Questions & Answers

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions. Not all questions are answered. Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.

Displaying 51 - 100 of 539 questions
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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
A: Idaho Fish and Game manages all wildlife including game and nongame.  The agency's Wildlife Diversity Program publishes information about Watchable Wildlife, here's a link: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/nongame/?getPage=239 You can find more information about the program on the ...
7/29/14
A: Our agency only regulates the use of motorized equipment as it pertains to hunting and fishing activities.  If you are using your jetski strictly for recreation, then you need to check with the U.S. Forest Service Sawtooth National Recreation Area for restrictions they may have placed on Red Fish ...
7/26/14
A: Carp, suckers, northern pikeminnow, and tench are the primary fish that you can harvest with a speargun.  Many people eat carp and pikeminnow, however, they have many small bones so you need to be very careful.  I've tried both types of fish, and like any fish you catch in Idaho, the taste depends ...
7/25/14
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: Your information is correct.  We once has significant runs of coho returning to Idaho and spawning in the Clearwater, lower Salmon River, and Snake Basin.  As dams were built, populations were lost and it was believed they were extinct in Idaho for several years. The Nez Perce tribal fisheries ...
7/24/14
A: I was in Pocatello at Edison Fichter pond just yesterday.  Fishing for rainbow trout was very good and several people had their two-trout limit.  Each licensed angler can catch and keep 2 trout.  For resident youth under 14 years of age, they can also catch and keep 2 trout.  Nonresident youth ...
7/23/14
A: No.  Nonresident disabled American veterans with a disability rating of 40 percent or more by Veterans Affairs are eligible for nonresident DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. The nonresident DAV hunting with 3-day fishing license, $31.75, allows the nonresident disabled veteran to purchase ...
7/21/14
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: Ok, nonresident children (under 14 years of age) can fish for free if they are with a licensed adult (resident or nonresident).  All fish caught and reduced to possession count towards the licensed individual's daily bag limit.  The only exception is, a nonresident youth can buy their own salmon ...
7/16/14
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: Thank you for your question and congratulations on catching a tagged fish.  If you caught a tagged fish of harvestable size, we hope it was good eating! When you catch a tagged fish, please report the tag using our Tag! You're It! program web page (go to fishandgame.idfg.gov, Fishing tab, Tagging ...
7/13/14
A: I hope you're not too disappointed, but there were never fish in the type of lakes you describe.  Prior to the beginning of mountain lake stocking in Idaho, headwater barriers and subsurface flows prevented native fish species from reaching upper elevation mountain lakes.  In the early 1900's ...
7/12/14
A: We do give away spawned-out salmon carcasses at our hatchery spawning locations - including Pahsimeroi.  This practice actually started in the 1970's.  We quit giving carcasses away once we started injecting adult salmon with erythomycin phosphate.  Now that we've discontinued the injections, we ...
7/12/14
A: Great question! There are no restrictions on the use of lights while fishing or fishing hours, so the use of some type of spotlight would be allowable while bowfishing.  However, “Chumming” is illegal for all species of fish.  Idaho Code 36-902(e) states the following:  “Unlawful fishing methods ...
7/12/14
A: the Pack River is a navigable water way, so you have full access to the river below the ordinary high water mark.  The lower Pack River is public land, so there's plenty of land open to hunting/fishing/recreating.
7/11/14
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: 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: 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: Yes, there are no "free-bees."  You will need to buy and possess in the field a senior license.  If you can prove you've been a resident of Idaho for at least 5 years, it only costs $5.
7/5/14
A: Every 3-years, we go to the public and solicit suggestions for changes to our fishing rules - and that process will begin in January 2015.  This will be for new fishing rules that cover the time period of January 1, 2016 through December 30, 2018.  Contact the Regional Fisheries Manager in our ...
7/5/14
A: The best thing to use is moline.  It's a tough mesh material that holds the tuna (and other secret ingredients).  Cut the moline into 3" by 3" squares, lay-in your bait, and gather the four corners.  Tie the top of the ball off with thread or a fine string using a couple of half-knots to secure ...
7/5/14
A: Yes they can - but the question is why?  Idaho offers some of the best and most diverse year-around fishing in the western United States and our season licenses are one of the best values in outdoor recreation.  How about trying a season license and keep track of how many different species of fish ...
7/1/14
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: Yes, your Idaho Fishing license is good on all water in Bear Lake except areas closed to both Idaho and Utah anglers.  We actually have a reciprical agreemeent with Utah for this body of water.  Check for signs and additional information.  Also, see page 53 of our Idaho Fishing Rules.
6/30/14
A: Northern pikeminnow have been consumed by native Americans for hundreds of years.  The meat is tasty but they have many small bones. Because Northern Pikeminnow are a long-lived piscivorous (fish-eater) fish, they tend to bioaccumulate (store) heavy metals in their tissue.  There are even ...
6/28/14
A: Yes, when you go to a license vendor to buy her license, they will ask you "what day(s) would you like the license to be valid?"  They enter the date(s) you provide and it prints on her license. Good luck!  
6/27/14
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