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 51 - 100 of 138 questions
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A: It's too early to tell.  Counts of Chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam have been below pre-season projections.  We will continue to collect data on the returning fish and if counts show a surplus of fish to our hatchery broodstock needs in the Upper Salmon, we will authorize a season.  At this ...
5/8/13
A: May 22, 2013 Idfg closes clearwater from railroad bridge to cherrylane; other sections stay open for jacks   On Tuesday, May 21, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game closed the lower Clearwater River from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge in Lewiston to the Cherrylane Bridge to all salmon ...
5/22/13
A: Please check the News Releases on our Website for the latest information.  The link is https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/media/?getPage=179.   The most recent information, posted on May 29, 2013 is Salmon fishing to close on part of the lower salmon river Fishing for adult Chinook salmon in ...
5/29/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/2/13
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: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/8/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/10/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/11/13
A: There are no rules that require you to stop legally using two-poles (with a two-pole permit) when you are within one fish of your bag limit. Yes, technically you may exceed your bag limit by hooking two fish at the same time, but, realistically your odds of that happening are extremely low.  If by ...
6/11/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/11/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/11/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/11/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/12/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.  
6/14/13
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Wednesday, June 12, adopted a Chinook salmon fishing season on the South Fork Salmon River to open Friday, July 5. Fishing will be open only Fridays, Saturday and Sundays until further notice. Managers anticipate a shorter fishery on the South Fork because fewer ...
6/15/13
A: Unfortunately, no. The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for ...
6/17/13
A: Many IDFG Regions don't have limits on crappie BUT some waters do have limits.  You can look up the body of water you will be fishing to find out by using the Fishing Planner on our website.  Information about finding and using the fishing planner is copied below: The Fishing Planner is a resource ...
6/17/13
A: It varies based on the projected number of hatchery produced fish returning each year.  In 2013, it was between 450 - 500. F08
6/18/13
A: The most current Chinook salmon season information is posted on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.  Please check this information for the answer for your question about what is open or call the Salmon Hotline (Toll Free): 1-855-287-2702 for information.
6/23/13
A: The Chinook carcass needs to be kept as cool as possible to discourage bacteria growth.  When you are done fishing for the day and your fish is recorded on your Salmon permit, you can:  remove the head and tail provided the skin of the fish remains attached to the flesh including a portion from a ...
6/24/13
A: No, the opener is still the 5th of July.
6/25/13
A: It could be an early-spawning kokanee or it could be a fall Chinook salmon.  Although, fall Chinook are not typically red in color, there are color variations that have a dark red hue. F08
7/4/13
A: Game Fish: Brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake (Mackinaw), rainbow (including steelhead), splake and Sunapee trout; trout hybrids; Chinook, coho, Atlantic, and kokanee (blueback) salmon; grayling; whitefish; cisco; crappie; perch; bass; catfish; bullhead; sunfish; sturgeon; northern pike; ...
7/26/13
A: No, there is no fall Chinook season scheduled for the Upper Salmon River, however, the very lower end of the Salmon River will have a fall Chinook season. Fall Chinook typically don't run far up the Salmon River.  Most only venture no more than 15 miles from the confluence with the Snake River. ...
7/31/13
A: We offered the opportunity to harvest salmon in Clearwater drainage because we have several sources to back-fill any shortages of hatchery fish from hatcheries like Dworshak, Kooskia, Rapid River, and Oxbow.  We don't have the same number of hatcheries to back-fill shortages of fish in the upper ...
8/19/13
A: Ok, if the Idaho Fish and Game Commission sets a season for ocean-going Chinook salmon, Chinook that are over 24" in length and missing their adipose fin are considered "adults" and must be recorded on your Salmon Permit.  Ocean-going Chinook under 24" are considered a jack salmon and you may or ...
