Ask Fish & Game

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.
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  • Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.
  • Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered-on" date.

Previously answered questions are posted here.

Displaying 1 - 100 of 580 questions
Question Askedsort descending
A: You need good knowledge of fish and wildlife management practices and be a great listener and communicator. Competitive candidates have a bachelor's degree in wildlife or fisheries management or closely related fields. You must also be able to relate to our customers, primarily anglers and hunters ...
4/2/12
A: Free Fishing Day in Idaho is the 2nd Saturday of June.  In 2012 that is June 9.  The exact date for 2013 will be available when new Fishing Rules books are printed this fall.
4/4/12
A: The list of game fish (copied below) is found in the Fishing Rules Book.   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; ...
4/7/12
A: Nonresidents can purchase a "daily" fishing license; the first day costs $12.75 and each additional day is $6.00.  You can purchase it at any vendor. If you are interested in Chinook salmon fishing, you can purchase a 3-day salmon/steelhead license.  This includes a fishing license and steelhead/ ...
4/9/12
A: The North and South forks of the Snake River are open to fishing during the 4/27 – 30 period.  All the tributaries to these rivers are closed.  The area near Coffee Pot will be catch-and-release fishing, only.
4/22/12
A: Steelhead are rainbow trout longer than 20 inches in length in the Snake River drainage below Hells Canyon Dam, the Salmon River drainage (excluding lakes and the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers), and the Clearwater River drainage (excluding that portion above Dworshak Dam and lakes).   Rainbow trout ...
4/23/12
A: At the present time, cutthroat trout are considered part of the “trout” bag limit in most of the state.  This means you can catch and harvest 6 cutthroat trout per day over most of Idaho.  The Magic Valley, Southeast, and Upper Snake restrict cutthroat harvest in rivers and streams to 2 cutthroat ...
4/23/12
A: You can do it through the mail or at an Idaho fishing license vendor.  If you choose to do it by mail, please contact Idaho Fish and Game for a lost license affidavit.  Their number is 208-334-3400.  You can also get a duplicate from any license vendor or Fish and Game office when you come to ...
4/26/12
A: No, it isn't.  It is only valid for Chinook salmon fishing within the state of Idaho.
4/26/12
A: Both are open all year.  The trout limit is 2.
5/5/12
A: We are using a few pike in mountain lakes in south-central Idaho to reduce brook trout numbers, but we really don’t want them to be harvested (some lakes have less than 10 pike stocked).  In the Southwest part of Idaho the best place to find Tiger muskies is Dog Creek Reservoir near Gooding or ...
5/7/12
A: One of the stated goals for the Summit is to have a clear sense of what hunters, anglers, trappers and other wildlife conservationists want from their wildlife management agency.  Director Virgil Moore is expected to explain the dilemma that Fish and Game is facing; legal mandates and public ...
5/10/12
A: Yes, you can.  The link is https://id.outdoorcentral.us/.   
5/22/12
A: No refunds will be made on resident licenses, tags or permits (including receipts issued for prepaid tags). If you are successful, the deer receipt may be redeemed as soon as resident tags go on sale in July.  The deadline for purchase of controlled hunt tags is August 1.   
5/23/12
A: Fishing with a bow and arrow is permitted only in the taking of bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish (such as carp), and only in those waters during the season set for the taking of game fish.  For bow fishing locations in your area, please contact your nearest Idaho Fish and Game office.
5/24/12
A: We hope to have a salmon fishing season on the South Fork Salmon river this year, but we really won't know for certain until June 4.  By then, our fish managers expect to know enough about numbers of fish returning to recommend seasons to the IDFG commission. If the fish begin to show up as ...
5/24/12
A: Yes, it is legal to use gas boats on McArthur Lake, Boundary County.
5/25/12
A: Treaty rights to hunt and fish are held by tribes, not by individual members, and these treaty rights have geographic limitations as to where they apply.   If a member wants to hunt/fish within the scope of her tribes’ treaty rights, the tribe regulates the member’s hunting & fishing.   If a ...
5/26/12
A: What you describe is commonly known as a "bobber."  You can attach as many bobbers/bottles as you want to your line.  You can have two lines out at once with a Two-pole permit.  Without a Two-pole permit, you can only fish with one line.
5/28/12
A: Coeur d'alene Lake is like most other water bodies in that you can use two poles if you purchase a 2-pole permit ($13.75 for residents, $15.50 for non-residents).  This would apply to boat or shore.
