Ask Fish & Game

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.
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Previously answered questions are posted here.

Displaying 201 - 300 of 599 questions
Question Asked
A: This winter and spring we held public meetings, sent out e-mails (over 800) and posted notices in the newspaper to get input on which fish people would like to see the reservoir managed for in the future.  Based on public response we have decided to manage Soldiers Meadow Resrvoir for Kokanee.  ...
6/13/14
A: The person who hooks (sets the hook) the fish must record it on their permit.
6/13/14
A: The fishing on mink creek is fair. You are correct, in many areas the riparian corridor is quite thick making it difficult for young children to fish there. However, the Cherry Springs area would be a good starting point as well as several areas on the EF of Mink Creek. These areas are visible ...
6/13/14
A: Please send in your small game hunting license with a written request for the refund to: IDFG License SectionP.O. Box 25Boise, ID 83707 Thank you.  
6/12/14
A: I measured a Gamakatsu 3/0 octopus hook and its gap width is just under 5/8ths inch, thus can be used for salmon and steelhead fishing. A 4/0 would have a gap that is greater than 5/8ths inch. The measurements listed here are specific to Gamakatsu octopus hooks. A different brand or different ...
6/9/14
A: Live bait isn't your best bet for Mann Lake bass; artificial lures are far more productive there. Most of the standard bass lures work well in Mann Lake.  Plastic worms or creature baits, and jigs tipped with a bulky trailer are excellent choices and should be fished right into cover like wood and ...
6/7/14
A: Idaho Parks and Recreation enforces boating rules in Idaho.  What you need are:  a fire extinguisher, properly rated life jackets for all people in your boat, a whistle or horn that can be heard at a distance of 100 feet, and your current boat registration with hull sticker and ID numbers.   If ...
6/6/14
A: No license or permit is required to fish for salmon on free fishing day.  All other rules apply such as following the daily bag limit, using a barbless hook and observing the salmon fishing hours.
6/5/14
A: The nets placed in Payette Lake were to allow us to 1) assess the body condition of lake trout in Payette Lake and 2) to make a population estimate of the lake trout in Payette Lake. We have a known number of tagged lake trout in the waterbody from previous trapping efforts.  We can then use the ...
6/5/14
A: Yes, the possession limit for trout is the same as the daily bag limit.  Even if you are gone for the weekend (3 days) you can still only have one possession/bag limit per licensed or resident angler in your vehicle.  In most places in Idaho, that is 6 trout per licensed angler while in transit.
6/4/14
A: Condie Reservoir did not drain last year. The reservoir got extremely low in 2012, but some fish survived. We supplemented the bass and bluegill populations in 2013. Catch rates may be lower than normal because these populations are still recovering. 
6/4/14
A: That's a good question.  We became aware of those signs last week, and are currently trying to ascertain why those are up, who put them up, and how to best address public access along the river.  For the short term, it is probably best to avoid that area until we can resolve this issue with the ...
6/4/14
A: You can use up to 5 barbless hooks per line while fishing for salmon or steelhead.   That probably won't work in the Little Salmon River for Chinook fishing but you might be able to utilize extra hooks while trolling for steelhead.
6/2/14
A: Yes, your fishing license is valid for the dates listed on the license, even if you move out of Idaho.  However, if you return to Idaho after you have established residency in another state you must purchase any additional tags and permits at nonresident prices.
5/30/14
A: That all depends on how good fishing gets once flows drop.  We will keep an eye on harvest in relation to what is showing up at the hatchery.  Typically a two fish limit is sufficient to reach what our non-tribal harvest share is this year (~6400 adult fish). Good luck fishing.
5/30/14
A: As of last week (prior to Memorial Day) water level was down about 10'.  Fishing was spotty with a few perch and rainbow being caught.  I did talk with a bass angler who had some luck on the east side of the reservoir.  Look for rocky points and shoreline. All ramps are usable including Hot ...
5/27/14
A: You are correct.  The definition of a "floattube" in Idaho Code specifically states "that the seat must be in the water in order to be classified as a floattube."  We have internally discussed on several occasions updating this definition to include more modern styles of floatation craft.  This ...
