Ask Fish & Game

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Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.

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

Question Askedsort descending
A: Please check with the Forest Service for information about camping laws in the National Forest.
4/15/14
A: Please check the Hunter Passport information on our website, paying attention to the questions/answers at the bottom of the page (https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/?getPage=332). The key is the age.  At ten, holders of the hunting passport can hunt turkeys and varmints, upland game ...
4/16/14
A: Hello, Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding removal of bird nests. It is true that most birds are federally protected, by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and their nests cannot be removed once there is an egg in the nest. If you find the nest before eggs are laid, you may remove it. If ...
4/16/14
A: Roseworth has been very good for 2 - 3 lb. rainbow trout since ice-off.  Night crawlers and DareDevils have been popular with anglers and fish.  Look for it to remain an excellent fishery through mid-May. We are just launching a site our Fisheries webpage where anglers can report on fishing ...
4/17/14
A: It sounds like you are fishing in the prime locations to catch larger catfish.  The Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area (where the Boise River meets the Snake River) is a location known to attract larger catfish and the Steck Park area down by Weiser is another good location.  May is typically the ...
4/17/14
A: For   Spring Bear January 15-February 15 Spring Turkey February 1-March 1 Moose,Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat April 1-30 Deer,Elk,Pronghorn,Fall Bear, Fall Turkey May 1-June 5 Moose leftover tags (second app. period) June 15-25 Deer,Elk,Pronghorn,Fall Bear leftover tags (second app period) August 5 ...
4/17/14
A: Fish the Snake River and the upper end of Brownlee Reservoir.  The area below Swan Falls Dam, Fort Boise (mouth of the Boise River), Steck Park (near Weiser) are all popular locations for catfish anglers.  If you want to fish in reservoirs, Lake Lowell near Nampa is a good option along with C.J. ...
4/17/14
A: Sturgeon fishing in Idaho is a trophy experience.  Without knowing where you live, I'll list several general sites where you can catch a sturgeon. Sturgeon forage for dead fish and other organic matter that settles in deep (20'+), back-eddy areas.  Use cut-bait (nongame fish pieces, anchovies, ...
4/17/14
A: The lack of channel catfish stocking in the database is not real.  We have been stocking them consistently; however, they have yet to be uploaded to the database. This will be corrected shortly. We still stock the same ponds, but we did have to reduce numbers as we think channel catfish were ...
4/17/14
A: We now have those who purchase licenses and permits online to print their license and any permits at time of purchase.  We no longer mail them out.  (We still mail out tags). You can get duplicates from any vendor.    
4/17/14
A: Below is a summary of the management planning process for Priest Lake.  I believe it answers most of your questions along wtih some others you may have.  if you'd care to discuss Priest Lake management further, please feel free to give me a call at (208) 769-1414. thank you for your interest. Jim ...
4/18/14
A: Water in Beach's Pond is supplied by a well and pump that malfunctioned in 2013.  We are working with a local well driller on solutions and hope to have the pond watered-up and restocked with largemouth bass and bluegill by early this summer.
4/18/14
A: Depends.  It is illegal to fish for steelhead when the steelhead season is closed - even catch-and-release.  You can use a spey rod as long as you can pass the "red-face" test when you encounter an officer.  You must be able to convince the officer that you are fishing for cutthroat or rainbow ...
4/18/14
A: You must choose a specific zone elk tag.  You will only be able to  hunt in the zone covered by the tag you purchase.   The only way to hunt in another zone is if you purchase a second elk tag (at nonresident price) to hunt in a second, different zone.  Each elk tag is zone specific.
4/18/14
A: The weapon restrictions for short range hunts apply to the specfic hunt area and season dates.  They are designed for public safety.  It is unlikley you will find any vermin to hunt in those areas during the season dates.  However, as long as you have legal access to the land, meaning its public ...
4/19/14
A: Thank you for your question about hunter education. We do have classes in Mountain Home when a volunteer organizes a course. Our courses are taught by volunteers. I will notify our coordinator in the area to get the word to volunteer instructors that we have a need in Mountain Home specifically. ...
4/19/14
A: This time of the year, we always receive reports of dead yellow perch on various waters throughout Idaho.  Typically, the mortality is tied to post-spawning stress.  Think of it this way, first-time spawning perch put a tremendous amount of energy and body reserves into producing eggs.  Some of ...