5/29/12
A: Idaho Fish and Game is planning a kickoff announcement on June 5 with registration opening soon thereafter.  We encourage all Idahoans who care about wildlife to participate in the Summit either by coming to Boise, going to a one of the regional events or online.  We can send you outreach ...
5/30/12
A: Because the overall return of spring/summer Chinook salmon to Idaho is smaller than orginally anticipated we have deferred making a decsion about the fishery in the Upper Salmon River  while gathering and analyzing PIT tag detection data relevant to  hatchery returns to that area.   It is clear ...
5/30/12
A: The opening date for the South Fork Salmon River will be set by the Fish and Game Commission during a June 11 teleconference.
5/31/12
A: Yes, there will likely be a fishery on the Upper Salmon River in 2012. The returns back to the Sawtooth and Pahsimeroi hatcheries are not as large as originally forecasted and we have defered a decision on what river sections will be open. We are waiting until we have a better sense of the numbers ...
5/31/12
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet via teleconference on June 11 to discuss the proposal for a 2012 Chinook salmon fishery in the South Fork Salmon  South Fork Salmon River. At that time they will set a starting date if they approve a fishery.  
6/4/12
A: There is no restriction on the mesh size for crayfish traps.  Follow the dimensional requirements and you are legal to deploy 5 crayfish traps per fishing license.  If you want to deploy more than 5 traps, you will need to get a Commercial Fishing License for your operation.   The mesh size ...
6/4/12
A: Yes, you can field dress fish by removing the entrails.  You just can’t cut off the any part of the head or tail of a game fish until it gets to your final place of residence. We require the head and tail be left on fish while in transit because a number of waters around the state have minimum or ...
6/4/12
A: Please contact the Panhandle Region office for information.  Their number is 208-769-1414.
6/4/12
A: Most brook trout fishing opportunities within the Magic Valley involve smaller headwater streams.  Places such as upper South Fork Boise River, Upper Littlewood River, Upper Rock Creek (Twin Falls County), Upper Cassia Creek, and various tributaries feeding into the Upper Big Wood River.  All of ...
6/5/12
A: According to our records, we did not know that there were wild trout in Sand Hollow Creek. I certainly didn't know.  A couple of other sampling sites surveyed in this creek during 2001 came up as no fish present.  We appreciate the information. I would like to talk with you on the phone about your ...
6/5/12
A: Yes, there was a thorough study completed in 1982 on the suitability of walleye introductions into all Idaho waters exceeding 100 acres.  The study concluded for the most part that introduction of walleye would lead to establishment of self-sustaining populations in many waters, including CJ ...
6/7/12
A: 1) If you are fishing with your son and hook a fish that you want him to land, you will be legal if you have him reel in his line prior to you handing him your pole.  2) Yes, you can cast out a line for your son and let him hold the pole.  He must be able to retrieve the line, himself.  You would ...
6/7/12
A: Chinook salmon in Lake Coeur d'Alene are not subject to the 5/8 inch shank and the barbless rules of other areas.
6/7/12
A: The schedule for stocking each month is posted online with the Fishing Reports-- the southwest region information is online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/stockingSouthwest.pdf.
6/10/12
A: Yes, there was a thorough study completed in 1982 on the suitability of walleye introductions into all Idaho waters exceeding 100 acres. The study concluded for the most part that introduction of walleye would lead to establishment of self-sustaining populations in many waters, including CJ Strike ...
6/10/12
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Monday, June 11, approved Chinook fishing seasons on the upper Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers. The Chinook fishing season opens June 23 and continues until further notice from Fish and Game. Seasons open June 23 on:   South Fork Salmon, lower - From the ...
6/11/12
A: Unfortunately the Chinook returns are quite a bit smaller than predicted this year.  As such the fishery will be targeting only fish returning to the Sawtooth hatchery.  This year’s commission approved boundaries will be from the posted boundary downstream of the Sawtooth Hatchery (upstream of ...
6/12/12
A: No, you can't. On page 46 of the Fishing Rules Book: Sale of Fish: Fish harvested by anglers cannot be bought or sold without a commercial license except as provided by Idaho Code.
6/12/12
A: The fishing season for Chinook salmon in the Upper salmon River opens on June 23 until firther notice in the section from tthe Highway 75 bridge over the Salmon River about 250 yards upstream of the mouth of the East Fork Salmon River upstream to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the ...
