Ask Fish & Game

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.
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Displaying 1 - 100 of 165 questions
Question Askedsort descending
A: Yes, but we stress to all individuals the need to obtain a receipt.  This receipt must contain the following information: Name and tribal identification number of Nez Perce tribal member selling the fish Name of the fish buyer Date of the sale Number of salmon sold Species of salmon and where it ...
2/10/12
A: Idaho is in its 2012 fishing season which means that anglers must have a 2012 Idaho license.  Steelhead and two-pole permits must also be dated 2012.  (All 2011 season licenses and permits have expired).    
2/20/12
A: The list of game fish (copied below) is found in the Fishing Rules Book.   Game Fish: Brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake (Mackinaw), rainbow (including steelhead), splake and Sunapee trout; trout hybrids; Chinook, coho, Atlantic, and kokanee (blueback) salmon; grayling; whitefish; cisco; ...
4/7/12
A: Nonresidents can purchase a "daily" fishing license; the first day costs $12.75 and each additional day is $6.00.  You can purchase it at any vendor. If you are interested in Chinook salmon fishing, you can purchase a 3-day salmon/steelhead license.  This includes a fishing license and steelhead/ ...
4/9/12
A: Steelhead are rainbow trout longer than 20 inches in length in the Snake River drainage below Hells Canyon Dam, the Salmon River drainage (excluding lakes and the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers), and the Clearwater River drainage (excluding that portion above Dworshak Dam and lakes).   Rainbow trout ...
4/23/12
A: Steelhead trapping is finished for the year so we will not have the report running again until next year (Spring 2013).
5/1/12
A: When the fish runs begin showing up, we will have the counts on our website.  Current information available for salmon is online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=140 and returns will  be posted in late Spring or early summer. Steelhead counts will be available in Spring 2013 ...
5/10/12
A: Rainbow trout (can only be kept if their adipose fin is missing), cutthroat trout, and there may be an occasional brook trout.  You can keep 6 trout (e.g. 4 rainbow, 2 cutthroat; 3 rainbow,, 3 cutthroat; etc.), 25 whitefish, and 25 brook trout.  You can also catch bull trout but you can’t keep ...
5/12/12
A: The pages you refer to  receive the most current numbers from a database that the hatcheries updated on a daily basis. That database has been moved out of Idaho Fish and Game and to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC). IDFG no longer has access to the data to feed those web ...
5/16/12
A: The key is the language regarding a “healed scar.”  The fish were small when the adipose fin was clipped.  If the adipose is altered and the wound is healed – you should be ok to keep the fish.
5/22/12
A: Northern pikeminnow (squawfish) are a native specie to Idaho.  They are highly predatory once they reach 8 - 10" and tend to prey more on soft-ray fish such as rainbow trout, cutthroat, salmon and steelhead smolts (juveniles).  This makes sense when you consider that all of these species are ...
5/29/12
A: Yes, there was a thorough study completed in 1982 on the suitability of walleye introductions into all Idaho waters exceeding 100 acres.  The study concluded for the most part that introduction of walleye would lead to establishment of self-sustaining populations in many waters, including CJ ...
6/7/12
A: Chinook salmon in Lake Coeur d'Alene are not subject to the 5/8 inch shank and the barbless rules of other areas.
6/7/12
A: Yes, there was a thorough study completed in 1982 on the suitability of walleye introductions into all Idaho waters exceeding 100 acres. The study concluded for the most part that introduction of walleye would lead to establishment of self-sustaining populations in many waters, including CJ Strike ...
6/10/12
A: Every year we release over one million hatchery steelhead smolts into the South Fork Clearwater River (no hatchery rainbow trout catchables are released into this river).  Two years later, many of these steelhead smolts will return as 12-16 pound steelhead that attract anglers from all over the ...
