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 Asked
A: We've done some research trapping in the St Joe so we have a pretty good idea of the live weight of bears in the area.  These weights were mostly taken in June and July, so fall weights during the hunting season would be quite a bit more (partly depending on the huckleberry crop!).  Spring weights ...
8/8/14
A: A number of lakes were stocked many years ago with rainbow and cutthroat trout that established natural reproducing populations.  When we inventory the fish populations in the lakes, if they are being sustained by natural reproduction, we often discontinue stocking or stock less frequently.  Most ...
8/7/14
A: Racoons are classified as preditors in Idaho and can be taken in any amounts and at any time by holders of the appropriate valid Idaho hunting, trapping or combination hunting license, provided such taking is not in violation of state, county, or city laws, ordinances or regulations.  Take care ...
8/7/14
A: The trapper education course we offer suggests that trappers use a .22 caliber firearm to dispatch the animal.  If a person cannot carry a firearm, another method recommended is to strike smaller furbearers with a small club at the base of the skull.  The other methods you described above are not ...
8/7/14
A: Contests such as fishing derbys, predator derbys or big buck contests are legal in Idaho. Participants are required to follow all rules and laws pertaining to the legal taking of wildlife.
8/7/14
A: Youth hunts that are not filled in the second drawing can be purchased by those with a senior license or a disabled license through the leftover tag sale starting August 25th at 10 am mountain time. See page 108 in the 2014 big game proclamation booklets.
8/6/14
A: No, unless the hunt you apply for is specifically listed as an extra hunt. Otherwise, you must choose one or the other. Please be aware of the Departments tag exchange rules which can be found on page 112 in the 2014 big game proclamation book. Exchanging Deer or Elk Tags: Hunters may exchange ...
8/5/14
A: Yes you can.
8/5/14
A: To find out if you have drawn for a Landowner Appreciation Program tag please check with the Regional office where your property is registered.  Notices should be in the mail by August 15th however results will be available earlier at the Regional offices.   Results are taking longer than normal ...
8/4/14
A: Consider the following 3 options: Most of the elk reside in the southern portion of the Unit, from Grouse Peak to the southern boundary of the unit.  This area is mostly public land, topographically diverse and high elevation.  You are likely to find elk in any drainage, particularly those with ...
8/4/14
A: We have recieved calls such as this in the past and we have had our officers follow up on them. We have never documented employees of this ranch chasing elk onto the property. We have discovered that many poeple hunting elk around this property have been confused with ranch employees and their ...
8/4/14
A: Steelhead do run to the Pahsimerio/Challis/Salmon area in the late fall.  Typically, we start to receive reports of steelhead being caught in the upper Salmon in late October/early November.  Most people fish the lower Salmon River in the fall (October in Riggins is my favorite fishing time) and ...
8/3/14
A: From page 112 in the 2014 big game proclamations: Exchanging Deer or Elk Tags: Hunters may exchange general season elk tags for use in another zone at any Fish and Game office. Deer hunters may exchange a regular season deer tag for a white-tailed deer tag or a white-tailed deer tag for a regular ...
8/3/14
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: To review all the tags available for application, visit http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/seconddraw/
8/3/14
A: Currently there are classes scheduled in Ahsahka, Lewiston, Salmon and Idaho Falls.  We are working on scheduling more classes in different parts of Idaho including the Treasure Valley.  Please check the website for upcoming classes.  You can also call the Regional office and let them know you are ...
8/3/14
A: The Twin Falls Mosquito Abatement District is using bluegill to control mosquitos and reporting very good results.  Mr. Kirk Tubbs is leading this program and you can get his contact information by searching on the internet under his name or the Twin Falls Mosquito Abatement District.
8/1/14
A: No; there are disease concerns with raccoons (rabies) so individuals cannot own a raccoon, fox, or skunk as a pet.   Idaho Code Section 25-236 prohibits individuals from possessing raccoon/fox/skunk, and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture enforces this law.  Public parks, zoos, museums and ...