4/19/14
A: Eastern Gray Squirrels do occur in Idaho, but are considered to be an exotic species: http://explorer.natureserve.org/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabul... We do not actually have any data on this species in our IDFG database though. Please consider reporting your sighting of this species on ...
4/20/14
A: We can relate to your concerns.  Being on the upper-most reaches of the Columbia River system, we watch Idaho salmon and steelhead being harvested by anglers, commercial fishermen, and tribal members in the ocean, Washington, and Oregon - with no way for us to influence the number of fish being ...
4/21/14
A: Each turkey tag can only be used for one turkey.  You must purchase another tag if you want to harvest another turkey.
4/21/14
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: Turkey distribution in Unit 73 is patchy and linked to available forage and water, which may vary from year to year.  A good place to start hunting for turkey in this unit may be the Malad face near a couple of feed lots south of Malad.  Turkeys have also been observed near Weston Reseroir and ...
4/22/14
A: You are correct.  Currentl it is unlawful to use a bow with any electronic or tritium-powered device attached to, or incorporated into, an arrow, bolt, crossbow, or bow (except nonmagnifying scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles may be used by disabled archery permit ...
4/23/14
A: Wildlife violations and concurrent violations of motorized vehicle restrictions are difficult to detect.  Our officers cannot appropriatley monitor compliance without accessing the roads.  Many times these violations are reported from the public and the only way to seek compliance is by accessing ...
4/23/14
A: No...the bag and possession limits for turkeys state that: The daily bag limit is one bearded turkey per day in the spring and one turkey (either sex) per day in the fall, except in Units, 1, 2, 3 and 5 where 5 turkeys (either sex) may be taken in a day during fall seasons. No more than two ...
4/23/14
A: This depends on the age of the hunter, hunting license requirments, what is being hunted, and where the hunting occurs.  This question is too broad to answer in this format.  Please return to our website for specific rules and regulations regarding weapon restrictions.
4/23/14
A: No.  The $6.00 and $4.00 that you pay to enter the superhunt drawings are  application fees and application fees are not refundable.  The application fee for the moose controlled hunt is not refunded, either.
4/24/14
A: That's an interesting question - why do jack Chinook salmon get protection similar to what the adult fish get. Part of the reason is that they actually are sexually mature fish. Jacks are males that return to freshwater to spawn after spending only one year in the ocean and they do spawn. As a ...
4/24/14
A: We obtain the age of harvested wolves by counting the annular "rings" from a cross-section of the teeth (much as with aging a tree).  We accumulate teeth for aging over the course of the season, submitting them to an external lab about this time of year.  Thus we have no ages of 2013-2014 wolves ...
4/24/14
A: Cam, Thanks for the question on the 2-zone tag for elk and what is the plan for implementation for such a option? The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the Elk Management Plan in January. The next step is to begin to implement the plan. The 2 zone tag system was one of the concepts developed ...
4/24/14
A: You cannot leave the can in the woods once you leave.  Also, there may be fire restrictions and concerns on some forest areas at certain times of the year.  Otherwise, you may use burned honey for bear bait.
4/25/14
A: Yes, it would theoretically be possible to draw more than one super hunt tag.  One thing to remember is that applications from the first yearly drawing do not carry over to the second drawing.
4/25/14
A: To whom it may concern, First, thanks for taking the time to contact us with your question.  This is a common question we receive each year.  Anglers assume the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has jurisdiction over the boating boundaries (aka buoy line) because in most cases it functions to ...
4/25/14
A: Contact the Hunter Education department at Fish and Game Headquarters (208-334-3746).  They can look up students to determine if they are signed up.
4/25/14
A: This is a question for a land management agency (Forest Service or BLM).
4/26/14
A: You must check with the land management agency about parking/camping permits.
4/26/14
A: This violation is a misdemeanor.  The penalties include a fine that can range from $25.00 to $1,000.00 plus court costs and may include jail time up to six months.  The magistrate may revoke fishing, hunting and/or trapping privileges for up to three years.  If an animal is involved there is an ...
4/26/14
A: Channel catfish do successfully spawn in a few waterbodies throughout the state, however, most waters in North Idaho do not maintain the minimum water temperature long enough (>75 F) for reproduction. Channel catfish are a relatively long lived fish ~15 - 20 years and grow rapidly when young.  ...