6/13/12
A: Thanks for the question and your interest in this fishery.  Unfortunately there are very few Pahsimeroi fish returning this year and their chance of encounter in this fishery is very small.  Even when the Pahsimeroi  Hatchery Chinook return is robust only a small fraction of the Pahsimeroi stock ...
6/13/12
A: Assuming you mean Oxbow Reservoir (http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingplanner/WaterInfo.aspx?qt=1&ID...) then the western half of the Reservoir is actually in Oregon so no, you cannot fish from land on the Oregon side.  Although the stateline goes down the center of the reservoir you ...
6/13/12
A: From the Boise area, a great place to camp and fish is along the Middle Fork of the Boise River. This area is accessed via Highway 21. Just past the high bridge over Mores Creek, turn right onto the Middle Fork Road and drive past Lucky Peak and Arrowrock Reservoirs. The Middle Fork offers a ...
6/16/12
A: You can see the list of Idaho's Record Fish in the Fishing Rules Book (page 55)
6/16/12
A: Sorry, this access is controlled by the State Park, call for information at 382-6544.    
6/18/12
A: You can use a jug or plastic water bottle as a bobber provided it's attached to a tended line.  Each line can have 5 hooks and you can attach as many bobbers/bottles per line as you would like.
6/18/12
A: Yes, there are fish in Long Tom and Mountain Home reservoirs.  Mountain Home Reservoir is typically stocked with rainbow trout in the early spring.  Fish will survive all year if adiquate water remains in the reservoir over the winter.  If conditions are right, this can be a very nice ice fishery ...
6/19/12
A: Yes, they can.  If they are under 14 they don't need a fishing license but they must fish with someone who does have a fishing license (resident or nonresident).  If they want to keep their catch, it becomes part of the licensed fisherman's limit.
6/20/12
A: The combination lifetime license cost for a 40-year-old is $1,113.00.  Please read the information below for more details.   Resident Lifetime License Certificates   Regardless of your age, purchase of a lifetime license could be the best investment you ever make. Lifetime combination, hunting and ...
6/20/12
A: Idaho Fish and Game doesn't provide search and rescue insurance as part of hunting and fishing licenses.
6/21/12
A: There are many variables that influence time of the run return.  Flow, temperatures, and sediment loading are just three of the factors.  We know concentrations of predator (seals and sea lions) also have some influence on return timing but were not sure how much they delay movement between the ...
6/21/12
A: A treble hook is considered one hook, even though there are 3 points on it.  Be sure that any barbs are bent down to the shank to meet the barbless requirement.
6/23/12
A: IDFG does in fact have a stocking program in Dierkes Lake.  Rainbow trout between 8-10 inches are stocked primarily in the spring when water temperatures are cool enough to provide suitable stocking conditions.  Additionally, the Departement has intermittently stocked channel catfish.  The ...
6/25/12
A: The closest place to Pocatello is Rose ponds near Blackfoot.  
6/25/12
A: Two years ago, fewer salmon smolts were released from Pahsimeroi due to enviromental issues at the hatchery.  PIT tags, which are tags that can be detected a various dams as the smolts migrate downstream and the adults return upstream, indicate the number of adult salmon returning to Pahsimeroi ...
6/25/12
A: Well, To date the harvest is limited but so is the effort. A total of 18 adult Chinook Salmon have been caught and kept through Tuesday but only an average of 12 anglers fished daily and a total of 800 angler hours were fished (about 44 hours per fish kept). While that is not an imperssive harvest ...
6/26/12
A: Idaho residents receiving SSDI qualify for a reduced price hunting and fishing license.  The cost is $5.00.  Tags and permits are not reduced in price, however.  The “hunt from a vehicle” permit is not included in the disabled license; to get this separate permit you must get a doctor’s signature ...
7/1/12
A: Every year we release over one million hatchery steelhead smolts into the South Fork Clearwater River (no hatchery rainbow trout catchables are released into this river).  Two years later, many of these steelhead smolts will return as 12-16 pound steelhead that attract anglers from all over the ...
7/3/12
A: The report of catching catfish in American Falls Reservoir is a little surprising.  We stock channel catfish in the McTucker ponds which flooded last spring and were directly connected to the reservoir.  I am sure some of the catfish moved into the reservoir then.  However, I do not have any ...
7/7/12
A: If you place 5 or fewer traps, you do not need a special permit.  You are, however, required to have a fishing license.
