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 1 - 50 of 546 questions
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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
A: Daily bag limits can be found on page 45 of our 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rules booklet. In 2014, we did an emergency bag limit reduction be cause we were going to be short of brood fish returning to Dworshak and Clearwater Fish Hatcheries. That's probably where the confusion started. 2015 will be a ...
1/28/15
A: That depends.  If you're a nonresident and already have a fishing license, the two-pole permit is an additional $15.50. If you're a licensed resident, the two-pole is $13.75. These prices are as of January, 2015 and are subject to change.
1/16/15
A: Idaho's license fees are set by legislation. The two licenses (3 Day Salmon/Steelhead and the Daily Fishing) are different types of licenses and have different fees as per the Idaho Code 36-416. Therefore, the daily fishing license purchased for two days (no steelhead permit) would be the $12.75 ...
1/15/15
A: The lake trout bounty program on Lake Pend Oreille was discontinued in 2013.   Originally, it was funded by Avista Power Company and was intended to assist our agency in restoring/reducing depredation on kokanee by lake trout.  Between the bounty program and selective netting with commercial ...
1/13/15
A: Thanks for your interest in ice fishing Mackay Reservoir.  As you note, the lake does not always freeze completely over, which means there can be thin ice in certain areas, and possibly around the edge.  The reservoir is generally filling during the winter, which means it is increasing in size.  ...
1/11/15
A: The two-pole permit is only available for a calendar year.  While your three-year combination fishing and hunting license is good for three calendar years, the two-pole permit would need renewed each year.  
1/11/15
A: Idaho rules consider a hook as having up to 3 points.  So, when the term "barbless hooks required" is stated in the fish rules, you can use a single, double or treble hook - as long as all points are barbless.  A barbless treble hook is legal to use while fishing the Middle Fork Salmon River. ...
1/11/15
A: As a nonresident you have a choice of several license types depending on how many days and times you will be hunting in Idaho. Here is breakdown of three different options you can choose to purchase to hunt waterfowl in Idaho. Nonresident 3 day small game license. Valid for 3 consecutive days ...
1/9/15
A: The short answer is, "no." Centain species of game fish, which trout are defined in Idaho rule 13.01.11. , can not have the heads and tails removed while in transit.  You also must be able to show how many fish, the length and species of fish you have in possession while in the field. Idaho ...
1/7/15
A: Coyotes are classified as a Predator which means they may be taken in any amount, at any time, and in any manner not prohibited by state or federal law, by holders of the appropriate valid Idaho hunting, trapping, or combination hunting and fishing licenses, provided such taking is not in ...
1/4/15
A: Late in the fall it is possible to see a high proportion of unclipped steelhead in the catch. That's mostly a function of the harvest of fish with clipped adipose fins and not the marking at the hatchery before the fish were released. Most of the hatchery steelhead returning to the Clearwater this ...
1/3/15
A: Idaho Code says: 05. Gaff Hook. It is unlawful to land fish of any species with a gaff hook except through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters which have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species or when landing nongame fish species taken with archery equipment. (3-29-12) ...
1/1/15
A: We have not stocked Tiger Muskies for several years, but some still exist in Lamont and Johnson reservoirs near Preston Idaho. General regulations for using bait apply on both waters.
12/28/14
A: You can purchase the license at any time during the year. We began selling our 2015 licenses on December 1, 2014. The three year license expires on December 31 of the third year. For example if you were to purchase the three year license on January 9, 2015, the license would be valid in January 9 ...
12/28/14
A: Thanks for your interest in ice fishing Henrys Lake.  We extended the season in 2011 to allow for more opportunity for anglers.  Like you, many anglers have expressed a lot of satisfaction with this longer season.  However, there are others who would like to see the rules returned to a more ...
12/27/14
A: Answer:  What happened with the flash floods in the South Fork and Middle Fork Boise River drainages was a unique event that most of us have never experienced before – at least in this river system and our lifetime.  Intense rain on recently burned slopes released mud and debris into what was a ...
12/26/14
A: Yellow trout were indeed again stocked in Sego Prairie Pond. Typically, bright colored fish don't last long in pond environments where they are stocked.  If they aren't caught by anglers, their distinct color makes them more vulnerable to predators such as large birds (pelicans, blue heron, eagles ...
12/23/14
A: IDAPA rule 13.01.11 says, 05. Gaff Hook.   It is unlawful to land fish of any species with a gaff hook except through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters which have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species or when landing nongame fish species taken with archery equipment. ...
12/16/14
A: You can still catch steelhead near Riggins but fishing could be slow.  As water temperatures cool, the fish are less active.  A Sammy and shrimp work well this time of year - especially in the afternoon when the sun is on the water.
12/14/14
A: Thanks for your interest in ice fishing for Northern Pike.  Unforutnately, there are not a lot of opportunities for doing so within a few hours drive of Idaho Falls.  The nearest place you can pursue your activity would likely be Little Payette Lake, near McCall.  I spoke with the fish manager up ...
12/11/14
A: There is no prohibition of the use of lights for fishing in Idaho, thus it is legal. Please ensure that whatever you use for a light source makes it home with you, and does not end up as litter. Josh Royse, Regional Conservation Officer.
12/11/14
A: You can harvest crayfish with just a valid fishing license.  In Idaho, they are considered game fish, so they can be caught whenever a season is open for fishing on that water (even a catch-and-release season).  If you want to use a trap, you can set 5 per licensed angler.  Check the rules for ...
12/9/14
A: Living in the wild is something people probably think about from time-to-time.  However, the reality of such a life often does not match how we would imagine such a life.  Finding food and coping with the weather can be a daunting challenge.  In addition, a number of rules and regulations apply to ...
12/8/14