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Why can't I spearfish for trout, bass, and other game fish on north Idaho?

I would like to be able to free dive spearfish in lakes like Fernan and CDA, why is this illegal? It is more challenging than dock/ boat fishing.

Answer

Because current rules do not allow you to spear game fish.

IDAPA rule 13.01.11.201.01 says,

 

201.FISHING METHODS AND GEAR.

Unless modified by a regional exception, the following fishing methods and restrictions are applicable in all Idaho waters. (3-20-97)

01. Archery and Spear Fishing. Fishing with the use of bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding firearms, is permitted for the taking of bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish, and only in those waters during the season set for the taking of game fish. (7-1-99)

In the past, when we've proposed liberalizing gaff, spearing, and archery rules, we've received little support from the angling public.  Most who have responded are concerned about spearing near docks and safety issues.  There is also concern for wounding losses of game fish from spears and archery equipment.

Early in 2015 we will be updating our fishing rules.  Please attend one of our public meeting or submit a specific proposal on spearfishing for us to scope with the public.

 

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