4/26/14
A: Paintball is prohibited on lands owned and managed by IDFG (WMAs, access sites ...) by rule IDAPA 13.01.03.100.p. http://adm.idaho.gov/adminrules/rules/idapa13/0103.pdf. If the land is managed by other agencies, you must contact them.
4/26/14
A: You must purchase a hunting license and a regular deer tag.  They are both sold over-the-counter so you can purchase them when you want after July for fall hunting.  The deer tag is valid for any general season hunt, including unit 27. The season dates for unit 27 are September 15-October 31.  It ...
4/27/14
A: By rule, it is illegal to transport live crayfish away from the body of water where they were captured.  This is to prevent spreading of invasive crayfish to new waters and to prevent crayfish diseases and parasites from being spread to waters that may not contain the disease or parasite. Crayfish ...
4/27/14
A: Hunter education is required for everyone getting a hunting license in the state of Idaho who was born January 1, 1975 or later.  A concealed weapons permit is not a replacement for a hunter education course.
4/28/14
A: You are correct.  Here is the information from the Big Game rules book: Containers: No bait may be contained within paper, plastic, glass, metal, wood, or other nonbiodegradable materials, except that a single metal container with a maximum size of 55 gallons may be used if securely attached at ...
4/28/14
A: During the May 1-June 5 application period you can apply for more than one species (on separate applications, of course).    
4/28/14
A:   Deer hunters may choose either a regular deer tag or a white-tailed deer tag. The regular deer tag is valid for any hunt listed under "2014 Regular Deer Tag Seasons" on pages 15-19 and may be used to take a mule deer or white-tailed deer during those seasons as long as the unit is open for ...
4/29/14
A: Turkey populations are higher in other parts of the state.   If looking in Unit 39 then historic places include Cottonwood Creek and up in the Grimes and Idaho City area.
4/29/14
A: Harvest estimates from 2013 Controlled Hunts for Deer, Elk, and Pronghorn were posted on the IDFG website on 5/3/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Elk were posted on 5/22/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Deer will be posted on 5/30/2014.  
4/29/14
A: In short-range weapon hunts, you may use any of the following when hunting with a muzzleloader:  pelletized powder, sabots, magnifying scopes, 209 primers, closed breach, and projectiles made of some or all non-lead material.
4/29/14
A: Ok, as biologists we like to have data "in-hand" before setting seasons and bag limits.  The primary information we rely on is the number of Passive Induced Transponder (PIT) tagged adult fish that pass the first dam on the Columbia River (Bonneville) on their journey up the Columbia and Snake ...
4/29/14
A: Thank you for your question.  The current (Fiscal Year 2014) starting annual salary for a Conservation Officer is $33,987 ($16.34 per hour x 2,080 hours).  If you have further questions, please contact the IDFG Human Resources office at (208) 334-3773.
4/30/14
A: Idaho no longer pays for the removal of northern pikeminnow.  There is a northern pikeminnow removal program on the Snake River below Hells Canyon that is administered by Oregon.  Check their website for more details - if you are interested in participating.   F08
4/30/14
A: If you are not hunting, a hunting license is not required.  
5/1/14
A: Mallard ducks are classified as waterfowl and are a protected migratory bird.  But wild mallards would not nest under a playground slide.  Without seeing the bird , I would guess the mallard was a domestic release or a crossbreed. Typical duck behavior would be to build a nest away from people in ...
5/1/14
A: Failure to submit a Mandatory Hunter Report for deer, elk, or pronhorn hunting will not prevent you from applying for or drawing a controlled hunt tag.
5/2/14
A: There are a number of locations a person could experience a comintation hunt that could include 2 or more of the groups you are looking for.  Many folks hunt the South Fork of the Boise for Mule deer and chukar, or later in the year you could hunt for elk and chukar.  Parts of Unit 32 and 32A ...
5/2/14
A: Yes, that is correct. Unless otherwise specified, the hunts are "any weapon" hunts. Hunt # 2044 is an any weapon antlerless elk hunt.
