Questions & Answers: Fishing

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 111 questions
Question Askedsort ascending
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 ...
5/2/15
A: Outfitters for fishing and hunting are confined to specific locations and often specific species. Without knowing where and what species you want to catch - we can't give you a good answer. What we can tell you is to visit the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Boards webpage http://oglb.idaho. ...
2/4/15
A: The lake trout bounty program on Lake Pend Oreille was discontinued in 2013.   Originally, it was funded by Avista Power Company and was intended to assist our agency in restoring/reducing depredation on kokanee by lake trout.  Between the bounty program and selective netting with commercial ...
1/13/15
A: Thanks for your interest in ice fishing Mackay Reservoir.  As you note, the lake does not always freeze completely over, which means there can be thin ice in certain areas, and possibly around the edge.  The reservoir is generally filling during the winter, which means it is increasing in size.  ...
1/11/15
A: We have not stocked Tiger Muskies for several years, but some still exist in Lamont and Johnson reservoirs near Preston Idaho. General regulations for using bait apply on both waters.
12/28/14
A: American Falls Reservoir has a healthy population of smallmouth bass.  Spring fishing is the best.  Fish rocky shorelines and use plugs, rubber worms or poppers for best results.
10/4/14
A: Fishing from public bridges is allowed unless posted as "closed to pedestrian traffic" by the appropriate regulatory body (Idaho Dept. of Transportation, County Commission order, City Ordinance, etc.).  Only the Idaho Fish and Game Commission can designate a public area "open or closed to fishing ...
9/4/14
A: Thanks for your question on the Big Lost River access at the Mine Hill Bridge.  We've been dealing with this particular issue for well over a decade, and have been unable to find documentation that there is a highway easement on the private property that encompasses three of the four corners of ...
8/15/14
A: Channel catfish adults were transferred to multiple ponds in Southwest Idaho during 2013 and 2014.  The lack of 2013 records in the stocking database is an oversight and will be corrected shortly, whereas the 2014 events have yet to be entered. It should be noted that we no longer stock fingerling ...
8/12/14
A: The best way to find out when waters are open to salvage is to watch our press releases on our webpage.  We do our best to let people know about rule and bag limit changes (including salvage orders) by sending information as soon as possible when a change order is signed. At the present time, ...
8/3/14
A: I'm not going to tell you that lures don't work for catching Chinook salmon - because as soon as I do, the fish prove me wrong.  If you are going to use a lure, use one that mimics a predatory fish the Chinook think might be a threat to eat the eggs they are preparing to lay.  I would consider an ...
6/30/14
A: If you go to our webpage (fishandgame.idaho.gov); click on the "Science" tab; "Fisheries" and search for "Swan Falls Reservoir," you will find all our technical information for Swan Falls Reservoir.  Swan Falls Reservoir has both species of bass, bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and ...
6/26/14
A: This winter and spring we held public meetings, sent out e-mails (over 800) and posted notices in the newspaper to get input on which fish people would like to see the reservoir managed for in the future.  Based on public response we have decided to manage Soldiers Meadow Resrvoir for Kokanee.  ...
6/13/14
A: The fishing on mink creek is fair. You are correct, in many areas the riparian corridor is quite thick making it difficult for young children to fish there. However, the Cherry Springs area would be a good starting point as well as several areas on the EF of Mink Creek. These areas are visible ...
6/13/14
A: Idaho Parks and Recreation enforces boating rules in Idaho.  What you need are:  a fire extinguisher, properly rated life jackets for all people in your boat, a whistle or horn that can be heard at a distance of 100 feet, and your current boat registration with hull sticker and ID numbers.   If ...
6/6/14
A: The nets placed in Payette Lake were to allow us to 1) assess the body condition of lake trout in Payette Lake and 2) to make a population estimate of the lake trout in Payette Lake. We have a known number of tagged lake trout in the waterbody from previous trapping efforts.  We can then use the ...
6/5/14
A: Condie Reservoir did not drain last year. The reservoir got extremely low in 2012, but some fish survived. We supplemented the bass and bluegill populations in 2013. Catch rates may be lower than normal because these populations are still recovering. 
6/4/14
A: Idaho Code Section  36-1201(c) requires a person to have the proper required license on his person at all times while hunting, fishing, or trapping, and to produce the original license for inspection upon request of a person authorized to enforce fish and game laws. This legal requirement places ...
5/7/14
A: We have chosen to not stock Mt. Home Reservoir during 2014. From recent tagging studies, we have learned that very few rainbow trout return to anglers creels during moderate to poor water years. Catchable rainbow trout are very expensive to raise and stock. Our agency has to be very efficient in ...
4/21/14
A: There is one fishing access on the Portneuf River between McCammon and Inkom.  The access is called Crane Creek. Here is a link to help you locate the site:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingplanner/access Because of all the lack of road crossing to and all the private land, I do not ...
4/10/14
A: Unfortunately, Paddock Valley Reservoir was very low during late fall 2013 as it has been for the majority of the last several years. I would not recommend it as a good use of your valuable fishing time. The only exception might be the trophy bullhead population; as they have faired well despite ...
4/10/14
A: Yellow perch, for the most part, are prolific and environmental factors influence populations more than angling harvest.  In years where water temperatures coincide with zooplankton blooms and reduced numbers of primary predators, the perch population can exceed carrying capacity of the waterbody ...
2/19/14
A: Yes, except when fishing for Chinook salmon (ocean-going), steelhead, or when fishing on Henrys Lake.  Just be aware, if you hook a fish and cause mortality after reaching your bag limit, you could be cited for an over-limit.