7/7/12
A: There isn't a "special license" required to fish on Redfish Lake.  Each person  14 and older who is fishing must have their own fishing license.  Children under 14 can fish without a license.  
7/12/12
A: The health advisory is still in effect.  Here is what the Panhandle Health District said in their advisory regarding eating fish:   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             July 11, 2012   Contact: For environmental/water quality questions:                  For human health questions: Kristin Keith ...
7/15/12
A: Unfortunately, it is not going to be stocked with Chinook salmon during 2012. Those Chinook stocked in the past few years have originated from hatchery returns to Hells Canyon Dam.  During 2012, returns were insufficient to meet broodstck needs and to provide fish for transferring. However, adult ...
7/18/12
A: indeed there are! 
7/20/12
A: Children can fish without a license until they are 14.  Nonresident children must fish with a license holder; their catch becomes part of the license holder's limit.  Resident children can keep their own limit of fish.
7/22/12
A: Rainbow trout and steelhead are the same genus and species.  Essentially, a steelhead is an ocean-going rainbow trout.  There will be a slight color variation - depending on the time of year, but the only sure-fire way tell a hatchery produced rainbow trout from a steelhead is to check the adipose ...
7/26/12
A: Please contact the Tribal authorities; their website and contact information is http://www.nezperce.org/Main.html.
7/30/12
A: It depends on the region you are fishing in... In the Panhandle Region, Clearwater Region and Salmon regions, the limit on bass is 6 (smallmouth and largemouth) but there is no length limit specified. In The Southwest, Magic Valley, Upper Snake and Southeast regions, the limit is 6 bass ( ...
7/30/12
A: A nonresident season fishing license costs $98.25.  It is valid from date of sale through December 31.  Nonresident juniors (17 or younger) can get a season fishing license for $21.75.
7/31/12
A: The cost of tags is tied to the specific type of license you have.  If you have a senior combination license or a Disabled Veteran's license you can get tags at a reduced rate.  Please contact the Idaho License Department at 208-334-3700 to see what you can do to straighten this out.    
8/2/12
A: Please contact the Regional Fisheries Manager at the Southwest Regional Office via phone 208-465-8465 ext. 301
8/2/12
A: It's easier if I first list the game fish.  They are all the trout species, all the salmon species, grayling, whitefish, cisco, crappie, perch, bass, all catfish/bullheads, sunfish, sturgeon, northern pike, tiger muskie, walleye, sauger, burbot, bullfrogs, and crayfish.  That essentially leaves ...
8/2/12
A:   A blowgun would be a legal method of take for upland game animals (rabbits according to established seasons), forest grouse (according to established seasons), unprotected and predatory wildlife, and bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish (during established game fish seasons only).  A hunting ...
8/4/12
A: Although, bull trout are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as "threatened" anglers can still actively fish for them in Idaho.  Catch-and-release fishing for bull trout can be great sport given the size bull trout can achieve and their aggressive nature.  With that said, before an ...
8/4/12
A: Forage Lake was stocked with golden trout last year as well as 2004 and 2006, so it should have fish in it.  It is possible that they were simply in deeper water and you just weren't able to see them, but usually if fish are in a mountain lake, they're fairly obvious.  It's very possible that some ...
8/5/12
A: General rules apply to the water below the Hayden Lake outlet, so snagging, spearing, and netting are not allowed and limits do apply.  It's relatively uncommon to have so much outflow (like we had this year) that large numbers of fish actually leave the lake through the outlet, so we have not ...
8/6/12
A: Pre-season we predicted that about 118,000 adult soring/summer Chinook salmon would return to the Snake River basin above Lower Granite Dam in 2012. About 80,000 or about 68% of the pre-season forecast actually returned. While Columbia River fisheries may have caught proportionately slightly more ...
8/6/12
A: The tiger muskie plants were part of a fish research project to see if the sterile predators could reduce or eliminate stunted brook trout populations in mnt lakes. The fish wer stocked in 2005 and followed through this summer. They can definately turn a brook trout population around to either ...
8/6/12
A: There is no salvage order on the Blackfoot River... the fishing limits remain for the Blackfoot River as stated in the 2011-2012 fishing rules brochure.   
8/15/12
A: Idaho Fish and Game requires you to have your valid fishing license on your person while fishing and to produce the fishing license upon request.  Idaho Fish and Game does not require you to carry photo identification while in the field fishing.
8/16/12
A:     6 Kokanee is the limit for all waters in the southeast region.