5/3/14
A: The motorized hunting rules do not apply to upland birds. The Idaho Fish and Game's motorized hunting rules apply to big game animals, including moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats, in designated units from August 30 through December 31.Motorized hunting use restrictions apply to units 29, 30 ...
5/3/14
A: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nez Perce Tribe annually PIT ag more than 200,000 Spring/Summer Chinoook Salmon smolts released from Idaho hatcheries in the Clearwater, Snake, and Salmon rivers. PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags smaller ...
5/4/14
A: That is correct. If you have additional questions, please contact our license section at 208-334-2592. Thanks.
5/4/14
A: We will have the trophy controlled hunt results available online by the end of May. 
5/5/14
A: Citizens have the right to protect their person and property including pets. It is legal to kill a predator if your dog is attacked.  When investigated evidence of the attach must be clearly apparent.
5/5/14
A: Black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and foxes  may be pursued with hounds. Although not classified as "game animals," raccoons and coyotes may also be pursued with hounds.   A hound hunter permit is required.
5/5/14
A: Thanks a bunch for the note.  We often are looking so hard for new fishing opportunities that we miss the obvious one's under our nose.  I'll talk with our "crack" web staff and see if we can get it added to our Fishing Planner and Family Fishing Waters.  Next time you go fishing at Williams Pond ...
5/5/14
A: Answer:  This is the most complicated part of reporting the harvest statistics. I'm pretty sure that you are asking about deer and elk general hunt harvest estimates on the IDFG web site. We have 3 kinds of general hunting seasons, for most of our hunts, but the names are confusing."Any Weapon" is ...
5/5/14
A: Yes, you can purchase a nonresident tag for your second tag.  They go on sale for that purpose on August 1.
5/6/14
A: Starting in 2007, IDFG began to add disability certifications to customer records based upon the documentation the individual supplied. Those who provided documentation showing they were currently receiving SSI, SSDI, nonservice connected disability or railroad disability benefits where given a ...
5/6/14
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: Please contact the Magic Valley Region office at 1-208-324-8137.  
5/7/14
A: Over the counter resident deer and elk tags go on sale July 10.
5/7/14
A: Shooting restrictions are put in place by BLM on the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. You can find this information on BLM's website; here is the current link: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/birds_of_prey_nca/man... Types of ground squirrels classified by ...
5/7/14
A: There are no boating restrictions on Redfish Lake.  If you go in the late summer/fall you can now see sockeye spawning at the upper end of the lake.  Redfish Lake was named for the large numbers of sockeye it once produced.   F08
5/7/14
A: Waiting periods are based on first application and drawing periods only. Any person whose name was drawn on a controlled antlered-only deer hunt in the first drawing in 2013 may NOT apply for any other controlled antlered-only deer hunt for one (1) year or until 2015. Except that a person may ...
5/8/14
A: I am aware of at least 2 antlered cow elk that have been killed by hunters in Idaho.  It is a rare condition, but does occassionally happen
5/8/14
A: Yes.
5/8/14
A: Unfortunately, these return information are not available to post online quite yet.   We've created a page explaining the situation here: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/fish/hatchery-returns-chinook In the interim, I think we've provided some very good information in the new Fish Talk ...
5/9/14
A: Yes, we recommend sportsmen and sportswomen work together to deconflict overlaping activities through diplomacy while sharing the resource.
5/9/14
A: There are a couple of reasons we require personal information on all applications for permits and licenses.  First, several years ago the legislature passed a law that said “people who are behind on child support payments could not possess a license or permit issued from the State of Idaho”.  The ...
5/9/14
A: Idaho Parks and Recreation along with the counties regulate watercraft in Idaho.  The one permit you do need is an invasive species sticker.  The sticker is required on all hard-sided boats 10' or more feet in length.  This includes kayaks, canoes, and inflatable rafts.     F08
5/9/14
A: Yes, No person shall take big game animals as outlined in this section. a.  With any firearm that, in combination with a scope, sling, and/or any other attachments, weighs more than sixteen (16) pounds. b. With any shotgun using any shot smaller than double-aught (#00) buck. c. With any rimfire ...
5/9/14
A: First, I admire your conviction to salmon fishing in Idaho. If you possess a disabled hunting/fishing license and can demonstrate to an officer that you lack the stamina to play the fish - it will be acceptable to have someone reel in your salmon that you hooked.