1/30/14
A: 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 ...
1/23/14
A: Yes, we have recently stocked early spawning kokanee in Hayden Lake for the purpose of providing a sport fishery.  We have significant numbers of early kokanee from our south Idaho egg taking station at Deadwood Reservoir. Kokanee, in certain waters, can be extremely difficult to manage when ...
9/16/13
A: This is a tricky question and open to interpretation by individual enforcement officers.  First, you've acknowledged that it is illegal to keep the smallmouth bass.  If a bass is bleeding from the gills but still alive, if you can remove the hook without doing anymore damage - do so and release ...
7/21/13
A: Yes, crayfish and bullfrogs are the only two fish species that can legally be taken using just your hands.  Everything else requires the use of fishing gear, tackle, or traps.
7/2/13
A: Cold coupled with elevation.  Indeed it is cold in the Snake River, but it’s also nearly 1,000 feet lower in elevation (assuming you are referring to the American Falls area, where bass fishing is good).  As such, it has a longer growing season than Ririe does.  There are also springs that dump in ...
6/27/13
A: We have not documented natural spawning below the dam.  I am sure spawning occurs but the young do not appear to survive long enough to be caught in the fishery.  We tag all of the sturgeon stocked.  The fish we have surveyed appear to all be of hatchery origin.  
6/23/13
A: Not removing or checking crayfish traps is a misdemeanor in Idaho.  Fine will probably be around $100.   F08
6/14/13
A: Trapping or Seining Minnows and Crayfish   Nongame fish (minnows), yellow perch, and crayfish may be taken only in waters open to fishing; provided the seine or net does not exceed ten (10) feet in length or width, and nets and seines must have three-eighths (3/8) inch square or smaller mesh; and ...
6/12/13
A: As long as you have the two-pole permit you can fish with two poles until your limit is reached.  You don't have to stop using two poles when you only have one more fish left to make your limit.  Two poles can be used for steelhead, Chinook and trout fishing.
6/7/13
A: Muskie have been found in Cascade Reservoir and Little Payette Lake.  Pike are generally found in Idaho's big Panhandle lakes.
5/28/13
A: There aren't any sturgeon in Lucky Peak.
5/28/13
A: The catch-and-keep season for bass is open year-around on most waters.  There are, however,  a few exceptions where we are trying to manage for quality or trophy populations of bass. In order for a fish to qualify as a "state record" the fish needs to be weighed on a state certified scale.  These ...
5/14/13
A: The harvest quota is refined as we get information either from PIT tagged fish passing monitoring points or fish actually arrive at the hatchery.  The quota adjusts based on the estimated harvestable surplus of hatchery fish returning to Rapid River Hatchery.   F08
5/7/13
A: It is not legal to do this in Idaho.  Lines must be attended by the person fishing.  There is no exception for nongame fish.
4/27/13
A: You can use a seine or throw-net to harvest nongame fish and yellow perch.  The net can be no more than 10' in length or width and must have 3/8" or smaller mesh.  The seine or net cannot be left unattended.  See page 51 of the 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rule booklet.    
4/16/13
A: Please contact the Southeast Region office at 208-525-7290.
4/12/13
A: If he is hunting, he must have an Idaho hunting license.  If he is fishing, he must have an Idaho fishing license.  If he is trapping, he must have an Idaho trapping license. He should check with the region office in the area for information about contacting the land management agency (for example ...
3/29/13
A: The Snake River covers such a big part of Idaho that it would probably be easiest for you to contact the region office for the area you want to fish.  Region office contact information is online.
3/28/13
A: Yes, freshwater mussels can be used for fish bait.  In Idaho, there are no limits or restrictions on harvesting mussels.  Once mussels are removed from their shells, they cannot survive, so they are not considered "live" bait.
3/27/13
A: It is legal as long as you remain with the jug.  You can have one fishing line in Idaho (or 2 lines with a two-pole permit) and it must be tended. So, if you teather a line to float/jug, you must remain with the float/jug for as long as you are fishing.
3/18/13
A: We have not documented a spawning run/event on the stocked coho. We have seen females with ripe eggs over the years but don't really think they can complete their life history in Cascade. Unfortunately we have stopped using coho in Cascade Res. due to poor returns (the numbers of coho caught by ...
1/23/13
A: Actually, many wouldn’t consider the diversity of fishes in the Clearwater Region to be poor.  The Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers all flow through the Clearwater Region.  As a result, we have many fish species that don’t occur in other regions in the State.  For example, we have anadromous ...
1/22/13
A: We haven't scheduled one yet, but if weather and ice conditions are conducive, we'll try to hold one in mid-February.  All we can say at this point is stay tuned.  We'll certainly get a press release out and advertise the event if/when we do it.  It will likely be at Hauser again.  Though the ...
1/16/13
A: We don't have a DAV discount on a fishing only license but we do have a discounted DAV combination (hunting/fishing) license.  It costs $5.00 and is available for residents only.
1/1/13
A: It is not legal in Idaho to let your line sit overnight.  Fishing lines must be attended at all times by the person who is fishing.
10/26/12
A: This list includes fish species found to be present in this water during fish surveys. This may not be a complete list of species present in this water. Some species listed here may only be present in small quantities or seasonally. Black Crappie ,  Brown Bullhead ,  Brown Trout ,  Bull Trout ,  ...
10/26/12
A: According to IDPA rules, “you can not use live bait” so, it would be illegal to use live mice as bait.  Dead “pinkies” would probably work just as well for bass.
10/11/12