Idaho Fish and GameIDFG Logo
IDFG Regions
Region 1 - PanhandleRegion 2 - ClearwaterRegion 3 - SouthwestRegion 4 - Magic ValleyRegion 5 - SoutheastRegion 6 - Upper Snake Region 7 - SalmonView list of all Regions

Recent Articles: Clearwater

Cast and Blast

January 23, 2012 - 5:37pm -- idfg-vosborn

Oct 10 2010. Sun up found us launching at Heller Bar. By noon we had released a native salmon, caught a hatchery 15 lb steelhead and shot a handful of chukars. A sack lunch on the white sandy beach of the Snake River didn't compare to the dinner yet to come. We hooked into a couple more steelies, but couldn't keep 'em on. As the sun went behind the Oregon Blues the smallmouth started to bite. Harvesting a few for dinner, we made a course for the cabin. Before we could even take one bite of our all Idaho dinnerm which consisted of Chukar Surprise over potatoes and fried bass, the sturgeon rod went nuts. 45 minutes later the 7.5 foot fish finally cooperated for a quick pic and healthy release.
- Eric Hart 'n friends

Who needs a boat!

January 21, 2012 - 2:49pm -- idfg-vosborn

Who needs a boat. Forgot my big net. Wouldn't you know it I hook into the largest steelhead I've ever hooked. 10 of the longest minutes of my life followed, finally landing this fatty with a severly undersized net.

An even bigger day on the Snake River included a 15 pound hatchery steelhead, catching and releasing a native salmon, shooting a handful of chukars, lunch on the white sandy beach of the Snake River and fishing for smallmouth as the sun went down over the Oregon Blues. Dinner. Pure Idaho. But before we could take a bite out of Chukar Surprise over potatoes and fried bass the sturgeon rod went nuts. 45 minutes later the 7.5 foot fish finally cooperated for a quick pic and healthy release.

- Eric Hart

Every steelhead is a first.

January 21, 2012 - 12:45pm -- idfg-vosborn

I caught this beauty on the South Fork of the Clearwater. My husband and I try to make at least 2 trips a season there and always have a great time, whether we catch a fish or not. To me, there is nothing like hooking up with a steelhead. I have great joy and excitement each time I hook one, and after 25 years of steelhead fishing on the Clearwater and Salmon, I enjoy each fish the same as if were the first one caught.
- Noreen Percifield

Snowy Owls Invade Idaho

December 20, 2011 - 3:21pm -- idfg-vrunnoe

If you think you saw Harry Potter's owl, Hedwig, recently, you are not far off.  Snowy owls are moving into the northern part of the U.S. this winter.  Here in Idaho, these large, mostly white owls are being seen in numerous locations.  A large population of lemmings in the Arctic has contributed to high nesting success in these tundra-dwelling owls.  Now that winter has arrived, young owls moving to wintering areas are not able to compete for food with adult owls.  As a result, these young birds are heading south across Canada, into the United States in search of prey.  Observations across the country indicate that many of the snowy owls that are being seen are, in fact, young birds.

The wide-spread movements of birds in the winter is known as an irruption.  It is typically seen in species such as pine siskins, common redpolls, and red-breasted nuthatches.  These seasonal movements are often related to food, with birds leaving their normal range in years when the seeds they feed upon are not abundant.   Lack-of-food also causes irruptions of several species of owl, although this does not appear to be the case with the irruption of snowy owls this winter.   

Snowy owls are on the wish list of many birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.  These birds prefer open fields and marshes in the winter where they catch rodents and birds.  They can often be seen during the day, sitting on the ground or perched on fence posts or other open perches.   Wildlife watchers observing these owls need to make sure to keep their distance.  In addition to their long flight, these young birds are still learning the finer points of hunting.  Many are able to catch only enough prey to barely survive.  Disturbing these birds will cause them to use precious energy that is needed for hunting and staying warm.  Using binoculars, spotting scopes, and telephoto lenses to observe or photograph the owls will lessen the chance of getting too close and disturbing the owl.  Enjoy these magnificent visitors from the far north!


Comments Sought on Upland Game, Furbearer Seasons

December 19, 2011 - 1:38pm -- idfg-jknetter

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comments on proposed changes to the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 upland game and furbearer seasons. 

Interested hunters are encouraged to attend one of the regional open house meetings. So far three meetings have been set. Others will be announced as they are arranged.

  • Clearwater Region: 208-799-5010
    • Wednesday, December 21 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Clearwater Region office, 3316 16th Street in Lewiston. 
  • Southwest Region: Nampa – 208-465-8465
    • Wednesday, January 4 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Southwest Region office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa.
  • Upper Snake Region: 208-525-7290
    • Wednesday, January 4 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Upper Snake Region office, 4279 Commerce Circle, Idaho Falls.


Some ideas that will be considered include:

  • Moving upland game bird seasons to the third Saturday in September.
  • Increasing the chukar/gray partridge bag limit back up to 8 each.
  • Increasing possession limits to three times the daily bag limit.
  • Reductions in fall turkey hunting in the Southeast and Southwest regions.
  • Increasing otter quotas in the Panhandle, Clearwater and Southeast regions.
  • A few changes to areas open or closed to beaver trapping in the Clearwater and Magic Valley Regions.

Anyone unable to attend the open house may submit comments online, by mail to Upland Game Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707, or by contacting regional wildlife managers.

To comment on upland game proposals go to:

To comment on furbearer proposals go to:

The deadline for submitting comments is January 6.

All written comments will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for consideration before seasons are set.

My First Steelhead

December 13, 2011 - 5:51pm -- idfg-vosborn

"This was my first steelhead. Caught him on the South Fork of the Clearwater River 3 years ago. 36 inches long, 19 lbs! Since then I've fished Hell's Canyon, the Salmon, Little Salmon, Clearwater and of course the same hole in South Fork of the Clearwater too many times to count and have yet to see a fish that comes close to this buck! I'll keep trying though, 'cause I'm addicted!!"  - Pat Wilder


Subscribe to Recent Articles: Clearwater Subscribe to Recent Articles: Clearwater