7/3/12
A: Unfortunately, it is not going to be stocked with Chinook salmon during 2012. Those Chinook stocked in the past few years have originated from hatchery returns to Hells Canyon Dam.  During 2012, returns were insufficient to meet broodstck needs and to provide fish for transferring. However, adult ...
7/18/12
A: They all are. Each separate line refers to a different reach of the Boise River. We currently stock the Boise River from Barber Dam area to Star Rd. We are in the slow process of trying to fix this database glitch by adding a reach descriptor.  The only way you can tell the difference currently is ...
7/18/12
A: Rainbow trout and steelhead are the same genus and species.  Essentially, a steelhead is an ocean-going rainbow trout.  There will be a slight color variation - depending on the time of year, but the only sure-fire way tell a hatchery produced rainbow trout from a steelhead is to check the adipose ...
7/26/12
A: No, Chinook salmon that are stocked in the Boise River originate from returns to Hells Canyon Dam. Returns to Hells Canyon Dam during 2012 were insufficient to meet both hatchery broodstock needs and allow stocking in the Boise River. However, we still plan to tranfer approximately 1000 adult ...
7/29/12
A: Please contact the Tribal authorities; their website and contact information is http://www.nezperce.org/Main.html.
7/30/12
A: Yes and no.  Idaho code created a Commercial Steelhead Buyers license that allows an individual to buy and sell legally caught, hatchery produced, steelhead.  The same provision was not made for Chinook salmon.  Hence, yes - you can have a license to buy and sell steelhead but no there is not a ...
8/20/12
A: It is too early to say for sure at this point. Steelhead run size has been lower than expected. If returns to hells canyon increase, steelhead would be stocked beginning the first week of november. A firm answer will be available by oct 15.
8/30/12
A: This is a difficult question to answer because there is no clear definition of "humanely."  Working in the commercial fish industry, we used to put trout in tanks where we pumped carbon dioxide into the water.  After a short period of time the fish tipped over and we ran them through the ...
9/25/12
A: There used to be a rule that banned the use of lights to fish at night. That rule was dropped years ago. Generally, there are no hour limits to fishing and you can fish all night long. It is actually fairly popular to fish for catfish into the wee hours of the night. . However, there could be some ...
9/27/12
A: Please contact the Clearwater Region office. Their phone number is 208-799-5010. They will have the latest information.
10/2/12
A: Only barbless hooks with a maximum 5/8 inch gap between shank and point may be used when fishing for steelhead in the Salmon and main Cleawater river, and the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam.  Bending the barb(s) down to the shank of a single, double, or treble hook will meet this requirement. ...
10/9/12
A: Boise River steelhead plant specifics are still up in the air based on reduced returns to  the Hells Canyon trap. Our best estimate is that only 300 will be transferred this year beginning about Nov 1. Press releases will be made available once specifics become more concrete.
10/9/12
A: The first planting of steelhead is Nov. 1, 2012.  Fish will be planted from the Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park.  At this point, we don't know if we will plant steelhead a second time this year or not. Watch the news!
10/12/12
A: Please check the idfg website for a news release on steelhead plants.  They start this week on Thursday (Nov. 1). We plan to stock the following week also. Anything after that has yet to be determined.  
10/26/12
A: Under the current rules, you can catch and keep 20 hatchery-produced steelhead during the spring season and 20 hatchery-produced steelhead in the fall season for a grand total of 40 steelhead in a year.  See the steelhead section (page 36) of our current 2011 - 2012 Fishing Rules booklet or page ...
10/31/12
A: Yes, but you can only use multiple, single-point hooks  (NO treble hooks) that are barbless (or barbs bent down).   
11/1/12
A: Stocking steelhead is over for this year (2012).
12/4/12
A: Because there are so many places to fish steelhead in the state over such a long period of time, it's really hard to say there is a best time and place. If an angler has a chance to follow the run upstream, the best time could be any month from July or August through May. The first part of each ...
12/10/12
A: As long as you are fishing for steelhead, even if you are fishing catch-and-release only, the steelhead permit is required.