5/23/14
A: On page 38 of the 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rule booklet, bottom right hand column, are the rules for Willow Creek and all tributaries to Willow Creek.  The season for all tributaries: July 1 - March 31, you can harvest 6 trout but none of them can be cutthroat trout.  All Willow Creek tributaries ( ...
5/22/14
A: Based on input from hundreds of anglers, Chinook Salmon harvest quotas were set up for different river reaches in the Clearwater River drainage.  These harvest quotas were set up to insure that communities located across the drainage would have fair opportunities to fish for salmon.  For the lower ...
5/22/14
A: The Filer Ponds contain crappie that can be fished from the bank.  We had reports earlier this spring of 8"+ fish.  If you don't mind traveling and have a boat the Bruneau Arm of C.J. Strike Reservoir is also a good place to try.  Bliss Reservoir also has crappie but a boat is also needed to fish ...
5/19/14
A: The quotas are updated weekly based on information collected from the Lower Snake Dams and creel information collected on the Idaho rivers where the fishing takes place.  Here are this weeks calculations:  
5/19/14
A: Tributaries, such as Lolo Creek, are closed to Chinook salmon fishing.  See the top of page 2 of the 2014 Chinook Salmon Seasons & Rules for the Snake, Clearwater, Lochsa, Lower Salmon, and Little Salmon rivers. At the point where the entire flow of Lolo Creek is contained within a defined ...
5/19/14
A: There are posted signs on the river in the northfork, from near the confluence to the Asahaka bridge. Within that zone fishing from boats is not allowed. Above the bridge to a posted line below the dam is open to boat fishing. Please check the chinook fishing regulations pamphlet for a better ...
5/18/14
A: Your question is one asked by many anglers, especially when counts of salmon at the dams are higher but we have to close harvest in parts of the river. You started to answer the question yourself - more fish will return to the Salmon River basin than the Clearwater River basin this year. As of May ...
5/18/14
A: There are a couple of important points to address in your questions. A desired outcome of managing the salmon fisheries is for all areas open to fishing have successful and meaningful fisheries. The one-fish bag limit is one tool that can be used to achieve that. More importantly, the one-fish bag ...
5/17/14
A: I understand your frustration. We have weed problems in several of the ponds at which we manage fish populations and fisheries. Although, IDFG stocks fish in Sego Pond, we do not manage weeds.  Sego Pond is managed by the city of Kuna. I heard that the city treated the pond earlier this year.   ...
5/16/14
A: The Middle Fork Boise River is open year-around for fishing.  You can keep 6 trout EXCEPT from the confluence with the North Fork Boise River to Atlanta Dam.  In this reach you can only keep 2 trout and they must be at least 14" long.  Artificial flies and lures only with a barbless hook is ...
5/14/14
A: You need to have resided in Idaho for 6 months, so on June 15th you will qualify for a resident license.  There are several ways you can prove that you moved to Idaho on January 15th.  Show us rent statements that demonstrate the date you move to your residence, a letter from your employer stating ...
5/14/14
A: Yes - except around Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (mainstem and North Fork) and the Tribal Hatchery fish ladder.   Check our website for a copy of the Idaho 2014 Chinook Salmon Season and Rules brochure.
5/14/14
A: It depends.  When the water is high in the Little Salmon, many of the fish will stay in the main Salmon River and not proceed up the Little Salmon.  In low water years or when the spring is cool and snow melts gradually, then they run the Little Salmon, earlier. Because the Snake River below Hells ...
5/13/14
A: In Idaho, wildlife is considered property that the state manages on behalf of its citizens. There is a public interest in ensuring people are complying with state laws related to hunting, fishing, and trapping on both public and private land, so that Idahoans can enjoy hunting and other wildlife- ...
5/13/14
A: First, I admire your conviction to salmon fishing in Idaho. If you possess a disabled hunting/fishing license and can demonstrate to an officer that you lack the stamina to play the fish - it will be acceptable to have someone reel in your salmon that you hooked.