8/22/13
A: There are no set fishing hours for steelhead, so you could fish 24 hours per day.  The only species of fish with set fishing hours are anadromous Chinook Salmon.  Check annually for Chinook seasons, usually set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in March or April, for the listed fishing hours.
8/25/13
A: The proportion of wild fall Chinook that returned to the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater systems was a "good news/bad news" story.  The "good news" was we had a record fall Chinook return to Idaho.  More "good news" was a large portion of the fish were wild.  The "bad news" was that we didn't have ...
9/21/13
A: It's nice to have such a great return of fall Chinook to the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in 2013.  Unfortunately, the season will not be extended past October 31st due to agreements in-place with other management entities.   The only exception to the October 31st closure is the area immediately ...
9/26/13
A: As long as you exercise caution when handling the fish and don't cause mortality, you can take a picture with your fall Chinook before releasing.   F08
10/14/13
A: Anadromous (ocean-going) salmon seasons are set annually at the March or April Commission meeting.  Watch the for the agenda on the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game website.  There are a number of variables that affect when we open salmon season, every year.  River flows, timing of fish passing ...
12/16/13
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: We've stocked fall Chinook salmon in several waters around the state including Lake Coeur d'Alene, Deadwood and Anderson Ranch reservoirs in the southern part of the state.    Typically, fall Chinook are used as predatory species in waters over-populated with kokanee.   F08
2/7/14
A: The meetings currently being advertised are for the salmon fishery in the Clearwater, Snake River and Salmon River below Shorts Bar (Riggins).  These are all early-run hatchery fish stocked throughout the lower river area with most headed to Hells Canyon Dam and the Little Salmon River.  Fish ...
2/18/14
A: We don't clip the adipose fin on hatchery produced rainbow trout unless they are part of a research project. We do clip the adipose fin on hatchery produced anadromous (ocean-going) salmon and steelhead raised in our hatchery system.  This is so anglers can distinguish them from wild chinook and ...
2/21/14
A: Thanks for your interest in Idaho steelhead and the trapping data at our hatcheries. For the past two years we have been able to provide an automated daily update from each of our hatcheries from a centralized IDFG database. In the last year we have been in the process of transferring our database ...
3/7/14
A: No other permit is required.  More information: Spear Fishing in IdahoArchery and Spear Fishing is defined as: Fishing with a bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding firearms. This type of fishing is permitted only in the taking of bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish and ...
3/17/14
A: Assuming you are interested in using a bow or spear to catch fish; here are the details: Spear Fishing in Idaho You must have an Idaho fishing license if you are 14 or over. Archery and Spear Fishing is defined as: Fishing with a bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding ...
3/18/14
A: The rules pertaining to land-locked Chinook Salmon as well as Deadwood Reservoir and tributaries are found on page 22-23 of the rules brochure.  For IDFG regulation purposes, land-locked Chinook Salmon are considered "trout".  You do not need a salmon permit to fish for or harvest them.  Land- ...
4/9/14
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Your question is one asked by many anglers, especially when counts of salmon at the dams are higher but we have to close harvest in parts of the river. You started to answer the question yourself - more fish will return to the Salmon River basin than the Clearwater River basin this year. As of May ...
5/18/14
A: The data that feed this page are currently not available. We're working with the data provider to get this information online as soon as possible. The page will live here: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/fish/hatchery-returns-chinook  You can find the broodstock goals as well as some ...
5/18/14
A: There are posted signs on the river in the northfork, from near the confluence to the Asahaka bridge. Within that zone fishing from boats is not allowed. Above the bridge to a posted line below the dam is open to boat fishing. Please check the chinook fishing regulations pamphlet for a better ...
5/18/14
A: Tributaries, such as Lolo Creek, are closed to Chinook salmon fishing.  See the top of page 2 of the 2014 Chinook Salmon Seasons & Rules for the Snake, Clearwater, Lochsa, Lower Salmon, and Little Salmon rivers. At the point where the entire flow of Lolo Creek is contained within a defined ...
5/19/14