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 554 questions
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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
A: The IDFG stocking database on our website is not always up to date. We stocked around 15,000 rainbow trout this year into Elk Creek Reservoir. In the future, we plan to put in bigger (12 inches vs 10 inches) but fewer (13,200) fish.  Based on our research, this should result in similar catch rates ...
12/3/14
A: The phrase "trout limit 0" means catch-and-release only for trout.  You can still catch and keep your limit of whitefish or other game fish species that reside in the water.
12/1/14
A: The Idaho trespass laws are set in statute by the Idaho Legislature. A change to these statutes would require action by the legislature. You should contact your state senator or representative to discuss changes to the trespass statutes. There a number of trespass statutes. The four statutes which ...
11/22/14
A: Hello, I am the Chief of Enforcement for Idaho Department of Fish and Game.  Please contact us so we can send you a packet of information regarding your question.  208-334-3736 For your reference please review Chapter 6, Title 36, Idaho Code.  http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title36/T36. ...
11/22/14
A: Mark, Rules for Fishing Contest are found in IDAPA.  The website is:  http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/2014/13/0105.pdf .  You can also find the application to apply for a fishing tournament on our Idaho Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/fishTournament.pdf . ...
11/19/14
A: That's a great questions and something we've recently identified as a resource need for the website. However, it will take a while to implement and these archival books will not start appearing for some time. To meet your immediate needs, please contact our Fisheries Bureau at (208) 334-3791. The ...
11/16/14
A: Yes, fishing has been good in the Lewiston, Riggins, and Snake River areas.  I was in Salmon, Id. the first week in November and they were picking up a few, fly fishing.  We've had enough steelhead enter the Hells Canyon trap that we relocted 300 to the Boise River for anglers.  Typically, we don' ...
11/8/14
A: Over the years we have received many suggestions from our customers about having the ability to print their license from home. In the spring of 2013 we made a change to our Internet purchase site that now allows hunters and anglers to print their license instead of receiving it in the maile. Per ...
11/3/14
A: If you haven't tried it, I would suggest you go to our Fishing Planner application on our website and check the access feature.  It contains all of the access sites we built or maintain with maps, site features and the types of fish you can expect to catch.  It can be found at: http://fishandgame. ...
10/28/14
A: If you've been a resident of Idaho for 6 months - and have proof; you qualify for a resident fishing license.  If you live out-of-state or still claim residency in another state then you need a nonresident fishing license or short-term (1 - 4 day) fishing license.  If you want to fish for salmon ...
10/23/14
A: The cost of all hunting and fishing licenses are set by the Idaho legislature.  At the present time, we are not recommending any changes to our license fee structure to the 2015 Idaho legislature.
10/19/14
A: The only species of fish we've stocked in Scoop Lake are rainbow trout.  We've heard reports of brook trout also being in that system - which is not surprising considering they been stocked in many locations throughout the White Clouds prior to modern times. Skin pigment varies in fish just like ...
10/17/14
A: You can fish most public waters with a bow for nongame fish like carp and sucker.  There are however exceptions to protect the public - including within City Limits where they have ordinances prohibiting the discharge of weapons and high use areas where an arrow possess a risk if it skips.  Within ...
10/17/14
A: This is a great question and unfortunately, especially with young hunters, it occasionally happens that they have either lost their license, washed it or just simply cannot find it. Although the license number is on the tag, Idaho Code 36-1201(c) requires that your "License must be .......on his ( ...
10/13/14
A: I remember the college days and trying to make ends-meet.  Everything seemed more expensive back then and I really had to scrutenize all purchases to make sure I was getting the most out of my hard-earned money.  Still, when I look back, my hunting and fishing license allowed me recreational ...
10/5/14
A: American Falls Reservoir has a healthy population of smallmouth bass.  Spring fishing is the best.  Fish rocky shorelines and use plugs, rubber worms or poppers for best results.
10/4/14
A: The 1-fish 28" size limit was just for last steelhead season.  Rules and bag limits have reverted back to those posted in the 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rule booklet.
10/1/14
A: There are a number of different governmental entities that maintain and manage public access sites on the Snake River.  Some are managed under partnership agreements between Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game and counties or Bureau of Reclamation, others are county owned and operated.  We publish a ...
9/30/14
A: You can only bow hunt for nongame fish (carp, suckers, tench).  All you need is a current Idaho fishing license.  We have no rules on arrow types, weights or tips.  There are also no rules on bows such as let-off or weight.     Some previously posted answers might help here, but don't quite answer ...
9/28/14
A: I'm not sure we will ever allow fishing for sockeye in Redfish Lake - but I'll bet we have a sockeye season in the Salmon River within the next decade.  With our new Springfield hatchery coming on line with a goal of releasing ~1 millon smolts for migration to the ocean, we are confident we can re ...
9/20/14
A: All conservation officers across the state have very large patrol areas.  They do the best they can to enforce fishing and hunting regulations.  The Department applies more enforcement to Henrys Lake than some other areas because the lake is managed as a trophy fishery.  Some conservation officers ...
