Ask Fish & Game

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.
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Previously answered questions are posted here.

Displaying 101 - 154 of 154 questions
Question Askedsort descending
A: Based on input from hundreds of anglers, Chinook Salmon harvest quotas were set up for different river reaches in the Clearwater River drainage.  These harvest quotas were set up to insure that communities located across the drainage would have fair opportunities to fish for salmon.  For the lower ...
5/22/14
A: You can use up to 5 barbless hooks per line while fishing for salmon or steelhead.   That probably won't work in the Little Salmon River for Chinook fishing but you might be able to utilize extra hooks while trolling for steelhead.
6/2/14
A: The Upper Salmon and South Fork Salmon chinook fisheries opened on June 21.  Harvest updates will be posted on the IDFG website here http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=114 as they are available.  
6/4/14
A: The reason we haven't been posting trap return numbers for Rapid River has to do with modernization of our website and conversion of website tools in our old format to a new format.  Sounds simple, right?  We presently have the numbers posted on our website and fisheries staff are manually ...
6/5/14
A: I measured a Gamakatsu 3/0 octopus hook and its gap width is just under 5/8ths inch, thus can be used for salmon and steelhead fishing. A 4/0 would have a gap that is greater than 5/8ths inch. The measurements listed here are specific to Gamakatsu octopus hooks. A different brand or different ...
6/9/14
A: Because the Chinook seasons are modified frequently to allow as much angler opportunty as possible, a season map would be outdated very quickly.  However, the Interactive Season Map available at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingplanner/chinook includes a visual map of current river ...
6/11/14
A: As of this morning (6/18) the estimated harvestable sport-angling share is 780 adults.  This is based on the PIT data which generated a population estimate at Bonneville Dam.  As more PIT tagged fish are detected at Lower Granite Dam (upper-most dam where Salmon River fish are monitored) the quota ...
6/16/14
A: We will probably stock fall Chinook in Deadwood Reservoir again this year to help reduce the kokanee population, but we probably won't stock Anderson Ranch with fall Chinook.  Anderson Ranch was drawn-down this past winter and we know kokanee went through the dam.  Until we have a better idea of ...
6/18/14
A: You need to have a receipt when you buy salmon from tribal members because this is your only way to legally demonstrate the origin of the fish.  With no receipt, we assume the salmon were harvested in the fishery and must be legally recorded on your salmon permit.  The burden of proof is on you - ...
6/25/14
A: As of late June 2014, the quota for the upper Salmon River Chinook fishery is roughly 755 salmon harvested. Keep in-mind, this fishery is comprised of salmon returning to Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth hatcheries.  The fishery area downstream of the Pahsimeroi river could close earlier than the area ...
6/25/14
A: For jacks - yes.  For adult Chinook, the answer is no.  Sorry
6/26/14
A: We've reached the harvest quota on fish headed to Rapid River Fish Hatchery.  From keeping the river reach from the mouth of Rapid River to Pollock open for fishing in the past, we've discovered that many fish headed to Rapid River go past the river and are harvested in the Little Salmon River ...
6/26/14
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: 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
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The distribution of fall Chinook salmon in Idaho is very different than that of spring/summer Chinook and steelhead. Fall Chinook are found only in the Snake River downstream of Hells Canyon Dam and the lower portions of the Clearwater River. A few do venture a short distance up the Salmon River ...
9/6/14
A: If you are referring to fall Chinook, you will see a record run of fall Chinook in Idaho in 2014.  Fall Chinook have recently arrived at Bonneville Dam in record numbers - but they are about two weeks later than expected.  That same surge of fish are moving up the Columbia River and many are ...
9/11/14
A: Yes, some of the chinook from Coeur d'Alene Lake spawn in the St. Joe River, though the majority spawn in the Coeur d'Alene River.  The fish in the St. Joe typically spawn in the first large riffles above the slackwater, from St. Joe City to Calder.  Now is the time to see them.  In recent years, ...
10/5/14
A: In 2014, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game was directly involved in the stocking of over 32,000,000 fish!  Fish species stocked include both native and non-native trout/salmon species (Rainbow Trout, Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout, etc.) as well as non-native cool- and warm-water species (like ...
1/12/15
A: Fall Chinook were stocked in Anderson Ranch Reservoir two years ago.  They are used as a management tool to reduce kokanee numbers to prevent size stunting from over-population.  In reservoirs like Deadwood and Lake Coeur d'Alene where they also feed on kokanee, fall Chinook will achieve ~30" and ...
