Ask Fish & Game

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Displaying 1 - 100 of 599 questions
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A: Idaho Code 36-404 (b) states: Class 4: Senior Resident Combination License. Licenses to be issued only to persons over sixty-five (65) years of age who meet the definition of "resident" pursuant to the provisions of section 36-202, Idaho Code. Idaho Code 36-413 (e) states: A lifetime certificate ...
4/27/16
A: Yes, however there are some stipulations and restrictions. The most pertinent are: 1. Hunting is only authorized on public lands that allow shooting and public access/presence. 2. Permit does not authorize hunting on private property; a separate landowner signed permission slip must be obtained. 3 ...
4/27/16
A: Unfortunately, if you are stuck on fly-fishing for coldwater species, you have very few options within that limited distance.  We stock hatchery trout in several nearby waters including Wilson Ponds, Wilson Creek, Duff Lane Pond and Marsing Pond during the cooler and colder portions of the year. ...
4/26/16
A: It's actually best - and easiest to fish when there is no wind.  Given this is Idaho, we all know it's a rare day when the wind isn't blowing to some extent.   Carp are sensitive to vibration and movement on the surface of the water.  For this reason, I like to work down-wind to extend the length ...
4/26/16
A: Hello, The Riverstone Pond is owned by the City of Coeur d'Alene.  Unfortunately, they do not allow public fishing.  We have approached the City to let them know we are willing to stock the pond in exchange for it being opened up to fishing, but they have had concerns about doing this.  We'll ...
4/25/16
A: If you are going for a big crappie, the best time will be in the spring time right before spawning. Crappie typically approach shallow water in spring to spawn when water temperatures are in the low to mid 60-degree range. Depending on the weather, that might be mid-April to late May. The best ...
4/19/16
A: Hello.  Yes, there is a public access to launch a boat on Mirror Lake.  It is located at the north end of the lake at the small resort/campground.  You'll turn off the main road about 0.5 miles before reaching the lake.  I believe there is a sign for the campground and resort.  The campground and ...
4/15/16
A: No. The equipment restrictions you mentioned are only for Big Game. All that is needed is a fishing license and good aim!
4/14/16
A: Thanks for the question, The short answer is no.  Years ago, the Kokanee fishery in Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir (SFCR) was integral to the fishing experience in the reservoir.  In the late 90's we started to see a decline in angler catch rates.  This decline continued to worsen over the next 5-7 ...
4/12/16
A: No they can not fish in idaho without a valid licnese that was purchsed for the individual.
4/10/16
A: Where the Snake River forms the boundary between Idaho and Oregon or Washington only one states license is required. As long as you are in a boat or on the shore of the state from which you hold a license. If you hold an Idaho license license you would not be able to stand in Oregon and fish, just ...
4/9/16
A: Silver Lake is a private water. We have little to do with its management, though we have some oversight responsibility regarding fish stocking and importation. We certainly do not stock it currently (we do not stock waters inaccessible to the public) and there are no records of it being stocked by ...
4/4/16
A: Based on my own personal experience, I would recommend smallish in-line spinners. Common brands include blue fox or mepps. Personally, I have caught trout on silver or blue and silver, blue fox spinners in size one to three. Alternatively, you might want to try small (2-3.5") "stick" baits. Common ...
3/30/16
A: No live swimming bait is legal for use while fishing in Idaho waters.  Non-swimming live bait like worms, nightcrawlers, fly larve (maggots), wax worms, etc. are allowed to be used while fishing.  Live crayfish can only be used for bait if they were captured from the water in which you are fishing ...
3/29/16
A: To whom it concerns, We appreciate your recommendation to stock Trout in Milner Reservoir; however, water temperatures are typically unsuitable for rainbow trout survival in the Milner Reservoir pool. Stocked trout that pass through the Minidoka Dam do not persist much downstream.  We have ...
3/24/16
A: Thank you for your question. Yes, you may take a picture of your license and store it on your mobile device as proof of having a license. We do not have any plans to build an app for licensing. However, we do have a mobile optimized website and those who purchase their license via a mobile device ...
3/15/16
A: There is a difference between the Steelhead Permit and the 3-day Salmon/Steelhead.   The 3-day Salmon/Steelhead is a 3-day Fishing License with a Salmon Permit and a Steelhead Permit.   The Steelhead Permit cannot be purchased unless you have a Nonresident Fishing LIcense.  As of the date this ...
