I was at American Falls Reservoir this last week in April 2014. The reservoir is almost full. Although, I didn't get a chance to fish, I did observe many boats fishing along the shore and bank anglers down towards the dam. They must be catching a few rainbow trout.
Recent Articles: Upper Snake
The number of Chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River took a jump this last week in April. We know a number of these fish are destined for Idaho because they carry PIT tags, individual numbered radio tags, that were inplanted into the fish as juveniles on their downstream migration. Travel to Idaho is dependent on flow conditions, but you can expect these fish to arrive in Idaho within 30 - 45 days.
The latest indicators, as of the last week in April 2014, show a projected return of Chinook salmon to Rapid River fish hatchery of somewhere between 11,000 and 17,000 adults. Passive Induced Transponder (PIT) tags detectors at Bonneville Dam continue to show strong numbers of salmon passing through the ladder with embedded tags that were placed in the fish before they left Rapid River Hatchery on their migration to the ocean.
Fish currently passing over the dams should arrive in Idaho within the next 30 - 45 days, depending on flow conditions at the Columbia and Snake River dams.
Schedule your time-off and break-out your salmon fishing gear!
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
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
In a small sauce pan add the garlic, tomatoes and oil. Turn heat to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Reserve in warm location. This will create more than you need for this recipe. Store them in a mason jar in the fridge, covered in oil and they will last up to a year. Just microwave the jar when you want some roasted garlic and tomatoes.
Pan Roasted Orange
- 2 oranges, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
In a medium sized cast iron skillet add the oil and then the orange halves, flesh side down. Heat on medium until the exposed orange flesh is dark brown. Remove pan from heat. Reserve.
- 8 each 2 oz. turkey cutlets
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning herb blend
- ¼ cup canola oil
Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan or cast iron on medium heat until a wooden spoon inserted into the oil just gives off bubbles and floats. Or head oil to 350 degrees. (This is an old German trick that I learned in Singapore, long story…all I know is that it works. The oil temp will be about 350 degrees)
Gather three small bowls. Place the flour, milk and bread crumbs in separate bowls. In the flour bowl add the black pepper, Italian seasoning and salt. Mix the flour and other ingredients together.
Place cutlets in the flour and coat all sides evenly. Then place the cutlet in the milk, wetting all sides. Then place the cutlet in the bread crumbs, forcefully pushing bread crumbs into all parts of the turkey cutlet. Reserve the breaded cutlet on a plate. Bread the remaining slices.
Carefully place one cutlet at a time in the hot oil. Cook the cutlet until it is golden brown and delicious, or “GB&D,” on one side then flip. Cook the other side until GB&D as well. Reserve the fried cutlets on a paper towel lined plate.
It's no secret that Idaho has a lot of fishing opportunity. If you're planning your next fishing trip, this article may help you find a destination.
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
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.
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.
Fire is again having a big impact on Idaho's landscape.
To assist in your hunting, angling and outdoor adventures this late summer and fall, Idaho Fish and Game will be working with the Boise National Forest and other Wildfire Teams to keep you up to date on fire closures. We are compiling the latest fire activity and closures from InciWeb and making them available as real-time maps and downloads on our website.
Web maps to view real-time closures, fire activity with hunt boundaries.
To view closures in real-time on-line we have added fire closures and fire activity to two web applications:
This tool is optimized for mobile viewing and allows you overlay hunt boundaries on current fire activity from satellites and fire emergency closures. Fire activity is updated every two hours.
We've added wildfire layers for fire activity, perimeters, closures and historical fire activity to the Huntplanner. View these layers alongside trails, campgrounds, hunts and other features.
View in your GPS, Google Earth and offline.
This layer was digitized by individual USFS Fire Incident Teams and compile by Boise National Forest and IFWIS Cartographers. We will be updating these layer regularly through the hunting season.
Full text descriptions of all fire closures in Idaho are available on Inciweb.
For more maps and information about Idaho's hunt boundaries visit the Idaho Huntplanner, Huntplanner Map Index and the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Information System Open Data Downloads.
Fishing Idaho: A Live Chat with Fish and Game
Chat Live with F&G about Fishing in the Gem State
Anglers were invited to join an online chat with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about fishing in the Gem State.
More than 100 anglers chatted live with fisheries and hatchery staff, along with enforcement officers, from 6 to 8 p.m. (MST) Wednesday, June 12.
You can review the live chat below.