Ask Fish & Game

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions. Not all questions are answered. Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.

Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered-on" date.

Displaying 1 - 50 of 2670 questions
Question Askedsort ascending
A: Bighorn Sheep on Craig Mountain WMA, otherwise known as the Redbird Herd, can be found primarily along the Snake River from the river up to around 2500' in elevation. As expected, they typically prefer rocky crag-type habitat. If you're looking for wildlife viewing opportunities some of your ...
A: Motor restrictions on the Henrys Fork are governed by Fremont County.  You can find the ordinance that restricts motor use on the Mack’s Inn reach at this link:
A: Yes, lighted nocks are still illegal to hunt big game with in Idaho.  The Fish and Game Commission recently reviewed the issue of archery equipment restrictions and chose to make no changes to existing rules.
A: The regular deer tag is valid for mule deer and white-tailed deer. 
A: Mule deer and whitetail "tumors" can be benign or malignant depending on the growth.  The most commonly encountered tumor is the benign fibroma caused by the papilloma virus and are quite common in deer.  Maybe not surprisingly, they can be more regularly seen around salt licks as the virus is ...
A: After the pond was lowered, contractors for the City of Boise helped us lower an electrofishing boat into the remaining water.  We then spent a day collecting as many game fish as possible. Captured fish, mostly largemouth bass and bluegill, were then transferred into adjacent ponds.
A: Unclaimed pronghorn controlled hunts go back into the second drawing. Hunters can apply for those hunts August 5 through August 15. The IDFG Director may make some early hunts available through a first-come, first-served leftover sale on August 6 at 10:00 am mountain time. A list of hunts to be ...
A: Report it online at
A: Generally speaking, the brown colored Sportmen's Access signs you see driving Idaho roads highlight fishing and/or boating access sites.  Access to hunting areas on private lands are publicized in Access Yes guides available annually in September.     
A: It is legal to photograph wildlife.  The term 'hunt' in Idaho does not include stalking, attracting, searching for, or lying in wait for, any wildlife by an unarmed person solely for the purpose of watching wildlife or taking pictures thereof.
A: Bison are under the jurisdiction of the Idaho Department of Agriculture.
A: Idaho no longer restricts felons' possession of archery equipment. In general, there are fewer restrictions for weapons that do not involve explosive action. PLEASE NOTE: Individuals convicted of felonies are responsible for doing their own research to see if the law allows them to ...
A: Most mountain lakes in Idaho are stocked on a 3-year rotation unless we've documented natural reproduction at a level that could support sport fishing.  That would mean Skein and Box lakes should be on the planting schedule for this August and September when we stock these lakes from our McCall ...
A: Call it "Mother Nature's" fail-safe for any event that may effect survival of adult steelhead that arrive in Idaho earlier in the year.  If there is a rain-on-snow event that causes fish mortality or other natural disaster, there still will be late arriving fish to spawn and perpetuate the species ...
A: End of June is probably the last time we will stock Chinook Salmon in the Boise River.  We only bring fish from Oxbow (mid-Snake River) or Rapid River (near Riggins) because we know these fish are of hatchery stock origin.  By early July, the body of these fish are breaking-down (they haven't ...
A: No.  Fishing for or targeting salmon/steelhead is prohibited unless a steelhead season is specifically opened for that water.    In other words, no salmon/steelhead fishing (including catch/release) is allowed unless there is an open season for that river location.   Steelhead rules can be found ...
A: Chinook salmon caught from the Little Salmon River are generally safe to eat. IDFG recommends following the USDA and FDA guidelines for safely handling and preparing your catch to prevent foodborne illness. If you will be eating fish within 2 days of catching it, make sure to store your fish on ...
A: The estimated quota for the South Fork Salmon is changing every day as more fish arrive over Bonneville and Lower Granite dams. The current estimate is that the quota will be in the range of 1,000-1,500 salmon. Much of the run is still migrating up through the lower river system, so estimating the ...
A: Crayfish are found in rocky areas where they have cover from predators (fish, birds, etc.).  The best baits are chicken liver, fish entrails or other waste meat.  Soak your trap along the rocky shore for several hours (over-night). What I've found to work well is a small can of cat food.  Just ...
A: As of the first week of June, salmon fishing was very good.  Anglers were averaging less than 10 hours per fish.  Over 2,100 fish have been harvested from the Little Salmon River as of 6/7.    
A: Sorry, you only get one salmon permit for the spring/summer Chinook season.  The first 20 notches are to record Chinook salmon from the Spring and Summer Chinook seasons.  The second group of 20 notches are for the Fall Chinook and Coho season.
A: Our preseason forcast for Spring Chinook returning to Pahsimeroi was just over 2,100 adults.  Incomplete PIT tag data is currently suggesting numbers may be less than our forecast - but it's still early and subject to change.
A: Are we talking about a water with landlocked Fall Chinook or a river system that Chinook Salmon can use to reach the ocean? Anadromous (ocean-going) juvenile Chinook are typically defined as being two years of age or less.  They will be 3 - 5" in length - depending on their diet and water ...
A: Yes, there is a size limit on tiger muskie in Dog Creek Reservoir.  You can keep 2-tiger muskie that are 40" or longer in length, per day.
A: You can use dead loach for bait when fishing for catfish, however, live crayfish are the only live bait that can be used, and they must be used on the water where they were collected.  See the following text on page 50 of the current fishing seasons and rules: "Note: Use of live fish, leeches, ...