3/15/16
A: Unfortunately our Fishing Planner, which houses, our map center is temporarily unavailable. In the interim, please see the "Fishing" tab on our website. From this page you can find our Family Fishing Waters section, our Angler Guide section, fish stocking and much more. Some of the secions contain ...
2/24/16
A: Please check out the interactive map center on the IDFG website for a detailed map.  After you open the map center, zoom to the area you are interested in.  On the upper left hand side, select turn layers on/off. Scroll down throught the selections and turn on land management status.  This will ...
2/23/16
A: Dear Mr. Arnett, Yes, there are trout in Upper Clover Creek, King Hill Creek, and Salmon Falls Creek upstream from Lily Grade.  These trout are native Redband Trout. They are relatively small and typically look slightly different than your standard hatchery Rainbow Trout. They typically have more ...
2/23/16
A: Yes, it is legal to use artificial lights for the purposes of fishing in Idaho.
2/22/16
A: Hi there, thanks for your question. Its great to hear that you are excited about steelhead fishing. Drift boats are a great way to chase these fantastic fish. Your options will be limited to your skills on the oars and where steelhead can currently be found. At this time of year (late winter), you ...
2/15/16
A: Greetings, thanks for your question. The mesh size requirements for fish screen is really dependent on several factors. The design of the outflow (pipe vs drain etc), the size of fish you want to screen, and the water flow through the screen make a big difference in the mesh size needed. We need  ...
2/11/16
A: River conditions are constantly changing, especially this time of year. There are a couple of different ways to get information on current river conditions: 1.) There are numerous stream flow gauges throughout the upper Salmon River basin that are operated by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and ...
2/11/16
A: Let's look at the economics of the various license options.  You could buy a Nonresident Fishing license ($98.25) and a Nonresident Steelhead permit ($25.75) and fish all year for steelhead in Idaho.  It would also give you the latitude to return in the fall and fish for steelhead at no additional ...
2/10/16
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: Yes, you may use game fish parts for bait (no live fish may be used except for crawfish that are caught in on the waters being fished)  Good Luck fishing
2/5/16
A: Ground squirrels (sometimes called "whistle pigs") in southern Ada County are predominately the type called "Piute ground squirrel."  This species is considered to be Unprotected Wildlife in Idaho Administrative Code (IDAPA 13.01.06).  IDAPA 13.01.06, Section 300.03 states: "Those species of ...
2/4/16
A: "Take" is defined in statute (Idaho Code 36-202(i)). ""Take" means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, shoot, fish, seine, trap, kill, or possess or any attempt to so do."  http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title36/T36CH2SECT36-202.htm    
2/3/16
A: In the late winter and spring, steelhead can be found in the upper sections of most rivers open to steelhead fishing. This is usually February - April, but check the closure dates. In February-April, steelhead will be found in the Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Salmon River near Riggins, and ...
2/2/16
A: Yes, page 14 in the fishing regulations only restricts fishing to single point barbless hooks while fishing for salmon and steelhead.  Barbed hooks are allowed while fishing for trout, although cutthroat are catch and release only; and if you caught a salmon or steelhead while using a barbed hook ...
1/31/16
A: Yes, as per Page 50 of the fishing regulations, "When fishing waters listed --electric motors only-- gas (internal combustion) motors may be attached to the boat; but use of the gas motor is prohibited.  Good Luck fishing
1/31/16
A: Your question is interesting and timely. Sunapee (which are a type of char and related to lake trout, brook trout and bull trout) were stocked in several lakes in the Sawtooths over 50 years ago.  Over the years we've had anglers catch Sunapee and bring them to our offices for identification.  We ...
1/30/16
A: The access sites along the Clearwater River east of Lewiston are mainly to provide boating and fishing access.  Be aware that all hunting is closed in the Lewiston Preserve, from Lewiston east to the railroad bridge at Spaulding. The Nez Perce National Historical Park in Nez Perce County is also ...
1/27/16
A: Yes, we have considered many options for how we operate the steelhead trapping and translocation program as it seems to receive an inordinate amount of scrutiny. For Idaho's share, we try to find a balance between meeting broodstock needs, and providing harvest opportunity downstream of Hells ...