8/1/14
A: In response to your question about the Mallard Larkin elk hunting. As far as I know it does not get much, if any pressure from the north (GMU 9). There are a couple access points from Region 1. It depends if you are using stock or backpacking ect. In my personal experience, I have seen some very ...
7/31/14
A: What you may be seeing on the fish is fungus from a wound on the fish.  Many times, when herrons or pelicans attempt to catch a fish and miss, there will be injuries on both sides the fish where fungus will grow.  Once established on the fish, it can spread and can cause eventual mortality.  The ...
7/30/14
A: Idaho Fish and Game manages all wildlife including game and nongame.  The agency's Wildlife Diversity Program publishes information about Watchable Wildlife, here's a link: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/nongame/?getPage=239 You can find more information about the program on the ...
7/29/14
A: We'd love to hear from you.  The Department will be taking public comments on proposed changes to the 2015 & 2016 Moose, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goat seasons the end of December-early January at public meetings throughout the state and online through our website. Please check our website or ...
7/28/14
A: You can harvest members of the Cyprinidae family (chubs, carp, northern pikeminnow, and  tench) and Cataostomidae family (suckers).  All other unprotected nongame fish species are probably too small to harvest with archery equipment.
7/27/14
A: Yes, the second general season nonresident deer or elk tag can be used to harvest the species the tag is for one of the species you list as long as there is a season for both the species of the tag and the species you harvest such as bear.
7/27/14
A: Thank you for taking the time to ask your question.  Issues involving nuisance wildlife are referred to as depredations.  A landowner with depredations may hire a third party or “agent” to control the wildlife as long as it is in accordance with all federal, state, and local regulations.   For ...
7/27/14
A: Provided you don't have a provision in any felony conviction that prevents you from owning or possessing a firearm; you've purchase a valid hunting license and tags; and have taken an archery education class or qualify for an archery validation - then you can use your archery equipment ...
7/27/14
A: Our agency only regulates the use of motorized equipment as it pertains to hunting and fishing activities.  If you are using your jetski strictly for recreation, then you need to check with the U.S. Forest Service Sawtooth National Recreation Area for restrictions they may have placed on Red Fish ...
7/26/14
A: Broodstock goals for the adipose-clipped portion of the production (the fish that sport anglers can harvest when they return) sometimes change from one year to the next because of other changes in rearing space at the hatcheries or other rearing programs that also are occurring. At Pahsimeroi ...
7/26/14
A: Yes, remove the skin from the fish and they'll be fine to eat. What you see on the skin of the fish are copepods, or often referred to as "aquatic lice."  They are present in almost every waterbody in Idaho and usually become active when water temperatures warm-up in June through August. If you ...
7/25/14
A: When you perform a search on the Internet, your current years purchase history will show up on the license selection page. This information will show you what currently valid items you have purchased.
7/25/14
A: Carp, suckers, northern pikeminnow, and tench are the primary fish that you can harvest with a speargun.  Many people eat carp and pikeminnow, however, they have many small bones so you need to be very careful.  I've tried both types of fish, and like any fish you catch in Idaho, the taste depends ...
7/25/14
A: If you purchase a 2014 A Tag for the Weiser zone, you can only hunt during the dates, in the units and with weapon restrictions shown in the 2014 big game booklets for the Weiser A Tag (see page 44 of the 2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure). If you wish to hunt in the October 25 to November ...
7/25/14
A: Hunters have been required to purchase an archery permit/validation to participate in hunts designated as "archery only" seasons for more than 35 years. Although some hunters may choose to hunt only in an archery-only hunts and don't participate in any other hunts, many hunters who participate in ...
7/25/14
A: You've done a great job of tracking the hatchery return component of the Chinook run.  Here are other items that need to be considered in doing a run reconstruction: Mortality between Lower Granite Dam and the hatcheries - there is mortality due to environmental reasons, predators, diseases, ...
