Ask Fish & Game

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Question Askedsort ascending
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
A: At this time, the website does not describe access improvement projects that are currently underway. However, the Idaho Fishing Planner is a valuable tool for exploring fishing opportunities, including access and facilities, throughout the state.
12/16/13
A: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will honor the item(s) you purchased while a resident of Idaho for the length the item(s) is valid. As a reminder you cannot own resident licenses in more than one state (the exception being active military personnel).
12/13/13
A: The Idaho Department Fish and Game (Department) has looked at the concept of a 365 day license. After researching this concept, the Department has made the decision to keep licenses based on a calendar year.
12/11/13
A: The rule that requires heads and tails to remain attached (and that means to the fish fillets). The rule is specific to trout, tiger muskie and bass. The rule insures special size limits, bag limits, and specie identification is easily complied with. Recently this rule was removed from Salmon and ...
12/11/13
A: At this time we are only offering 3 year licenses for hunting, fishing and combination hunting and fishing. Tags and permits are still valid for one (1) calendar year. 
12/11/13
A: No, the 2013-14 run of steelhead returning to Hells Canyon does not contain enough fish to release adults into the reservoirs upstream of the dam.  Hopefully, next years' run will be larger and we can offer steelhead fishing again in the Hells Canyon pool.   F08
11/22/13
A: A six-month waiting period for purchasing a license as a resident is required by law. You can purchase a license as a nonresident until then, however.  We offer a season license or "daily" fishing license--you specify which days you want to fish.  
11/22/13
A: First, "thank you" for coming to Idaho to hunt and fish.    Sorry about the confusion.  The addition of a three-day fishing license to a nonresident hunting license is new and not all staff understand the rules.   The three-day fishing license does not allow you to purchase a salmon or steelhead ...
11/18/13
A: To allow anglers access to steelhead below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River, The trap at the dam is not operated prior to November 1.  Once trapping starts, there are obligations for those fish at Idaho Power's Oxbow fish hatchery and in Oregon that must be met prior to transporting fish to the ...
11/17/13
A: Kevin,   Yes, the steelhead derby is on.  Check the following website for details:  http://www.steelheadderby.com/ . The derby must follow all rules set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.  As a Department, we can not waive size restrictions or increase bag limits, so on the main Clearwater ...
11/13/13
A: Crappie populations are extremely cyclic - that is to say, usually one or two year classes will dominate a population until they get old and die and leave room for another year class to survive and thrive.  After several years of fishing on two very strong year classes, it appears they have passed ...
11/8/13
A: This same question was asked a few minutes ago, please refer to this answer: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/question/will-any-steelhead-be-released-boise-river-november
10/28/13
A: As long as you exercise caution when handling the fish and don't cause mortality, you can take a picture with your fall Chinook before releasing.   F08
10/14/13
A: Owning real property or paying property taxes within the state of Idaho is not a qualification for residency. Proof of residency is required to buy any resident license. A resident is anyone who has been domiciled in this state with a bona fide intent to make this their place of permanent abode, ...
10/1/13
A: Here are some basic rules you need to follow: 1)  Anything with a reel, line, and upto 5 hooks can be used to harvest fish.  Traps (baskets, weirs, etc.) are illegal unless you are trapping crayfish.  You can legally have 5 crayfish traps in the water at once with a valid fishing license. 2) ...
9/28/13
A: It depends on if we are talking about fishing and hunting seasons, bag limits, gear restrictions, etc. For setting both fish and hunting rules, we have an extensive public input process we follow.  Our Fish and Game Commission actually approved a policy document in 2006 that outlines all steps.  ...
9/26/13
A: It's nice to have such a great return of fall Chinook to the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in 2013.  Unfortunately, the season will not be extended past October 31st due to agreements in-place with other management entities.   The only exception to the October 31st closure is the area immediately ...
9/26/13
A: Our license system is set-up to accept a passport number in lieu of a social security number.  Use that number with an out-of-country address.   F08
9/24/13
A: The proportion of wild fall Chinook that returned to the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater systems was a "good news/bad news" story.  The "good news" was we had a record fall Chinook return to Idaho.  More "good news" was a large portion of the fish were wild.  The "bad news" was that we didn't have ...
9/21/13
A: Yes, we have recently stocked early spawning kokanee in Hayden Lake for the purpose of providing a sport fishery.  We have significant numbers of early kokanee from our south Idaho egg taking station at Deadwood Reservoir. Kokanee, in certain waters, can be extremely difficult to manage when ...
9/16/13
A: First, on the fire situation in Custer County.  None of the significant fires experienced by Idaho in the summer of 2013 prompted closures in the Salmon/Custer County area.  There have been closures in other parts of the state but the area where your son is hunting was spared.   Ok, our 3-day ...
9/10/13
A: There are no set fishing hours for steelhead, so you could fish 24 hours per day.  The only species of fish with set fishing hours are anadromous Chinook Salmon.  Check annually for Chinook seasons, usually set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in March or April, for the listed fishing hours.
8/25/13
A: Only if you have a two-pole permit.  With a fishing or combination license, you can only have one apparatus designed to catch fish,  in the water at a time.  With a two-pole permit, you can use two appartatuses actively attempting to take fish - at the same time.   F08
8/25/13
A: Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game does not have any rules prohibiting anglers from fishing below the dam, however, the entity that operates the facility may have restrictions to address public safety issues.  Typically, they post signs and have buoy lines to designate safety risk areas.  If you access ...
8/24/13
A: We offered the opportunity to harvest salmon in Clearwater drainage because we have several sources to back-fill any shortages of hatchery fish from hatcheries like Dworshak, Kooskia, Rapid River, and Oxbow.  We don't have the same number of hatcheries to back-fill shortages of fish in the upper ...
8/19/13
A: No, no tiger muskie were planted in Smith Lake. We did have a recent record 44+lb. tiger muskie caught in Little Payette Lake. F08
8/11/13
A: All vendors can issue a duplicate license.  Duplicates cost $7.25.    
7/31/13
A: The answer is no.  In Idaho, specific wording in code makes it illegal to fish catch-and-release for anadromous (ocean-going) salmon or steelhead if there is not a defined season. 
7/25/13