1/22/16
A: Hello, thank you for your question about yellow perch.  Lost Valley Reservoir is managed as a coldwater trout fishery. Yellow Perch can be a problem for producing quality trout fishing, especially when the become overabundant and small.  Idaho Fish and Game does salvage fish in some cases. But, ...
1/14/16
A: Depends on if there is ice on the Bruneau Arm of C.J. Strike.  Ice fishing for rainbow trout and perch can be very good if you have the equipment and know where the underwater fish habitat structures are located. If there is no ice on the reservoir, fishing can be slow this time of year on C.J. ...
1/13/16
A: We are glad to hear that you and your son enjoy spending time hunting and fishing together. We appreciate your passing on the hunting and fishing legacy to your kids. Currently there is not an option for a junior/senior/DAV sportsmans package. This is something that has been discussed as part of  ...
1/13/16
A: We would need to change the dates before the dates on the current license expire.  A new license would need to be issued with the new dates.  This can be done at no cost.
1/11/16
A: Hello,  Steelhead fishing is probably best in October-November and again in March-April. While steelhead can be caught in the winter between December and February, catch rates are usually much lower until water temperatures come back up.  In the fall, steelhead fishing usually first picks up in ...
12/23/15
A: Thanks for your question about the upcoming changes to the trout possession limit. When the new fishing rules take effect in 2016, anglers will be able to have 3 daily bag limits in possession, whereas before it was just one. This usually meant fisherman traveling for the weekend or on vacation ...
12/10/15
A: The senior license rates do not take effect until the day you actually turn age 65.
12/7/15
A: Another 150 steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Thursday, November 19, the last of two planned stocking efforts prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.  In years past, as many as 900 steelhead made the road trip from Hells Canyon Dam to the Boise River, but this year's below-average ...
11/18/15
A: If you have access to a boat, try fishing flats east of Gotts Point in 10-20 feet of water. The north shore east of Gotts Point can be good in spring from April-June as catfish move to shallow waters to spawn. The west basin is also a good area. Check the flats along the south shore of the west ...
11/12/15
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: Thread the hook through the main body of the shrimp.  If the shrimp has been frozen or is soft, some people will put a couple of half-hitches of thread around around the shrimp on the hook to hold it in-place.   Most people will use shrimp below a "Sammy" when the river temperatures are cooler in ...
11/6/15
A: Yes, a resident may purchase a fishing license and steelhead permit for a nonresident.
10/27/15
A: You cannot fish for salmon or steelhead with a confirmation.   You are required to have the permit in hand as it must be notched if you harvest a fish.
10/15/15
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: Sorry, we don't have a fishing passport - but it's a really good idea.  The hunting passport is a way to expose people to hunting prior to taking hunter education and making a large time and financial commitment to the sport.  Fishing is different in the fact we don't require any pre-sport ...
9/28/15
A: The Flying B Ranch is one of the most scenic places in Idaho in the fall.  The weather, colors and crisp cool fall mornings make this a sportsmen's mecca. The Middle Fork Salmon River is open to fishing year-around.  The rules require artificial flies and lures only with barbless hooks.  All ...
9/28/15
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: Bass were illegally introduced into Treasureton Reservoir. "Bucket" biologists are a serious problem in Idaho.  They not only effect some our most important fisheries, they endanger native fish in some lake and river systems.  This has a huge impact from a dollars and cents perspective.  Lost ...
9/24/15
A: The Portneuf Wellness Complex is a multi-use 80-acre facility located near the former North Bannock County Fairgrounds. The complex was generously donated to Bannock County by the Portneuf Health Trust to help promote both physical and mental well-being for those who use it. Among the amazing ...
9/20/15
A: There are many reasons that animals are harvested throughout the world.  These reasons fall into some general categories such as for food and clothing, biological reasons (e.g., control disease, overabundance), and social (e.g., protect livestock or crops, to reduce wildlife/automobile collisions ...
9/19/15
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: I want to thank you for taking the time to write about the tag and permit fees paid by those holding senior licenses.  The Department of Fish and Game does not receive any financial support from the state’s general fund. Therefore, the funding for Idaho’s fish and wildlife programs comes solely ...