A: We haven't finalized the quota for the South Fork Salmon River - as of the last week in May.  The number of fish that are in excess of our brood stock needs and available to anglers (harvest quota) is not actually determined until we have data on the number of passive induced transponder (PIT) ...
A: Yes, you need a fishing license to harass, bait, attempt to take, etc. any fish in public waters in Idaho.
A: If you access our license purchase page found at and complete a search for your information, the system will display the items you have purchased in the current license year at the bottom of the license, tag and permit selection page.The system will display ...
A: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game typically posts an announcement for applicants to apply to Conservation Officer once a year. However, this can change at any time depending our department's needs. The Conservation Officer patrol areas are located in various locations throughout the state. ...
A: The short answer is yes.  Hatcheries are starting to trap chinook salmon and we are finalizing our website content and procedures for updating the trapping numbers. As of May 7, Rapid River had trapped 7 adipse fin clipped adult chinook salmon and Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery (on the Clearwater) had ...
A: The Super Hunt program is about generating money, specifically for the Access Yes! Program, which compensates landowners across the state to open up their private property to hunting, fish and wildlife dependent recreation. The Super Hunt is a raffle and is open to anyone wishing to participate.  ...
A: Thanks for your question on Lake Lowell!  The "General" bass rules for the Southwest Region do in fact state 6 bass per day, 12-inch minimum. However, Lake Lowell falls under the "special rule waters" which are listed separately (page 23 of the rules book). These waters have their own rules that ...
A: In Idaho Code, landlocked salmon are considered "trout" unless otherwise denoted.  In the case of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Fall Chinook salmon are included in your daily trout bag limit.  Therefore, you can keep 6 "trout/Fall Chinook" per day.
A: The short answer is no. Otters are classified as furbearers and are protected willdlife that can be trapped in limited numbers, but may not be kept alive. Non native otters might be allowed in with an import permit if they were shown not to be a genetic, competitive or disease threat to native ...
A: Unfortunately, this will be another bleak year for Paddock Reservoir. With little to no snowpack remaining in the Paddock drainage and the unusually warm and dry spring; there is no chance of the reservoir filling.  We just hope enough water will remain in the deepest part of the reservoir for a ...
A: The reason for the regulation is to avoid thin broadhead blades from collapsing causing the broadhead to be rendered ineffective in the event it hits hard objects like bone.  Today most broadhead manufacturers produce blades in excess of the 0.015 inch minimum, but it is still possible to purchase ...
A: When fishing in Idaho, it doesn't matter if you have an "Alabama rig" or gear names after any other state - you can only have 5 hooks per line under your direct control. I will say a "qualifying yes" to your question on lures.  Provided the lure isn't scented, they would be legal.  Scented lures ...
A: As long as you reload your shotshells with a USFWS approved shot, you may shoot waterfowl with reloaded ammunition.
A: Fish & Game isn't the agency that regulates this activity. We suggest contacting the Idaho Department of Lands local office (, and the city or county involved regarding permits and requirements for placing buoys.
A: We are anticipating a very successful Chinook Salmon season on the South Fork Salmon River in 2015.  Actual dates of the season and bag limits will be set at the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Commission meeting that will be held in Lewiston on May 19th and 20th, 2015. With the low flow conditions I ...
A: Yes, that's very likely. Please call the Panhandle Regional office to learn more. 
A: Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation administers the Invasive Species stickers. You can purchase invasive species stickers online here. The Idaho Department of Agriculture has an FAQ of why we have these required stickers in Idaho.
A: Crayfish, just like other species of coldwater fish, become more active as water temperatures increase.  As afternoon water temperatures begin to climb into the high 50 degree/low 60's crayfish become more active.  Typically, crayfish activity is high by mid-May.   Just because air temperatures ...
A: Unfortunately, we will not re-stock Black Canyon Reservoir for at least a couple of more years. It is very likely that the reservoir will be drawdown substantially during at least two more of the coming winters. This is part of a project, led by the Bureau of Reclamation, that will add a thrid ...
A: Unfortunately, we do not have much of information on elk locations and/or abundance in specific areas during October.  Most of our elk observations are made during aerial population surveys that are conducted while animals are on winter range.  These observations don't provide alot of specific ...
A: I took this directly from the Mule Deer Foundation website.  Because the eyes of mule deer are located on the sides of their heads, they can see a 310 degree view around themselves. They have better nighttime vision than humans, but less accurate daytime and color vision. Mule deer can detect ...
A: Yes you can apply. Application rules state that if you draw an antlered hunt in the first application period you cannot apply for an antlered hunt in the first application period the next year. You were designated the landowner tag and did not draw the tag. Therefore you are eligible to submit an ...
A: The bat was likely roosting in your storage unit and got trapped and died. There is no need to throw away your arrangement. You can dispose of the bat carcass and clean up the flower arrangement. Be sure to wash your hands if you handled the bat carcass. If in the future, you encounter a live bat ...
A: Raccoons have become common in towns and cities around Treasure Valley.  Part of the draw for raccoons to use these urban areas is that, other than cars and the occasional aggressive dog, there is very little threat to raccoons.  Further, the raccoons find ample food in yards where people feed ...