12/11/12
A: In recent years about on third (33%) of the harvestin the Upper Salmon in section 19 (East Fork to Sawtooth Hatchery)  occurs in March and about two thirds (66%) occurs in April.
1/14/13
A: Actually, many wouldn’t consider the diversity of fishes in the Clearwater Region to be poor.  The Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers all flow through the Clearwater Region.  As a result, we have many fish species that don’t occur in other regions in the State.  For example, we have anadromous ...
1/22/13
A: We have a two-pole permit that allows you to use two poles or rods at the same time on waters and during seasons specified by Commission Rule.  This permit is valid for all open water and for salmon and steelhead fishing. NOTE:  The two-pole permit is not valid for use while ice fishing and does ...
1/30/13
A: She can fish for steelhead without a license or permit, but her catch will have to go on the permit of an adult fishing with her.  If she wants to keep her catch, she can get a permit to do so.
2/14/13
A: Catfish are game fish so you can not use a bow to harvest them.  IDAPA 13.01.11.004. Gamefish:  Brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake, rainbow (including steelhead), splake and Sunapee trout; trout hybrids; Chinook, coho, Atlantic, and kokanee (blueback) salmon; grayling; whitefish; cisco; ...
2/21/13
A: Steelhead were released in the Boise River last November. 
2/22/13
A: Anglers 14 and older must have a fishing license and if they are fishing for steelhead, they must also get a steelhead permit.
2/27/13
A:   It is legal to catch them but they must be released or killed:   Game Fish: Brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake (Mackinaw), rainbow (including steelhead), splake and Sunapee trout; trout hybrids; Chinook, coho, Atlantic, and kokanee (blueback) salmon; grayling; whitefish; cisco; ...
3/5/13
A: We try keeping fish hatchery return information up-to-date for all our facilities.  When things get busy or with holiday weekends, information could be a day or two, late.    F08
3/7/13
A: We only stock steelhead in the Boise River around Thanksgiving.  We will announce the specific dates in November.
3/11/13
A: The count started inb late February. Counts of adult hatchery and natural steelhead to date are as follows:       2013 Pahsimeroi Weir  Counts   AdultsSteelhead Trapped Date Hatchery Natural Total 25-Feb     2 26-Feb       27-Feb       28-Feb       1-Mar 6   6 2-Mar       3-Mar       4-Mar 15 1 16 ...
3/12/13
A: Yes, they can. 
3/17/13
A: Methods of Take (Steelhead) • Only single-pointed barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for steelhead in the South Fork Clearwater River. • No person shall kill or retain in possession any steelhead which has been hooked other than in the mouth or jaw. Any steelhead hooked other than in the ...
3/18/13
A: Yes, freshwater mussels can be used for fish bait.  In Idaho, there are no limits or restrictions on harvesting mussels.  Once mussels are removed from their shells, they cannot survive, so they are not considered "live" bait.
3/27/13
A: Steelhead information is on our website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=38.
4/3/13
A: Steelhead are rainbow trout longer than 20 inches in length in the Snake River drainage below Hells Canyon Dam, the Salmon River drainage (excluding lakes and the Pahsimeroi and Lemhi rivers), and the Clearwater River drainage (excluding that portion above Dworshak Dam and lakes). Rainbow trout ...
4/12/13
A: Hi and thanks for your inquiry/suggestion.    We do have broodstock collection targets for the facilities listed on the “Cumulative Steelhead Hatchery Returns” page (they are listed below); however, using these targets to gauge the status of the run is problematic because most of fish returning to ...
4/19/13
A: They were released in November last year (2012).  If we have enough to release in 2013, it won't be until November.
4/21/13
A: The physiological changes anadromous fish (fish that migrate from freshwater to saltwater and return to freshwater to reproduce) are remarkable and still not fully understood.  As the fish go through the "smolting" process they change their osmotic balancing features which includes their digestive ...