7/24/14
A: Successful applicants who apply by July 15 will be notified by mail no later than August 15.  Application for leftover tags will be accepted on or after August 15 of each year on a first-come, first-served basis.  For a list of leftover tags contact your local Regional office.
7/24/14
A: Your information is correct.  We once has significant runs of coho returning to Idaho and spawning in the Clearwater, lower Salmon River, and Snake Basin.  As dams were built, populations were lost and it was believed they were extinct in Idaho for several years. The Nez Perce tribal fisheries ...
7/24/14
A: There are some backcountry areas where IDFG may use employees/contractors to remove wolves this winter.  There are four backcountry areas where IDFG has management plans for reducing predation from wolves, bears, and mountain lions, because predation is having significant negative impacts on ...
7/23/14
A: Maybe we need to work on designing Go Pro type fish cams so we can see where they go once released from the hatchery truck.  I can tell you that several went to the deep water below the Park Center Bridge piers and held there are several days. We've had a "handful" of people calling to tell us ...
7/23/14
A: I was in Pocatello at Edison Fichter pond just yesterday.  Fishing for rainbow trout was very good and several people had their two-trout limit.  Each licensed angler can catch and keep 2 trout.  For resident youth under 14 years of age, they can also catch and keep 2 trout.  Nonresident youth ...
7/23/14
A: For 30 years, Idaho has had a quota for nonresident hunters.  13 years ago, the Commission decided to make any unsold nonresident tags available for purchase to residents at full price.  The Commission adopted the 2nd tag discount for residents and nonresidents because it wanted to encourage more ...
7/22/14
A: Yes. Super Hunts represent an additional chance to harvest an animal. If you draw a Super Hunt tag, you can also participate in a general season hunt (or a controlled hunt that you have drawn) as well as the Super Hunt or Super Hunt Combo. This applies to moose hunts as well. For more information ...
7/22/14
A: Thank you for your question regarding hunting over unlawful bear bait sites.  Idaho Department of Fish and Game rules and regulations state: “No bait site may be located within two hundred (200) feet of any water (lake, pond, reservoir, year round free flowing spring and year round free flowing ...
7/22/14
A: We do not have online results for Landowner Appreciation Program tags.  Results are mailed to successful applicants no later than August 15. A landowner may also contact the Regional office that they have registered property in to find out if they drew.
7/21/14
A: Yes.  If you have controlled hunt tags for both deer and elk, in order for you to bowhunt during the general archery season, you would need to purchase a reduced price nonresident deer and a reduced price nonresidet elk tag.   
7/21/14
A: No.  Nonresident disabled American veterans with a disability rating of 40 percent or more by Veterans Affairs are eligible for nonresident DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. The nonresident DAV hunting with 3-day fishing license, $31.75, allows the nonresident disabled veteran to purchase ...
7/21/14
A: Deer hunters may choose either a regular or general 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. The white-tailed deer tag ...
7/20/14
A: Thank you for your question on additions to legal archery equipment.  The short answer is no there have been no changes in the archery regulations regarding the technology you mention.  Each year the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners have the option to add or restrict the equipment that hunters ...
7/20/14
A: It looks like fun on television - but in Idaho it's illegal to take catfish with your hands.  Using a hook and line to catch catfish is far less risky than noodling.
7/19/14
A: No.  Unlimited hunts are controlled hunts in which only those who apply during the first controlled hunt application period can obtain a tag.  For more information on controlled hunts, see page 108-112 of the 2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.
7/19/14
A: Bag limits for Lake Coeur d'Alene are: you can keep 6 rainbow trout (no harvest of cutthroat trout); 6 bass - any size; 25 brook trout; 2 fall Chinook that are at least 20" in length; 15 kokanee; and 25 whitefish. These limits are independent of each other, so you could legally have 79 fish in the ...