9/16/15
A: To legally catch or take gamefish from a public water in Idaho you need to have a fishing licenese.  They also need to be taken in a legal manner as defined by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in the 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rules booklet.  This does not include capture by hand or snagging - unless ...
9/12/15
A: Thanks for noticing our Go Fish Idaho! brochure.  It was originally published in 2003 and printed through a partnership with Idaho Power, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game.  We updated and reprinted the document in 2012 - which should be the version seen on our ...
9/7/15
A: The cost of a senior (65+) combination hunting and fishing license for residents is $11.75  A resident for the purposes of this senior discount was changed in 2015 to residing in Idaho for 6-months rather than 5-years.
9/4/15
A: Hello, I can provide answers to your questions.  I listed your questions below with my responses. 1.Are these Kokanee's that were recently stocked at Honeysuckle beach wild or farmed? The kokanee are raised in a Fish and Game fish hatchery and stocked into Hayden Lake every year.  The get stocked ...
9/3/15
A: “It is illegal to fish in any waters of Idaho with more than one handline or pole with a line attached; …..or by archery, spearfishing, snagging, hands and netting except as permitted. “ If you observe a violation I would encourage you to report it to your local Conservation Officer, Sherriff’s ...
9/2/15
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: Tiger Muskie, as you would guess from their name, are agressive predatory fish.  They are effecient eating "machines" that survive well in Idaho lakes.   Sterile (unable to reproduce) Tiger Muskie have been introduced in mountain lakes to remove Brook Trout.  Brook Trout tend to over-populate and ...
8/25/15
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: You will need to provide a statement from the social security administration on their letterhead explaining the individual(s) do not have a social security number. This documentation will need to be provided to an IDFG regional or headquarters office. We can then set up the individual(s) profile ...
8/24/15
A: No, catffish can not be trapped.  Catfish are classified as game fish and can not be trapped.  IDAPA 13.01.11.201.08, and the "Methods of Fishing and Equipment" section of the fishing rule book explains the trapping and seining rules for minnows and crayfish. Only minnows of unprotected nongame ...
8/19/15
A: Greetings,  When it comes to transporting fish, there are some specific (but often overlooked) rules to keep in mind. Your question is very good, as it addresses a gray area when interpreting the head/tail rule for transporting fish. The intention of the rule is for the fish to remain whole while ...
8/12/15
A: Hello, thanks for your question about using live bait.  The IDFG rules prohibiting using live fish for bait is a cautious approach for reducing the risk of introducing unwanted species. No LIVE bait fish is relatively easy to enforce. Allowing even capture and use of live fish where one is fishing ...
8/11/15
A: Hello,  Thanks for your question about Pacific Press Pond. The pond is primarily a bass and bluegill pond, but may have other species of sunfish like pumpkinseed. IDFG does do not know if there are any crayfish in the pond. Soft plastic baits like senkos, worms, and creatures fished with a ...
8/11/15
A: Idaho law is silent on fishing with artificial light, which means it is legal to do so.
8/3/15
A: No. If a hunter draws a super hunt tag, IDFG will issue the tag and mail it to the hunter. The hunter is responsible for purchasing the appropriate hunting or combination hunting and fishing license prior to IDFG issuing the appropriate super hunt tag.
7/29/15
A: If a person draws a super hunt tag, IDFG will issue the tag and mail it to the hunter. The hunter is responsible for purchasing the appropriate hunting or combination hunting and fishing license before we can issue the appropriate tag.
7/28/15
A: Generally speaking, the brown colored Sportmen's Access signs you see driving Idaho roads highlight fishing and/or boating access sites.  Access to hunting areas on private lands are publicized in Access Yes guides available annually in September.     
7/21/15
A: Most mountain lakes in Idaho are stocked on a 3-year rotation unless we've documented natural reproduction at a level that could support sport fishing.  That would mean Skein and Box lakes should be on the planting schedule for this August and September when we stock these lakes from our McCall ...
7/11/15
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: 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: The estimated quota for the South Fork Salmon is changing every day as more fish arrive over Bonneville and Lower Granite dams. The current estimate is that the quota will be in the range of 1,000-1,500 salmon. Much of the run is still migrating up through the lower river system, so estimating the ...
6/16/15
A: As of the first week of June, salmon fishing was very good.  Anglers were averaging less than 10 hours per fish.  Over 2,100 fish have been harvested from the Little Salmon River as of 6/7.    
