Bull Trout Policies

Question:

I was under the impression that it is illegal to intentionally target bull trout when fishing, but I came across a post on a fishing forum where members discussed their strategies for targeting Idaho bull trout. The forum members are of the opinion it is perfectly legal to target bull trout, as long as you do not kill them.

What is Fish & Game's official policy on this?

Thanks.

Answer:

Although, bull trout are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as "threatened" anglers can still actively fish for them in Idaho.  Catch-and-release fishing for bull trout can be great sport given the size bull trout can achieve and their aggressive nature. 

With that said, before an angler targets bull trout, they need to understand the ramifications of accidentially killing a bull trout while fishing.  You could not only be subject to a misdemeanor violation for illegal "take" under Idaho law but proscution in federal court for violation of the Endangered Species Act.