5/10/14
A: Idaho Parks and Recreation along with the counties regulate watercraft in Idaho.  The one permit you do need is an invasive species sticker.  The sticker is required on all hard-sided boats 10' or more feet in length.  This includes kayaks, canoes, and inflatable rafts.     F08
5/9/14
A: Idaho Code Section  36-1201(c) requires a person to have the proper required license on his person at all times while hunting, fishing, or trapping, and to produce the original license for inspection upon request of a person authorized to enforce fish and game laws. This legal requirement places ...
5/7/14
A: Starting in 2007, IDFG began to add disability certifications to customer records based upon the documentation the individual supplied. Those who provided documentation showing they were currently receiving SSI, SSDI, nonservice connected disability or railroad disability benefits where given a ...
5/6/14
A: Thanks a bunch for the note.  We often are looking so hard for new fishing opportunities that we miss the obvious one's under our nose.  I'll talk with our "crack" web staff and see if we can get it added to our Fishing Planner and Family Fishing Waters.  Next time you go fishing at Williams Pond ...
5/5/14
A: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nez Perce Tribe annually PIT ag more than 200,000 Spring/Summer Chinoook Salmon smolts released from Idaho hatcheries in the Clearwater, Snake, and Salmon rivers. PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags smaller ...
5/4/14
A: There are a number of locations a person could experience a comintation hunt that could include 2 or more of the groups you are looking for.  Many folks hunt the South Fork of the Boise for Mule deer and chukar, or later in the year you could hunt for elk and chukar.  Parts of Unit 32 and 32A ...
5/2/14
A: Idaho no longer pays for the removal of northern pikeminnow.  There is a northern pikeminnow removal program on the Snake River below Hells Canyon that is administered by Oregon.  Check their website for more details - if you are interested in participating.   F08
4/30/14
A: This violation is a misdemeanor.  The penalties include a fine that can range from $25.00 to $1,000.00 plus court costs and may include jail time up to six months.  The magistrate may revoke fishing, hunting and/or trapping privileges for up to three years.  If an animal is involved there is an ...
4/26/14
A: To whom it may concern, First, thanks for taking the time to contact us with your question.  This is a common question we receive each year.  Anglers assume the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has jurisdiction over the boating boundaries (aka buoy line) because in most cases it functions to ...
4/25/14
A: That's an interesting question - why do jack Chinook salmon get protection similar to what the adult fish get. Part of the reason is that they actually are sexually mature fish. Jacks are males that return to freshwater to spawn after spending only one year in the ocean and they do spawn. As a ...
4/24/14
A: We have chosen to not stock Mt. Home Reservoir during 2014. From recent tagging studies, we have learned that very few rainbow trout return to anglers creels during moderate to poor water years. Catchable rainbow trout are very expensive to raise and stock. Our agency has to be very efficient in ...
4/21/14
A: This time of the year, we always receive reports of dead yellow perch on various waters throughout Idaho.  Typically, the mortality is tied to post-spawning stress.  Think of it this way, first-time spawning perch put a tremendous amount of energy and body reserves into producing eggs.  Some of ...
4/19/14
A: Depends.  It is illegal to fish for steelhead when the steelhead season is closed - even catch-and-release.  You can use a spey rod as long as you can pass the "red-face" test when you encounter an officer.  You must be able to convince the officer that you are fishing for cutthroat or rainbow ...
4/18/14
A: The lack of channel catfish stocking in the database is not real.  We have been stocking them consistently; however, they have yet to be uploaded to the database. This will be corrected shortly. We still stock the same ponds, but we did have to reduce numbers as we think channel catfish were ...
4/17/14
A: Sturgeon fishing in Idaho is a trophy experience.  Without knowing where you live, I'll list several general sites where you can catch a sturgeon. Sturgeon forage for dead fish and other organic matter that settles in deep (20'+), back-eddy areas.  Use cut-bait (nongame fish pieces, anchovies, ...
4/17/14
A: Fish the Snake River and the upper end of Brownlee Reservoir.  The area below Swan Falls Dam, Fort Boise (mouth of the Boise River), Steck Park (near Weiser) are all popular locations for catfish anglers.  If you want to fish in reservoirs, Lake Lowell near Nampa is a good option along with C.J. ...
