Not all live baits are created equal. Some, like worms, night crawlers, or grubs, pose no real risk to our fisheries if the bait animals escape or are released. Other live baits like minnows or salamanders are prohibited. This is primarily to avoid unwanted new species introductions that can have a very negative impact on our current fisheries. A good example is north Idaho where illegal introductions of golden shiners (likely acquired as bait fish) have become abundant in some waters and impacted growth rates for trout and other sport fish. Once established, it is very difficult and expensive to control or remove unwanted species, so our restrictive bait rules are intended to protect our fisheries by preventing new introductions.