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 101 - 150 of 546 questions
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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
A: If you go to our webpage (fishandgame.idaho.gov); click on the "Science" tab; "Fisheries" and search for "Swan Falls Reservoir," you will find all our technical information for Swan Falls Reservoir.  Swan Falls Reservoir has both species of bass, bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and ...
6/26/14
A: Actually, we've studied going to a 365-day license versus a calendar-year license and we've talked with a number of states that have gone the 365-day route.  There are pros and cons to both. For Idaho, one of the complicating factors is our salmon and steelhead fisheries.  These are seasonal ...
6/25/14
A: Only the 3 year licenses are valid for multiple years. All other permits, validations and tags are annual items and expire no later than December 31 of the year they were valid in.
6/25/14
A: Thanks for your interest in the Buffalo River.  As you note, we have not stocked that reach for over a decade, primarily because angler use of hatchery fish was low there.  The reach is currently supported by natural reproduction of resident trout, and also some fish from the Henrys Fork that ...
6/24/14
A: I'm not sure the state of residency has much to do with being rude.  I've seen plenty of Idaho anglers show less than steller angler ethics. The bottom line is, we all need to show respect and courtesy to fellow sportsmen and women when we hunt and fish.  I want to make my fishing experiences ...
6/23/14
A: We apologize for the inconvenience, there was miscommunication between the company owner and our staff. The toilets have been requested to be put back out, although it may take a day or two. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
6/23/14
A: Yes, a minor can purchase a license without an adult or guardian being present.  They still need to show a form of identification, but they can buy a license without an adult or guardian.
6/19/14
A: In Idaho, there is no limit on the number of catfish you can catch and keep. There is nothing finer than sitting on the riverbank in the spring fishing for catfish.  Whether it's fishing with bait or fly fishing (yes, they will take flies in the spring) it's a low stress venture. In the Magic ...
6/16/14
A: Any processed Salmon count towards an angler's possession limit while in the field or in transit. No person shall have in the field or in transit hatchery-produced adult anadromous salmon that has been processed by removing the head and tail unless the following conditions are met: The fish has ...
6/14/14
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