1/21/15
A: Your question is very broad and there are well over 100 papers out there on trout to draw on so generalizing is difficult.    Under most conditions,  Catch-and-release mortality or “hooking mortality” of trout is thought to be relatively low in most instances.   There are a number of summary ...
2/23/15
A: Yes there is.  Our latest estimate is for 14,073 adult hatchery-produced Chinook salmon passing Lower Granite Dam and headed to the Clearwater River system.  A total of 5,452 are headed to Dworshak Hatchery; 2,247 adults to Kooskia; and the remainer are headed to Clearwater River tributaries where ...
3/11/15
A: The rules that were approved by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Commission:  Clearwater River Basin - Daily Limit: 4 fish only 1 of which may be an adult except in the South Fork Clearwater River where 2 adults can be harvested.  Fishing will occur 7 days a week.  No river section closures, ...
4/1/15
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 ...
4/30/15
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: 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.
5/7/15
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 ...
5/8/15
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 ...
5/31/15
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.
6/1/15
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.
6/2/15
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 ...
6/17/15
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 ...
6/19/15
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 ...
6/25/15
A: The short answer is yes.  Idaho Department of Fish and Game has a long history of monitoring chinook salmon returns to the Middle Fork Salmon River and its tributaries.  In 2014 we estimated 2,607 wild chinook salmon spawned in the Middle Fork Salmon drainage. The longer answer is  standardized ...
7/27/15
A: Yes, you found our mistake in that news release. Coho do produce jacks, males that mature and return after only one year in the ocean, just like Chinook salmon. What was meant is that coho returns to the Snake River are difficult to predict because we don't have a lot of years of returns to use in ...
8/14/15
A: I hope you didn't have a wager with your friend.  Fall Chinook Salmon have been stocked numerous times over the years in Anderson Ranch Reservoir as a management tool to control/reduce Kokanee Salmon numbers so they grow at an optimum size to provide a quality fishery.  Fall Chinook forage in the ...
8/24/15
A: Very good question. When we write the rule pamphlets we often don't take into account how they may effect other species and fishing opportunities.  To answer your question, I went to the Administrative Rules section of Idaho Code. For Steelhead, when you reach your daily bag limit, you only need ...
8/29/15
A: I wouldn't rule-out fall Chinook being stocked in Lucky Peak Reservoir because it's a fish management tool we often use on other bodies of water to control Kokanee populations.  The difference with Lucky Peak Reservoir is there is very little natural Kokanee reproduction that occurs in tributaries ...
9/12/15
A: Hi there Vaugh, The Yankee Fork is home to several species of fish, including Chinook Salmon, Steelead, Bull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Mountain Whitefish. At this time, the populations of salmon and steelhead are very low and no fishing is allowed for those species. Bull Trout and ...
9/18/15
A: There are a number of variables that effect when salmon and steelhead arrive in the Stanley Basin.  Flow, temperature and downstream fish passage conditions are the most common environmental conditions that can alter arrival by 2 - 3 weeks. The Stanley area has both spring and summer run Chinook ...
9/24/15
A: The salmon in Anderson Ranch Reservoir are landlocked fall Chinook that were stocked in the reservoir to help reduce the number of kokanee salmon.  In Idaho rules, landlocked salmon are considered in the trout bag limit and all rules for catching trout also apply to fall Chinook in Anderson Ranch ...
10/9/15
A: In Idaho we require seperate permits to fish for steelhead and salmon.  So, the Steelhead permit is good for fishing in the spring and fall steelhead seasons.  You need to record all steelhead caught and kept over 20" in length on your permit.  The Salmon permit is good for fishing in the spring ...
11/9/15
A: There have been a few fall Chinook that have passed out of Anderson Ranch Reservoir and  caught downstream in Arrowrock Reservoir.  However, the fish in your picture are not fall Chinook or coho.  The fish in the bottom of the picture is clearly a rainbow trout while the upper fish appears to be a ...
2/7/16
A: Landlocked fall Chinook are placed in reservoirs like Lucky Peak, Deadwood and Anderson Ranch to control/prey upon kokanee salmon.  They are a fish management tool we use to adjust the number of kokanee to prevent over-population - which results in stunting due to lack of food.  Consequently, you ...
2/15/16