4/17/14
A: It sounds like you are fishing in the prime locations to catch larger catfish.  The Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area (where the Boise River meets the Snake River) is a location known to attract larger catfish and the Steck Park area down by Weiser is another good location.  May is typically the ...
4/17/14
A: Roseworth has been very good for 2 - 3 lb. rainbow trout since ice-off.  Night crawlers and DareDevils have been popular with anglers and fish.  Look for it to remain an excellent fishery through mid-May. We are just launching a site our Fisheries webpage where anglers can report on fishing ...
4/17/14
A: The Sugar Beet Pond is a private pond owned by Pacific Press Publishing.  IDFG does not stock this pond and does not control access. I have heard that they allow some fishing, but you would need to acquire permission to legally access the pond. Since it is a licensed private pond, they have the ...
4/12/14
A: There is one fishing access on the Portneuf River between McCammon and Inkom.  The access is called Crane Creek. Here is a link to help you locate the site:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingplanner/access Because of all the lack of road crossing to and all the private land, I do not ...
4/10/14
A: Unfortunately, Paddock Valley Reservoir was very low during late fall 2013 as it has been for the majority of the last several years. I would not recommend it as a good use of your valuable fishing time. The only exception might be the trophy bullhead population; as they have faired well despite ...
4/10/14
A: The Big Eddy hole is located near Lenore Rest Area at milepost 28 on US Highway 12. Fishing from any watercraft is prohibited from a posted boundary at river mile 27.6 extending upstream to the posted boundary at river mile 28.0. See the figure below for details of the exact closure area.  
4/9/14
A: Basically, you only have to replace the items you need to (and want to). Before July the deer and elk tags have not been designated yet; when you decide the specific zone or type of tag you want you can go to any vendor to get a deer or elk tag.  All vendors can issue these along with salmon and ...
4/7/14
A: When in doubt, check your Fishing Rules book.      Bait: organic substances, other than rubber, wood feather, fiber, or plastic, attached to a hook to attract fish. Bait includes insects, insect larvae, worms, dead fish, fish parts, any other animal or vegetable matter, or scented synthetic ...
4/1/14
A: Fishing licenses are required for anglers 14 and older. Resident children can fish under age 14 without an accompanying adult and without having a fishing license.  Nonresident children must fish with an adult with an Idaho fishing license.  Their catch becomes part of the adult's catch limit ...
3/26/14
A: You are correct, IDFG does use salmon and steelhead permit fees to pay for toilet services in anadromous fishing areas. We try to time the delivery of porta-potty toilets in spring with the arrival of larger numbers of anglers, so we are not spending a lot of money when few anglers are using the ...
3/25/14
A: Not for fishing. If you purchase a 3 year fishing license at the age of 17, the license allows you to fish until the license expires on December 31 of the third year. Please contact our license section at 208-334-2592 if you have additional questions.
3/23/14
A: Assuming you are interested in using a bow or spear to catch fish; here are the details: Spear Fishing in Idaho You must have an Idaho fishing license if you are 14 or over. Archery and Spear Fishing is defined as: Fishing with a bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding ...
3/18/14
A: No other permit is required.  More information: Spear Fishing in IdahoArchery and Spear Fishing is defined as: Fishing with a bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding firearms. This type of fishing is permitted only in the taking of bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish and ...
3/17/14
A: If you are helping the child fish in any way, you must have a fishing license.  Baiting the hook, putting the pole in the water and watching it for the child and taking the fish out of the water means that you are fishing...you must have a fishing license.
3/16/14
A: No, if the parent is not fishing, they are not required to have a license.  
3/13/14
A: The Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game has no rules prohibiting the use of float tubes or other watercraft on Park Center Pond.  After doing a quick review of current Boise City Ordinances, it appears it is legal to use a float tube or other small watercraft provided the pond is not posted as ...
3/4/14
A: The returns of large B-run steelhead to the Clearwater River in the 2013-14 return are less than in recent years and in October 2013 the Department asked the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to implement a conservation measure to decrease the likelihood of a broodstock shortfall for hatcheries in ...
