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 451 - 500 of 546 questions
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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