5/10/14
A: To provide you with an accurate answer, we will need some additional information. Please contact our license section at 208-334-2592 or our enforcement bureau at 208-334-3736.
5/10/14
A: I would suggest contacting one of our wildlife biologists at our regional office in Salmon. You can reach the office by telephone at (208) 756-2271.
5/10/14
A: Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game rules do not preclude you from using a bow to take carp from Park Center Pond, but City of Boise Municipal Code 06-04-02 prohibits the use of a bow other other device that fires a projectile outside of approved ranges or on private property.  Park Center Pond is a ...
5/11/14
A: Because this program benefits hunters and anglers by opening up private land through the Access Yes Program, the nonresident quotas are not applied to the super hunt drawings.
5/12/14
A: Harvest estimates from 2013 Controlled Hunts for Deer, Elk, and Pronghorn were posted on the IDFG website on 5/3/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Elk were posted on 5/22/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Deer will be posted on 5/30/2014. I will check when the ...
5/13/14
A: In Idaho, wildlife is considered property that the state manages on behalf of its citizens. There is a public interest in ensuring people are complying with state laws related to hunting, fishing, and trapping on both public and private land, so that Idahoans can enjoy hunting and other wildlife- ...
5/13/14
A: It depends.  When the water is high in the Little Salmon, many of the fish will stay in the main Salmon River and not proceed up the Little Salmon.  In low water years or when the spring is cool and snow melts gradually, then they run the Little Salmon, earlier. Because the Snake River below Hells ...
5/13/14
A: Yes - except around Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (mainstem and North Fork) and the Tribal Hatchery fish ladder.   Check our website for a copy of the Idaho 2014 Chinook Salmon Season and Rules brochure.
5/14/14
A: Yes, as long as the camera is installed where you have a legal right to be, such as public land or permission from a private landowner. Idah Code 36-1101 addresses devices accessed via the internet. Devices Accessed via Internet.(A)  No person shall shoot at or kill any bird or animal in Idaho, ...
5/14/14
A: Try to reach your local regional office to get more information for this. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/offices/?getPage=169  
5/14/14
A: You need to have resided in Idaho for 6 months, so on June 15th you will qualify for a resident license.  There are several ways you can prove that you moved to Idaho on January 15th.  Show us rent statements that demonstrate the date you move to your residence, a letter from your employer stating ...
5/14/14
A: It took a litte bit but here is what has been provided me by the Idaho State Historical Society:No citation, but the YMCA has a great story about how it got its name. http://ycampidaho.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-horsethief-got-its-name.html    
5/14/14
A: The Middle Fork Boise River is open year-around for fishing.  You can keep 6 trout EXCEPT from the confluence with the North Fork Boise River to Atlanta Dam.  In this reach you can only keep 2 trout and they must be at least 14" long.  Artificial flies and lures only with a barbless hook is ...
5/14/14
A: Here is a five year count of nonresident general season tags purchased by residents as a second tag. Year Elk Deer 2009 305 706 2010 271 617 2011 270 588 2012 293 685 2013 324 728  
5/14/14
A: First, thanks for the note.  Water was just turned into the pond last week.  It is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout the first week in June and again just before the 4th of July.  It should receive about 600 fish in each stocking event. For more information, contact Regional Fisheries ...
5/15/14
A: I understand your frustration. We have weed problems in several of the ponds at which we manage fish populations and fisheries. Although, IDFG stocks fish in Sego Pond, we do not manage weeds.  Sego Pond is managed by the city of Kuna. I heard that the city treated the pond earlier this year.   ...
5/16/14
A: There are a couple of important points to address in your questions. A desired outcome of managing the salmon fisheries is for all areas open to fishing have successful and meaningful fisheries. The one-fish bag limit is one tool that can be used to achieve that. More importantly, the one-fish bag ...
5/17/14
A: I would suggest contacting our wildlife staff in our Salmon Region office at (208) 756-2271. The local biologists will be able to provide the best advice.
5/17/14
A: These opportunities are not available to sign up for online currently. To find volunteer opportunities such as you describe, please contact your local regional office: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/offices/?getPage=170
5/17/14
A: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/question/it-legal-idaho-use-mechan... No, it is not legal to use mechanical or expanding broadheads for the taking of big game.
5/17/14