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Recent Articles: Magic Valley

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

Volunteering for habitat

April 14, 2014 - 9:20am -- idfg-bstuder

Idahoans care about their wildlife. It's always uplifting to me to see a group of volunteers taking time to show it and volunteer at events such as sagebrush and bitterbrush planting to restore wildlife habitat.

Volunteers recently planted over the Minidoka complex fire at Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area. The story and photo gallery are now online.

Interested in volunteering? You can also learn more about the history of volunteers in Idaho Fish and Game's 75th celebration page.

Planting Game Habitat at Big Cottonwood
VIRGINIA HUTCHINS • TIMES-NEWS Mark Fleming, regional wildlife habitat manager, gives instructions to volunteers who will help the Idaho Department of Fish and Game plant sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings in burned areas of the Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area on April 5, 2014.

Photo used by permission.

 

Wild Turkey Cutlets by Chef Randy King

April 13, 2014 - 10:16pm -- idfg-vosborn

Once you harvest your turkey, the next step is preparing the meat and cooking up a great wild meal. Idaho chef, Randy King, not only has turkey recipes to try, but also tips on how to prepare turkey meat to get the best taste and texture from your bird.

For the spring turkey hunt, King offers up a recipe for Wild Turkey Cutlets. For other wild meat preparations, see Chef King’s website: http://chefrandyking.com/

Let's Talk Turkey

The total mass of a turkey is always surprising to me. I shoot other big birds like geese and sage hen often but a turkey is just a totally different ball game, and as such needs to be treated that way.

Turkeys consist of 5 cuts of meat in total: the breast, the tenderloin, the wings, the thighs and the drumsticks. Each of these bird parts beg for a separate cooking method. It is not wise to just roast a wild turkey like a butterball. The breast will probably be dry, the drumsticks will be good for dog chew toys and the thigh meat will require a steak knife.

This month I will concentrate on the breast meat of a turkey, by far the biggest bang for the buck.

Turkey breast meat is not as soft and juicy as store bought, but it has a ton more flavor. Think elk meat vs. beef – similar but still different. But like store bought meat it still needs cooked to 165 degrees to be safe to eat. Be careful when cooking meat to this temperature, it can be very dry. To avoid dry meat make sure to remove it from heat a whole 10 degrees before it reaches 165 degrees on the inside. Carry over cooking will finish the job of getting the meat to 165.

Breaded Turkey Cutlets with Oil Poached Garlic and Tomatoes served with Pan Roasted Orange

This recipe calls for turkey “cutlets” AKA  slices of turkey breast. Lay your breast out on the counter. It will make half of a heart shape. Cut across the grain of the meat in about ¼ inch sections. You will get quite a few. It is even a little easier to cut when the meat is frozen a little.

Take those slices and place them between two sheets of clear plastic film about an inch from each other. Use a mallet or the bottom of a pan to hammer the slices into almost see through thin sections. You now have turkey “cutlets” and they are a transformed piece of wild game meat. Bread them and fry them, add a squeeze of lemon, and you have the German classic schnitzel. And that classic dish is what we are having fun with today. Replace the sour lemon with a sweeter caramelized orange and add the roasted garlic and tomatoes – bang – a whole new take on a classic.

Oil Poached Garlic and Tomatoes

Drive Safely! Watch for wildlife on Idaho's highways

December 20, 2013 - 11:52am -- idfg-bstuder

As you're travelling around the state in this winter season, don't forget to pay attention to wildlife on Idaho's highways and roads.

There has apparently been a noticeable increase in elk collisions in Blaine County. Read more here: http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2007149863#.UrSPbRxDt8E

 

Here's some advice we pulled from our files if you're travelling. Take a minute to review it.

 

Motorists:  Slow Down and Watch For Wintering Wildlife

elk on the road

With deer and elk wintering along many of Idaho’s roads, Idaho Fish and Game encourages motorists to slow down and be on the lookout, especially during the dawn and dusk hours when wildlife is most active.

Motorists should also:   

  • Always wear your seat belt – it’s the law. 
  • Don't swerve or lose control of your vehicle.  Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. You risk less injury by hitting the animal.  
  • If you see one animal cross the road, look for a second or third to follow.
  • If you spot an animal ahead, slow down immediately and honk your horn.
  • Pay attention to Wildlife Crossing caution signs. They are there for a good reason. 

Updated Idaho Wildlife Management Area App and Maps

December 12, 2013 - 12:43pm -- idfg-pbond

Looking for a great place to fish, hunt, or watch wildlife? Check out one of Idaho's 32 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA).   Each WMA has been set aside to protect wildlife habitat and provide the public access for fish and wildlife related recreation. Maps specific to each WMA have been revised and are available on the IDFG WMA webpage http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/wma/.  Here you will also find information on how to get to the WMA and what kind of wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing and other activities are unique to each WMA. 

 

Also, check out the new WMA viewer app http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/maps/wma/.  This map application allows you to interactively discover WMAs near you and explore the land within each WMA. It also provides all of the same information as the IDFG WMA webpage, just click on one of the WMAs on the map and an information box will appear.

 

The work of a fisheries biologist can be the PITs

November 15, 2013 - 1:10am -- idfg-bstuder
Fish management can sometimes be a down-right "dirty" profession.  Read how our research staff is slogging around in the mud and sifting through pelican poop in the name of managing rainbow trout fisheries in southern Idaho.
 
Read about a recent Fisheries field adventure studying pelicans appetites in this blog entry, and this story.
 
BLOG: Muddy Embarassment at Pelican Island
 
STORYHow many trout do pelicans eat?
 
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/imgs/512x768/1350_3152/1981/0017.jpeg

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