Panhandle Blog

Northern Pike monitoring project

This video was shot on Killarney Lake, one of the chain lakes near Coeur d'Alene Lake. It shows how anglers help with northern pike population surveys through Fish and Game’s "Tag You’re It" program.

The video also includes a demonstration on how to fillet a pike, which makes excellent table fare.

North Idaho Fishing Delight - Priest Lake

Most people relate fishing only to the pursuit of fish - but it's so much more! This past week, I had the pleasure of fishing for lake trout on Priest Lake. The first day of our two-day venture was windy and conditions were difficult for holding location in a boat and getting your line down to where lake trout reside. We were fishing at a depth of 150 - 200' and with the wave movement, a lake trout would need to be very fast to catch bait moving up and down in response to the boat bobbing on the white caps. This did however, give us a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and birds using the wind to effortlessly move up and down.

Day two brought calm and outstanding fishing. We landed and released in excess of 60 lake trout in about 5 hours of fishing. White tailed grubs seemed to be the bait of the day suspended about 18" from the bottom.

Bigger Fish and Better Angler Success

As Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout this spring, they are doing something different that will lead to better success for Idaho anglers. A good share of the hatchery rainbow trout stocked in Idaho’s largest still-water fisheries this spring will be twelve inches instead of the standard of ten inches. Watch this video to learn why this is happening.

Fish and Game’s rainbow trout hatchery program exists for one sole purpose: putting fish in Idaho waters for anglers to catch. But during the last ten years, the cost of raising fish has skyrocketed. While the cost of fish food has increased by more than 150 percent, funding for the hatchery program has remained stagnant. In 2011, managers reduced fish production of put-and-take rainbow trout by 18 percent to keep the program within budget. At the same time they started tracking fish that anglers caught as part of a program called “Tag-You’re-It”.

Fisheries researchers tagged thousands of fish over a four year period, and tracked the tags with the help from anglers.

“We tagged a bunch of fish and put those fish out there, and essentially let the anglers do the work in returning that information to us through our hotline and our website,” said Senior Fisheries Research Biologist John Cassinelli. “So that has given us this large database.”

That database showed that twelve inch rainbow trout are more likely to be caught than ten inch trout. This knowledge has allowed researchers to reorganize the hatchery rainbow trout program in a way that puts larger trout in the creels of Idaho anglers without increasing the cost of the hatchery program.

The science and math show that for every limit of six rainbow trout anglers catch, Fish and Game must stock roughly 18 ten inch trout.  When 12 inch trout are stocked in the same waters, only 11 fish are needed for each six fish limit, on average.

Regardless of how many trout managers stock, the true measure of success for the hatchery program is how many trout anglers catch. As the program expands over the next 16 months, managers will be putting more twelve inch rainbows into most of Idaho’s large still-water fisheries. 

Check out the fish stocking page for monthly updates on fish stocking region by region.

 

 

The Clark Fork Delta Restoration Project Videos

The restoration of the Clark Fork Delta has been a large conservation project for Idaho Fish and Game.

Two videos highlight some of the work so far.

 

The first in a series of videos about the Clark Fork Delta Restoration Project. In this episode, we take a look at the challenges and methods of gaining access to the delta.

The second in a series of videos about the Clark Fork Delta Restoration Project. In this episode, we take a look at the reasons why the delta is threatened and "The Vision" for restoring the Delta.

2015 Spring & Summer Chinook Salmon Return Estimates

Get your salmon fishing pole tuned-up and your boat ready to hit the water. Biologists have made their preseason forecasts for the 2015 Chinook salmon returns to Idaho.

Early indications show more adult Chinook salmon returning in 2015 than we saw in 2014 - which ranks as one of the best Chinook fishing seasons in years.

Open Houses for 2015 Proposals for Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat

Idaho Fish and Game is proposing changes for the 2015 Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat seasons and will be holding open houses in several locations throughout the state.

Please join us at your convenience at any open house and give us your thoughts on the proposals.

See the list below for times and locations in your area. This table will update as events become available.

Date and TimeLocation
December 15, 2014
8:00 am to
6:00 pm
Clearwater Regional Fish and Game Office
3316 16th St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
December 18, 2014
Noon to
7:00 pm
Magic Valley Regional Fish and Game Office
324 South 417 East - Suite 1
Jerome, ID 83338
December 18, 2014
3:00 pm to
6:00 pm
Panhandle Regional Fish and Game Office
2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
December 29, 2014
8:00 am to
5:00 pm
Southeast Regional Fish and Game Office
1345 Barton Road
Pocatello, ID 83204

Through
January 5, 2015

 

Southwest Regional Fish and Game Office

Questions are encouraged over the phone:
  • In Nampa: 208-465-8465
    • ask for Craig White or Jake Powell
  • In McCall: 208-634-8137
    • ask for Regan Berkley or Nathan Borg

Drop-ins encouraged. Please make an appointment.

Through
January 5, 2015

Salmon Regional Fish and Game Office

Questions are encouraged over the phone:
  • In Salmon: 208-756-2271
    • ask for Greg Painter

Drop-ins encouraged. Please make an appointment.

Event locations last updated: 12/12/2014 11:29pm MT

The Upper Snake Region will not be holding an open house.

 

You can also review the proposals and make comments online.

Priest Lake - Lake Trout Fishing, Late October

Fall is one of the best times of the year to catch lake trout.  Jig deep with a flashy lure.  A depth finder is essential to locating concentrations of lake trout in deeper water.  Look for submerged rocky points.

Fall Chinook - Sept. Treat

Fall Chinook salmon are beginning to show-up in the fishery around Lewiston, Idaho. With record numbers crossing dams on the Lower Snake and Columbia Rivers; fishing can only get better.

Most anglers are using bait (herring, shrimp or eggs).