8/20/12
A: Henry's Lake is managed with a two trout limit.  No size restrictions apply but once an angler keeps two fish he may not continue to fish. Brook trout are counted in the two fish limit. 
8/20/12
A: Raccoons are classified as "Unprotected and Predatory Wildlife" under IDAPA (Idaho Code). The specific rule states: Unprotected and Predatory Wildlife. Those species of wildlife classified as Unprotected Wildlife and Predatory Wildlife may be taken in any amount, at any time, and in any manner not ...
8/22/12
A: It is too early to say for sure at this point. Steelhead run size has been lower than expected. If returns to hells canyon increase, steelhead would be stocked beginning the first week of november. A firm answer will be available by oct 15.
8/30/12
A: Licenses may be purchased online (https://id.outdoorcentral.us/) at Fish and Game offices (https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/offices/) or at one of our many license vendors statewide (https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/lookupVendors.cfm)
8/31/12
A: You can catch crayfish as long as the water you are in is open for fishing.  Only 5 crayfish traps may be used with a regular fishing license.  If you use more than 5 traps you must get a Commercial Fishing License from a Fish and Game office.
8/31/12
A: In Idaho, you are allowed up to 5 hooks per line, except where specifically prohibited (Page 44 of the 2011-2012 fishing rules: definition of hook).  A hook is defineds as "a bent wire device, for the catching of fish, to which one, two, or three points may be attached to a single shank.  What ...
9/1/12
A: It is illegal to use dipnets to harvest kokanee in Mores or Grimes Creek. Please refer to page 44 of the fishing rules book. Kokanee in Mores Ck are mostly past the stage of being edible.
9/5/12
A: Catfish usually start to actively feed when the water temperatures begin to warm in the spring.  Water temperatures rising to 50 F and above is the rule of thumb I like to use for catfish fishing.  One of the great things about catfish is, they aren't too picky when in comes to bait.  Anything ...
9/10/12
A: 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.
9/11/12
A: Please check with the Fish and Game office in McCall (634-8137) and the Southwest Region office in Nampa (465-8465).
9/12/12
A: There are several different trespass laws and some different requirements for different situations. Posting is required for some situations, but is not required for cultivated land or fenced land. Posting is not required if the landowner or agent asks the person to leave (see Idaho Code Section 18 ...
9/12/12
A: A number of the lakes in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area have brook trout populations.  You are not finding them when searching in the Southwest Region because they are all on the Stanley side of the Sawtooths and in the Fish and Game Salmon Region. Here is a list of lakes in the Salmon ...
9/13/12
A: There are several different trespass laws and some different requirements for different situations. Posting is required for some situations, but is not required for cultivated land or fenced land. Posting is not required if the landowner or agent asks the person to leave (see Idaho Code Section 18 ...
9/17/12
A: Hello,   McArthur Lake water levels are currently low due to a summer drawdown for management purposes.  The shoreline is very mucky and very difficult to get around.  The water levels aren't yet back up to the boat dock.  However, a few people with small boats which they could drag to the fishing ...
9/21/12
A: You can use a remote controlled boat to fish, provided you have a fishing license, you are fishing during a legal season and using legal bait, and the craft is under direct control of an operator.
9/25/12
A: This is a difficult question to answer because there is no clear definition of "humanely."  Working in the commercial fish industry, we used to put trout in tanks where we pumped carbon dioxide into the water.  After a short period of time the fish tipped over and we ran them through the ...
9/25/12
A: The Eastern Grey Squirrel and Eastern Fox Squirrel (the two most common species of grey squirrels in Idaho are listed as Unprotected nongame animals under Idaho code.  As such, under Idaho code 13.01.06 300.03 they: may be taken in any amount, at any time, and in any manner not prohibited by state ...
9/27/12
A: There used to be a rule that banned the use of lights to fish at night. That rule was dropped years ago. Generally, there are no hour limits to fishing and you can fish all night long. It is actually fairly popular to fish for catfish into the wee hours of the night. . However, there could be some ...
9/27/12
A: There are several different trespass laws and some different requirements for different situations. Posting is required for some situations, but is not required for cultivated land or fenced land. Posting is not required if the landowner or agent asks the person to leave (see Idaho Code Section 18 ...
10/1/12
A: This is such a broad topic that it is hard to answer here.  It was suggested to me that you should go to a local sporting goods store and talk with them about what works well in your area.
10/1/12