the return is tracking as forecasted, this closure is based on the lack of hatchery steelhead returning. Currently no word on Washington rivers like the Grande Ronde, just speculation. For the full report check below
and follow the link.

Press Release from Idaho Fish & Game

On Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted to close all fall steelhead seasons on the Clearwater River because the number of returning adult hatchery fish is less than the number needed for broodstock, and there is no surplus to provide a fishery.

The closure is effective at midnight on Sept. 29, 2019, and covers the Clearwater River upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork, along with the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork tributaries. The section of the Snake River downstream from the Couse Creek boat ramp to the Idaho/Washington state line will also be closed to protect Clearwater-bound steelhead. The closure in the Clearwater River drainage is consistent with harvest restrictions put in place in fisheries on the mainstem Columbia River by the Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Departments.

Continue Reading Press Release from Idaho Fish & Game


Rules may change. It is your responsibility to be aware of changes since these rules were printed. Good idea to check the rules before going fishing!

Steelhead season on the Clearwater and lower Snake River to be closed midnight - 9/29/19