7/18/14
A: Yes, “red dot” sights are legal to hunt coyotes as well as big game animals.   In 2007 the commission adopted a rule change that allowed the use of lighted reticles to aid those with poor eye sight.  The rule reads it is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals: With any electronic device ...
7/18/14
A: We can issue you a Nonresident DAV license in place of your lifetime license so you can receive reduced tag fees.  However, you will need to send us a reminder each year so we know which license to issue to you.  If you have more questions, please contact our licensing section at 208-334-2592.   
7/17/14
A: We manage fish and wildlife, but we also support Idaho State Department of Agriculture who lead our state's fight against invasive species. Now to your question.  Yes, you can legally bring firewood from Wisconson to Idaho for your campfire, however, we prefer you didn't.  Transported with ...
7/17/14
A: Ok, nonresident children (under 14 years of age) can fish for free if they are with a licensed adult (resident or nonresident).  All fish caught and reduced to possession count towards the licensed individual's daily bag limit.  The only exception is, a nonresident youth can buy their own salmon ...
7/16/14
A: No, you don't need a Salmon Permit to fish in Lake Coeur d'Alene for Fall Chinook.  The Salmon Permit is only required when fishing for anadromous (ocean-run) salmon.  Land-locked salmon are treated like trout in most waters.
7/16/14
A: The short answer is yes you will need to tag the deer if you are keeping any part of it.  While not common there are times when folks are unable to track down the animal they have mortally wounded prior to nightfall.  In your case where you returned the following day and were able to locate the ...
7/15/14
A: Whether it is in season or out of season it would not be lawful for you to use your deer tag on a road kill animal.   However, you can use the online salvage report and obtain a “salvage permit” that would allow you to legally salvage and retain all or part of the road kill animal in question. ...
7/15/14
A: No.  We don't have a general deer tag so I assume you mean regular deer tag.  You can only use your regular deer tag in "2014 regular deer tag seasons and units" listed on pages 15-19 in the brochure and may be used to take mule deer or whitetail deer during those seasons.  There are many units ...
7/15/14
A: Are you looking for a general season mule deer hunt? Tags for those seasons go on sale December 1 for the next license year and can be purchased until the nonresident quota has been filled. (For this year, you can purchase now) If you are looking for a controlled hunt, the first application period ...
7/15/14
A: Thank you for your question on additions to legal archery equipment.  Each year the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners have the option to add or restrict the equipment that hunters may legally use to pursue game.  The restriction on expandable broadheads as you know dates back decades.  It would be ...
7/14/14
A: Great question the quick answer is Yes; if the purpose is for wildlife viewing only.  However you have "spoiled" the area for deer and elk hunting activities.Deer and elk harvested over this "salted" area would be taken unlawfully.   The area where the salt has been placed would be considered " ...
7/14/14
A: Thank you for your question and congratulations on catching a tagged fish.  If you caught a tagged fish of harvestable size, we hope it was good eating! When you catch a tagged fish, please report the tag using our Tag! You're It! program web page (go to fishandgame.idfg.gov, Fishing tab, Tagging ...
7/13/14
A: In 2010, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission considered adopting a Bonus Points system, but ultimately decided against the proposal.  The Commission cited several reasons, including a lack of consensus among sportsmen.  Here's a link to more information about the history of Bonus Points proposals ...
7/13/14
A: You will need to complete your lifetime recertification document at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/lifetimeCertificates/ or contact our license section at 208-334-2592. Thank you.
7/13/14
A: I hope you're not too disappointed, but there were never fish in the type of lakes you describe.  Prior to the beginning of mountain lake stocking in Idaho, headwater barriers and subsurface flows prevented native fish species from reaching upper elevation mountain lakes.  In the early 1900's ...
7/12/14
A: We do give away spawned-out salmon carcasses at our hatchery spawning locations - including Pahsimeroi.  This practice actually started in the 1970's.  We quit giving carcasses away once we started injecting adult salmon with erythomycin phosphate.  Now that we've discontinued the injections, we ...
