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Serving Idaho Since 1899

April 24, 2014 - 11:27am -- idfg-vosborn

In April 1899, just four months after the “Flagrant Violation” headline, the Idaho legislature passed new game laws and on May 5, 1899, the Department of Fish and Game was established as Governor Frank Steunenberg appointed Charles H. Arbuckle to the Office of State Game Warden; the first to accept the opportunity and challenge to lead the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 
 
Arbuckle states in his 1900 report:

Hayden Lake Crappie Fishing

April 23, 2014 - 3:24pm -- idfg-dparrish

First Crappie, April 2014, Hayden Lake - So far this has been by far the best crappie season we've seen in several years. With more normal spring weather, gradual warming, and minimal cold snaps that tend to turn off early season crappies. Last weekend my wife and I caught over 100 fish ranging from 8 - 12". Only two however were keepers over 10". Fished 1" tube skirt on 1/16 oz jig head, 2 - 3' below a spring style balsa float, and tipped with Crappie Nibbles (the nibbles definitely seemed to produce more fish). We fished several different jig colors, but didn't seem to matter. Green or white are still my favorites (wife prefers pink or purple). 

A Birthday Turkey Hunt

April 21, 2014 - 5:31pm -- idfg-vosborn
Ryleigh's Youth Turkey Hunt in the Magic Valley

I found out on my 12th birthday this year I had drawn a youth turkey hunt. On Thursday, April 10th, after I got out of school, my dad and I drove to the South Hills to look for Toms. For the next couple of hours we searched. We did not hear anything, but we saw one Hen. I encouraged my dad to keep driving and looking. He called from his diaphragm and still no sound. We kept on driving and there was this tree in the way so we turned around the other way and we found another tree down. My dad said we should get out and walk. As we started walking we heard him gobble about 100 yards from us. We hurried and ran back to our truck. I grabbed my gun and we put our camo face masks on. We walked down slowly and he was gobbling the whole way. I finally got a place to sit down and get ready to shoot. I eventually got to see him and he was followed by seven Jakes. I was so excited I could barely think straight.  He walked to the decoys and did not even see us. I pulled my lever back and shot him. He was a trophy bird and was very good looking. I had such a great experience and would love to hunt turkeys again. - Kyleigh from the Magic Valley

Upper Salmon River Weekend Summary 4/20/14

April 21, 2014 - 5:17pm -- idfg-vosborn

This weekend on the upper Salmon River the majority of anglers were once again found upstream of Basin Creek, in location code 19. Few anglers were found downstream in location codes 17 and 18. Interviewed anglers in location code 17 averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 32 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 18, interviewed anglers did not report catching any steelhead. Upstream of the East Fork, in location code 19, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead caught and 26 hours per steelhead kept. Click here for more details.

River conditions upstream of Basin Creek remained good over the weekend, but river conditions downstream were poor due to increased turbidity and rising water levels. Water temperatures continued to stay in the mid-40s.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician

An Afternoon on C.J Strike

April 14, 2014 - 4:46pm -- idfg-vosborn

We just got back from an afternoon of fishing on C.J. Strike Reservoir. We fished the narrows from a boat and caught several hundred yellow perch, bluegill and crappie. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.

Now for the rest of the story... The crappie averaged 6.5 to 7.5” and the perch averaged 8”.  Bluegill were small, as well. We did hook a few nice smallmouth bass, and Jerry managed to land a 6 lb. northern pikeminnow on a super-ultralight rod with 2 lb. test line, which had us all glued to the water until we saw what it was.  

We got kind of bored catching so many small fish. We started off with a piece of nightcrawler on the hook, but got tired of the perch ripping it off all the time and having to re-bait, so we quit using it. So, we started using 1-1.5” tube jigs. We lowered it about six to ten feet, jigged it twice and set the hook.  Many times fish would hit it on the way down.  We had the best luck with white and yellow, but I think anything you put down there would catch fish, there’s just so many. 

A few anglers were catching a few bigger perch a couple hundred yards out from the Cottonwood launch site. 

Although we got bored catching small fish, this would be a great time for kids and family!  And the fish should grow an inch or two this spring and summer, so August and September could be great!  For real fun, fish with ultralight gear, as it helps to detect the bite better, as well. - Joe from Hagerman.

Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir - An Anglers Conundrum

April 14, 2014 - 4:43pm -- idfg-vosborn

Salmon Falls Reservoir, located near the Idaho-Nevada border in South-Central Idaho, is known for outstanding walleye fishing. But it's the other species of fish that bring me back. Spring fishing for rainbow and rainbow/cutthroat trout along the shore using bait has been exceptional this spring. An afternoon fishing on the rocky points with jigs and lures produced respectable smallmouth bass.  We even found a few walleye venturing into the shallows at the upper end of the reservoir  as the afternoon sun warmed the water.  Nowhere else in Idaho offers so much diversity and opportunity.  It also generates indecision because I can’t decide what to fish for first. – Dave from Boise

The Return of Kokanee Fishing on Lake Pend Oreille

April 14, 2014 - 4:40pm -- idfg-vosborn

It's time to fish for kokanee again on Lake Pend Oreille. The last time I fished for kokanee here was with my Dad, when it was a booming sport in the 1960s. I remember threading maggots on a small jighead and fishing for (and catching) kokanee with hand lines from the Sandpoint City dock.  It was a sad day when the fishery was closed in the 1970's, but now they’re back!

Kokanee, a “relative” of the ocean-going Sockeye Salmon, provided both a popular sport fishery and commercial fishery through the 1960s.  In the 1970s things changed when kokanee number crashed and kokanee harvest was eventually prohibited in Lake Pend Oreille. 

Now, the kokanee are back in Lake Pend Oreille.  Two years ago Fish and Game opened the lake for the daily harvest of 6 kokanee.  Last winter, large numbers of spawning kokanee were noted in tributary streams to Pend Oreille and in shore-spawning areas.  Recent sampling with nets showed kokanee numbers in the lake are similar to what we observed in the 1960’s.  Don’t be surprised to see bag limits on kokanee increased again in the near future. – Dave from Boise

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