6/7/15
A: You can use dead loach for bait when fishing for catfish, however, live crayfish are the only live bait that can be used, and they must be used on the water where they were collected.  See the following text on page 50 of the current fishing seasons and rules: "Note: Use of live fish, leeches, ...
5/26/15
A: Yes, you need a fishing license to harass, bait, attempt to take, etc. any fish in public waters in Idaho.
5/25/15
A: The Super Hunt program is about generating money, specifically for the Access Yes! Program, which compensates landowners across the state to open up their private property to hunting, fish and wildlife dependent recreation. The Super Hunt is a raffle and is open to anyone wishing to participate.  ...
5/7/15
A: Thanks for your question on Lake Lowell!  The "General" bass rules for the Southwest Region do in fact state 6 bass per day, 12-inch minimum. However, Lake Lowell falls under the "special rule waters" which are listed separately (page 23 of the rules book). These waters have their own rules that ...
5/7/15
A: Unfortunately, this will be another bleak year for Paddock Reservoir. With little to no snowpack remaining in the Paddock drainage and the unusually warm and dry spring; there is no chance of the reservoir filling.  We just hope enough water will remain in the deepest part of the reservoir for a ...
5/5/15
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: 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: Even though crawfish are a "game fish" in Idaho, the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game does not track population numbers or trends for crawfish.  With that said, we are unaware of any populations of crawfish being over-exploited in Idaho. There are many areas where you can set traps for crayfish in the ...
4/26/15
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: One thing you need to know is once steelhead leave saltwater and move to freshwater they can no longer utilize/digest food.  With that said, they still seem to have a feeding instinct and will still strike at baits or other fish but have no way to convert that food into body sustinance. In the ...
3/23/15
A: Definitely, it's acceptable to mash the barb and use the hook while fishing in a "barbless only" water.  I have a two-sided tackle box.  On one side I keep all my barbless gear.  On the other is all the barbed equipment. When you mash the barb down, the best way to test is to run the hook through ...
3/5/15
A:   Provided you are on the water and your boat isn't tied to the Oregon shore while you are fishing - all you need is an Idaho fishing license.  Idaho has a reciprocical agreement with Oregon stating we recognize these reservoirs as being jointly managed and for the benefit of Idaho and Oregon's ...
3/4/15
A: If your son has completed all the necessary requirements and is certified in hunter education, but he has never purchased a hunting license in any state before, Idaho's Hunting Passport is a great option.  If he has purchased a license before in any state, he is ineligible to purchase a Hunting ...
2/27/15
A: Thanks for your interest in fishing around Menan.  The Butte Slough is not a waterbody we have sampeld before, so we have no information on what's in there.  I would guess that some fish are present, though.  My best guess would be that there are some chubs and minnnows in there, but possibly ...
2/23/15
A: Before we can effectively answer this question, we need more specific information.  Are we talking about a specific species of fish or an invasive crayfish?  We also need to know what body of water you would be fishing and what the final disposition of the fish/wildlife.  For instance, if we are ...
2/23/15
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: Idaho is considered a progressive and influential state when it comes to fish and wildlife management but unfortunately, we only have authority to authorize and manage fishing and hunting privileges within the boundaries of Idaho.  Owyhee Reservoir is well inside the State of Oregon and they ...
2/18/15
A: In most years, the dates you selected would align with a peak in steelhead movement up the South Fork Clearwater River.  However, the warmer weather we are experiencing this winter has got the steelhead moving early.  In fact, based on the number of PIT tagged steelhead we are detecting moving up ...
2/18/15
A: Outfitters for fishing and hunting are confined to specific locations and often specific species. Without knowing where and what species you want to catch - we can't give you a good answer. What we can tell you is to visit the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Boards webpage http://oglb.idaho. ...
2/4/15
A: I'm not sure what document you're referring to, but let me give you some background on bull trout/Dolly varden in Idaho and how the name has changed over time - at least in Idaho. "Bull trout/Dolly varden" are members of the Salmonidae family.  They are native to Idaho and have actually been ...
1/30/15
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting in Pocatello in July.  The public hearing is planned for the evening of July 8 followed by the meeting the following day.  Members of the public are encouraged to testify before the Commission on all matters relating to fish and ...
1/29/15