3/3/14
A: October can be one of the best times to fish in the Salmon Region. Steelhead are starting to show up in the Salmon River, with anglers having the best luck downstream from the town of Salmon, ID. Anglers may also catch rainbow trout, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, and mountain whitefish in ...
2/28/14
A: Yellow perch, for the most part, are prolific and environmental factors influence populations more than angling harvest.  In years where water temperatures coincide with zooplankton blooms and reduced numbers of primary predators, the perch population can exceed carrying capacity of the waterbody ...
2/19/14
A: In recent times, we began allowing catch-and-release fishing in the fall and winter in 2010.  This has been a very popular fishery since it's inception. F08  
2/19/14
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has closed certain state lands or portions of state lands to hunting or fishing. Fish and Game season brochures identify these areas along with other closures. Rules for recreational access, camping and restrictions on the discharge of firearms, which may affect ...
2/17/14
A: Steelhead destined for Sawtooth Fish Hatchery in the upper Salmon River Basin spend the winter in the main Salmon River, typically below the town of Salmon, Idaho.  As water temperatures and day length begin to increase in mid to late March to mid-April, they will begin the final leg of their ...
2/11/14
A: We do treat several fishing ponds around the state with herbicides to reduce aquatic vegetation so people can fish.  It's an expensive process and one where you need to be careful because you can just as easily kill fish.  We'll monitor Horseshoe Bend Pond this coming year and see what we can do ...
2/4/14
A: Proof of residency is required to buy any resident license: 1. Drivers must present: A driver must have a valid Idaho driver’s license and must have been domiciled in the state of Idaho for the last six months prior to purchasing a resident license, tag or permit. 2. Non-drivers must present: An ...
2/3/14
A: The only change in our fishing rules that is not listed in the 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rule booklet has to do with a reduction in the bag limit for steelhead on the Clearwater River.  That change is posted on our website (fishandgame.Idaho.gov) in the Fish section and will expire in May.   If we make ...
1/31/14
A: Yes, except when fishing for Chinook salmon (ocean-going), steelhead, or when fishing on Henrys Lake.  Just be aware, if you hook a fish and cause mortality after reaching your bag limit, you could be cited for an over-limit.
1/30/14
A: Both reservoirs can be accessed by public property and there are no rules we are aware of to prevent waterfowl hunting during the set season. Because these reservoirs also border private property, you need to be cognizant of the direction you are shooting.  Shooting across private property can be ...
1/28/14
A: If the seven-year-old is an Idaho resident, they can fish without a license and the adult with them does not have to have a fishing license. If the seven-year-old is a nonresident, they can still fish without a license but the adult they are with is required to have a license.  Anything the child ...
1/25/14
A: The reduced bag limit for Clearwater steelhead that was adopted by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Commission will remain in effect through the 2014 spring season.  We're hoping to get a large enough return in the fall of 2014 that we can go back to the bag limit in our currently fishing rule ...
1/23/14
A: Because current rules do not allow you to spear game fish. IDAPA rule 13.01.11.201.01 says,   201.FISHING METHODS AND GEAR. Unless modified by a regional exception, the following fishing methods and restrictions are applicable in all Idaho waters. (3-20-97) 01. Archery and Spear Fishing. Fishing ...
1/23/14
A: It is illegal to transport live fish in Idaho without a permit from the Director of the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game.  There are two exceptions.  One is aquarium fish legally purchased from a pet store can be transported from the store to your residence.  The aquarium trade is regulated by the ...
1/22/14
A: The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation was established in 1990 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Their mission is to preserve and sustain Idaho’s fishing, hunting and wildlife heritage. The Foundation is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. They work to support preservation and education programs ...
1/21/14
A: Yes, the license will still be valid:   Lifetime combination, hunting and fishing licenses authorize all privileges associated with a corresponding annual license. These licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder and are available to all residents of Idaho. If a lifetime ...
1/19/14
A: The 1998 Idaho Legislature required that all applicants for licenses issued by the state, including hunting or fishing licenses, tags and permits, must give their Social Security number for a license or permit to be issued. The Idaho Privacy Law protects your Social Security number. It is ...