9/16/14
A: You can only harvest 2 fish per day from Henrys Lake, period.  Once you reduce that second fish to your possession - you're done fishing at Henrys Lake until the next day.  Even if you eat those two fish, you've reached your daily bag limit of 2 fish and are done fishing. At no time can you ...
9/15/14
A: Hi there. The Bent Rod Outdoors shop (208-879-2500) in Challis is a great source of info for recent fishing reports at some of those lakes. McCoy's Tackle shop (208-774-3377) in Stanley could also probably give you some good reports. Stanley Lake typically gets more pressure in the fall, winter, ...
9/9/14
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: Fishing from public bridges is allowed unless posted as "closed to pedestrian traffic" by the appropriate regulatory body (Idaho Dept. of Transportation, County Commission order, City Ordinance, etc.).  Only the Idaho Fish and Game Commission can designate a public area "open or closed to fishing ...
9/4/14
A: The statutory definition of fishing from Idaho Code 36-202(k) is: "Fishing - any effort made to take, kill, injure, capture, or catch any fish or bullfrog.”  If what you’re doing falls within this definition, and it sounds like it does, then you need to purchase a license and abide by the rules ...
9/3/14
A: No, the quality bass rule only applies to the Lake.  The Lowline Canal is a "general rule" limit of 6 bass with a minimum length of 12" Water will be shut-off to the Lowline Canal in just a few weeks.  There will probably be a salvage order that allows unlimited harvest of game fish, providing you ...
8/30/14
A: We encourage fishing for carp whenever possible.  Look at the liberal harvest rules and seasons we have on carp throughout Idaho.  We've even posted recipies for preparing carp in various Department publications. In the Sun Valley area, there are a group of avid carp anglers that refer to carp ...
8/30/14
A: Hi everybody, I’ve been getting bombarded with questions regarding this year’s Steelhead runs so I figured it is about time I give you all an update.  I’ve been holding off until I had enough information to give you something meaningful.  So here you go. For steelhead there are typically two ...
8/29/14
A: Yes, you can purchase a nonresident hunting/3day fishing license and your bear tag at any vendor location http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/lookupVendors.cfm, on-line at https://id.outdoorcentral.us/ or via telephone at 1-800-554-8685. We also have general season deer and elk tags that ...
8/28/14
A: Yes, you can fish using a rod, reel and lure/bait while under water.  I'm not sure what the advantage would be - but it is legal. We often receive questions about the use of spearguns while diving, to harvest fish.  Only nongame fish can be harvested using archery equipment, spears or mechanisms ...
8/27/14
A: Years ago, we used to fish the Bruce Meadows area and had a "ball" catching cutthroat and brook trout.  IDFG has never stocked brown trout in this area. What I suspect you caught is a bull trout/brook trout hybrid.  They can have the brilliant spots that look similar to a brown trout and have the ...
8/25/14
A: Unless otherwise noted, all streams and lakes are open year-round in Idaho now.  The Kootenai River is open all winter, as is the Moyie.  Both have some very good trout fishing.  There are lots of lakes in the Kootenai drainage as well that offer trout fishing opportunities all year.  Smith, ...
8/24/14
A: Thanks for your interest in fishing Island Park Reservoir.  We recognize that the fishing quality on that reservoir (like many others) fluctuates from year to year, and have been working to stabilize and improve the fishing up there.  Many factors play a role in fishing success, including stocking ...
8/21/14
A: Thanks for your question on the Big Lost River access at the Mine Hill Bridge.  We've been dealing with this particular issue for well over a decade, and have been unable to find documentation that there is a highway easement on the private property that encompasses three of the four corners of ...
8/15/14
A: Unfortunately, no. Construction of the new bridge by Idaho Power Company made no provision for fishing access from the bridge. Signs indicating no fishing are posted at both ends of the bridge.
8/15/14
A: Channel catfish adults were transferred to multiple ponds in Southwest Idaho during 2013 and 2014.  The lack of 2013 records in the stocking database is an oversight and will be corrected shortly, whereas the 2014 events have yet to be entered. It should be noted that we no longer stock fingerling ...
8/12/14
A: A number of lakes were stocked many years ago with rainbow and cutthroat trout that established natural reproducing populations.  When we inventory the fish populations in the lakes, if they are being sustained by natural reproduction, we often discontinue stocking or stock less frequently.  Most ...
8/7/14
A: Contests such as fishing derbys, predator derbys or big buck contests are legal in Idaho. Participants are required to follow all rules and laws pertaining to the legal taking of wildlife.
8/7/14
A: Steelhead do run to the Pahsimerio/Challis/Salmon area in the late fall.  Typically, we start to receive reports of steelhead being caught in the upper Salmon in late October/early November.  Most people fish the lower Salmon River in the fall (October in Riggins is my favorite fishing time) and ...
8/3/14
A: The best way to find out when waters are open to salvage is to watch our press releases on our webpage.  We do our best to let people know about rule and bag limit changes (including salvage orders) by sending information as soon as possible when a change order is signed. At the present time, ...
8/3/14