7/12/14
A: Military veterans are required to have Hunter Education to buy a hunting license if they were born on or after January 1, 1975 and they have not held a hunting license from Idaho or another state. The Hunter Education course includes the following subject areas. Firearm handling and safety Hunting ...
7/12/14
A: There are a number of ways.  The BLM produces a nice set of maps covering most of Idaho.  Also several GPS units have programs that will show you ownership.  It is a good idea to be familiar with Idaho trespass law and posting requirements and carry a good map when hunting.
7/12/14
A: Great question! There are no restrictions on the use of lights while fishing or fishing hours, so the use of some type of spotlight would be allowable while bowfishing.  However, “Chumming” is illegal for all species of fish.  Idaho Code 36-902(e) states the following:  “Unlawful fishing methods ...
7/12/14
A: Good question.  We are in the process of redesigning our website and in the process we will have an entirely new webpage for trapping/furbearers with its own heading.  There have been delays in the website process but it should be out within a few months.  Thanks for your comment.
7/11/14
A: Yes.
7/11/14
A: The salmon season in the upper Salmon River will close the evening of July 19th.  We predict our harvest allocation will be reached by that date.  The season lasted almost 4 weeks - which is a success compared to the average season length over the past 10 years.
7/11/14
A: the Pack River is a navigable water way, so you have full access to the river below the ordinary high water mark.  The lower Pack River is public land, so there's plenty of land open to hunting/fishing/recreating.
7/11/14
A: On page 110 of the 2014 big game proclamations, we have the following statement. Leftover Controlled HuntsSecond drawing: To ensure everyone has equal opportunity at leftover and unclaimed controlled hunt tags, there will be two drawings for deer, elk, pronghorn and fall black bear hunts. all ...
7/10/14
A: The age to hunt turkey has not changed and remains at 10 years of age. The age to hunt big game was changed with the new law that went into effect on July 1 of this year (2014). Based on the now current laws and the information you have provided, your son would not be able to hunt turkey until he ...
7/10/14
A: Allowing the original draw to stand was a difficult decision.  It was Director Moore's decision to make and he explains why in an open letter to Idaho Sportsmen.  Click here to read the letter:  http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/specialDraw/    
7/9/14
A: Wild spring Chinook salmon are not included in the calculated harvest share for the various river reaches around Idaho because they are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.  We can only set seasons and harvest shares for hatchery-produced Chinook salmon. In areas where the wild ...
7/8/14
A: Ducks are typically banded every year.  As a member of the Pacific Flyway, Idaho has an obligation to band mallards to inform the Western Mallard model, which helps to determine waterfowl seasons.  As a result, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) staff band ducks, with an emphasis on mallards ...
7/8/14
A: Yes.
7/7/14
A: We're talking "apples and oranges" when you mix the total number of Chinook coming over Bonneville Dam and Lower Granite with the angler sport harvest on the South Fork Salmon River. First, lets talk about the numbers of fish coming over the dams.  These numbers represent a mixture of fish ...
7/7/14
A: Director Moore feels that Fish and Game failed to clearly communicate eligbility requirements for the first Controlled Hunt draw causing much confusion among applicants.  The information was included in three places in the 2014 Big Game Rules brochure, but there were other sections where it could ...
7/7/14
A: Those who have drawn a 2014 super hunt tag in the first drawing held in June have been notified. Thank you.
7/7/14
A: Free Fishing Day only allows a person who can possess a valid license to fish on that day without a license or a salmon permit.  All other rules dealing with daily bag and possession limits, gear restrictions, etc. are still in effect. Even though, you weren't required to record the adult salmon ...
7/6/14
A: Fall Chinook have been stocked in Deadwood Reservoir for many years to help control an over-population of kokanee.   You typically need down-riggers in the summer to fish at a depth of 20+' with flashy type lures that mimic an injured fish.  Call our Nampa Regional Office at 465-8465 and ask for ...