1/15/14
A: At the present time, Officers do not have the ability to look-up licenses while in the field.  Between limited cell service needed to access our License Buyers Database and the computing power needed to sort the information, we just don't have that capability.  We are, however, getting closer. ...
1/14/14
A: Ice fishing for Lake Trout can be great on Cavenaugh Bay, but it's not every year we get ice.  Unfortunately, there's not enough ice this year. 
1/10/14
A: Idaho Code 36-202 (s) states: "Resident" means any person who has been domiciled in this state, with a bona fide intent to make this his place of permanent abode, for a period of not less than six (6) months immediately preceding the date of application for any license, tag, or permit required ...
1/7/14
A: You're interpretation is correct.  You can use up to 5 barbless hooks per line while fishing through the ice at Daniels Reservoir.  Only one line is allowed while ice fishing on this reservoir.   F08
1/6/14
A: In Idaho, you can use 5 hooks per line (see page 51 in the 2013 - 2015 Fishing Rule booklet - middle of left hand column) unless noted otherwise in the exceptions.    F08
1/6/14
A: Fish that have been harvested in Oregon can be transported to Idaho.  If stopped by a law enforcement officer, you need to possess a valid Oregon fishing license or a proxy statement from the individual harvesting the fish allowing you to possess the fish.   No transport of live fish can occur ...
1/6/14
A:   No, we don't offer a 3-year Sportsman's package.  The new 3-year licenses are only available as a hunting, fishing, or combination license.
1/4/14
A: Why Manage Wildlife in Wilderness By Virgil Moore, Director, Idaho Fish and Game Recent media coverage about Idaho Fish and Game sending an employee to try to remove two of the wolf packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness has raised questions and concerns.  Many Idahoans have ...
1/3/14
A: First, we just launched a new version of our Fishing Planner that allows you to search by distance from your location for any species of fish found in Idaho.  Go to fishandgame.idaho.gov and try it out.  You can find it on the bottom of our webpage and the Fishing Planner is "mobile friendly."   ...
1/1/14
A: In Daniels Reservoir, you can have up to 5 hooks per line.  So, if you are fishing with one line, you can have up to 5 jigs attached.  All must be barbless and you can still only keep 2 trout over 20".   F08
12/31/13
A: Tentatively, a "take me fishing" event is planned for Hauser Lake on January 25th.  However, it will be weather dependent.  As i write this, the forecast is calling for temperatures in the high 40's tommorrow, so stay tuned!  We'll do a press release as the time approaches if the event is going to ...
12/31/13
A: Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game is only involved in garden ponds if the homeowner wants to stock them with game or native fish species.  You aren't precluded from keeping legally obtained game/native fish in your pond.  You just need to get a Private Fish Pond Permit from our agency.  They are free ...
12/30/13
A: Anyone participating in a hunting or fishing event in Idaho must comply with Idaho fishing and hunting licensing requirements.  All event participants must have proper licenses, tags and permits for the activity.  All participants must also comply with seasons, harvest limits, and other rules ...
12/26/13
A: No, we don't offer a 3-year Sportsman's package.  The new 3-year license is only available as a hunting, fishing, or combination license.   F08 
12/26/13
A: The use of lead shot to hunt waterfowl is a misdemeanor offense under Idaho Code. Magistrate courts impose sentences under the guidelines set by Idaho Code. Fish and Game misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of $25 to $1000 plus court costs, up to 60 days in a county Jail with the possibility of ...
12/21/13
A: There is no comprehensive location we know of that provides information on ice conditions for Idaho lakes and reservoirs.  Your best bet is to call our local Fish and Game Office and ask if they had recent reports or if a Conservation Officer might be able to provide information.  Usually, the ...
12/17/13
A: Yes. You will need to go to a Fish and Game Regional or Headquarters office to change your license from a combination license to the sportsman's package.
12/16/13
A: Anadromous (ocean-going) salmon seasons are set annually at the March or April Commission meeting.  Watch the for the agenda on the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game website.  There are a number of variables that affect when we open salmon season, every year.  River flows, timing of fish passing ...
12/16/13