7/5/14
A: What you've heard is a fish-story.  Only a salmon permit can be used to fish for and keep Chinook salmon from the Boise River. Don't throw away your steelhead permit you bought this spring.  If we stock steelhead in the Boise River around Thanksgiving time, it will be good for those stocked fish.
7/5/14
A: Yes, there are no "free-bees."  You will need to buy and possess in the field a senior license.  If you can prove you've been a resident of Idaho for at least 5 years, it only costs $5.
7/5/14
A: Every 3-years, we go to the public and solicit suggestions for changes to our fishing rules - and that process will begin in January 2015.  This will be for new fishing rules that cover the time period of January 1, 2016 through December 30, 2018.  Contact the Regional Fisheries Manager in our ...
7/5/14
A: Benjamin, Living with Wildlife in our backyards can be frustrating especially when they start helping themselves to the "fruits" of our labors.  I would encourage you to contact your local Regional Office to determine who is your local Conservation Officer or Landowner Sportsman Coordinator to ...
7/5/14
A: The best thing to use is moline.  It's a tough mesh material that holds the tuna (and other secret ingredients).  Cut the moline into 3" by 3" squares, lay-in your bait, and gather the four corners.  Tie the top of the ball off with thread or a fine string using a couple of half-knots to secure ...
7/5/14
A: Controlled hunt tags must be picked up by the end of the day on August 1, 2014.
7/5/14
A: You're friend was likely referring to Swauger Lake in the Little Lost River drainage. Swauger Lake is located on the other side of the Little Lost drainage from Sawmill Canyon, in the Dry Creek watershed. The trail to Swauger Lake starts from Long Lost Creek. The current regulations in Swauger ...
7/5/14
A: Yes.  If there are more applicants on an application than permits available in a given hunt, then the application cannot draw.
7/3/14
A: Please refer to Idaho Waterfowl and Seasons and Rules book.  You may affix the stamp to your license, however, please remember that stamp is good into the new year so remember to keep your old license with stamp attached until the end of the season. Stamps and Validations:• Federal Migratory Bird ...
7/3/14
A: This year the resident general season elk tags went on sale June 25th. We make most of the resident general season tags available when the controlled hunt results are posted to the license system. That means the date can change every year depending on when the controlled hunt drawing is completed ...
7/2/14
A: In January of 2007 this went through public scoping and the commission adopted the recommendation as follows. No person shall take big game animals with any electronic device attached to, or incorporated in, the firearm (including handguns andshotguns) or scope; except scopes containing battery ...
7/2/14
A: It's roughly 1,200 fish in 2014.  This is based on the projected number of hatchery Chinook that are returning to Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth hatcheries.  We subtract the number of adult fish needed for brood stock and divide what's left between tribal and nontribal anglers.  The run coming back to ...
7/2/14
A: The parental consent is required for individuals less than eighteen (18) years of age, for use of the online Hunter or Bowhunter Education Course Registration. Anyone under age 18 must bring a signed Parental Acknowledgement Form to their first day or night of the course. Download and print the ...
7/1/14
A: Yes they can - but the question is why?  Idaho offers some of the best and most diverse year-around fishing in the western United States and our season licenses are one of the best values in outdoor recreation.  How about trying a season license and keep track of how many different species of fish ...
7/1/14
A: Yes, this would be legal.  The person transporting the fish can possess one bag limit and your bag limit provided they have the proxy you've filled out and signed verifying the fish are yours.
7/1/14
A: We wish the returning adult Chinook numbers were only influenced by angling.  That would make our jobs much easier.  Truth is, we knew two years ago that the Chinook numbers returning to Pahsimeroi Hatchery would be low in 2014.  PIT tag information collected at Lower Granite Dam in the spring of ...
7/1/14