4/22/13
A: As of late April of 2013, online purchasers can print some licenses and permits BUT not others.  In this specific case, the hunting and fishing combo license can be printed by the purchaser.  The steelhead permit cannot. Here is more specific information: Some - but not all - licenses and tags can ...
4/26/13
A: The requirement that rainbow trout must have heads and tails attached while in transit is due to the fact that there are some fisheries with length restrictions on harvested fish.  Examples would be lake trout from Payette Lake (none over 30"); So. Fork Snake River brown trout harvest (2 over 16 ...
5/27/13
A: As long as you have the two-pole permit you can fish with two poles until your limit is reached.  You don't have to stop using two poles when you only have one more fish left to make your limit.  Two poles can be used for steelhead, Chinook and trout fishing.
6/7/13
A: There are no rules that require you to stop legally using two-poles (with a two-pole permit) when you are within one fish of your bag limit. Yes, technically you may exceed your bag limit by hooking two fish at the same time, but, realistically your odds of that happening are extremely low.  If by ...
6/11/13
A: There is a three-day salmon/steelhead permit that costs $37.50 and there is a three-day small game license that costs $35.50.  We also have a daily fishing license that would cost $12.75 for the first plus $6.00 for each additional day.  
6/22/13
A: The Chinook carcass needs to be kept as cool as possible to discourage bacteria growth.  When you are done fishing for the day and your fish is recorded on your Salmon permit, you can:  remove the head and tail provided the skin of the fish remains attached to the flesh including a portion from a ...
6/24/13
A: Yes, you can use roe or any other bait in a steelhead catch-and-release season.  You also must use a barbless hook and immediately release any steelhead that are caught.
7/21/13
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
A: Game Fish: Brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake (Mackinaw), rainbow (including steelhead), splake and Sunapee trout; trout hybrids; Chinook, coho, Atlantic, and kokanee (blueback) salmon; grayling; whitefish; cisco; crappie; perch; bass; catfish; bullhead; sunfish; sturgeon; northern pike; ...
7/26/13
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: 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: 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: 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: You can get a duplicate from any vendor.  Vendors are listed on our website in the License section.
10/15/13
A: Steelhead are defined as "rainbow trout that are over 20" in length."  Only hatchery produced steelhead (missing adipose fin) can be harvested during an open season.  If they are over 20", missing their adipose fin, with an open season, and you want to harvest the fish; then it must be recorded on ...
10/21/13
A: We certainly hope so but won't know if we have surplus until early November.  Because of the location of the trap at Hells Canyon Dam (where we trap fish for Oxbow Hatchery),  water temperatures prevent us from using the trap until early November.  Once temperatures cool down, we start trapping ...
10/28/13
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: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/question/will-any-steelhead-be-released-boise-river-november   And a few updates on this from earlier are currently linked from the front page of our website: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/article/steelhead-boise-river-uncertain
11/6/13
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The spring 2014 steelhead limit on the North Fork Clearwater will remain the same as it was in the fall of 2013.  Hopefully, this will allow us to collect enough brood stock to replunish our hatchery program.   F08
12/31/13
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: Provided you catch the steelhead on the Clearwater River and then travel to the Salmon River - this would be legal.  You can't catch two steelhead on the Salmon River and then go fish the Clearwater River because you would be exceeding the bag limit for the Clearwater River.   F08
1/16/14
A: The ladder counts at the dams don't make a distinction between "A" (steelhead that spend 1 year in the ocean) versus "B" (2 or 3 years in ocean) steelhead.  Estimates on the ratio of A to B steelhead are made at some of the dams based on PIT tag data and random stamping of adults at the ladders ...
1/21/14
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: 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: 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: 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: Unfortunately, there are no facilities to provide upstream fish passage past Dworshak Dam.  As a result, steelhead do not occur upstream of Dworshak Resevoir.
2/16/14
A: We don't clip the adipose fin on hatchery produced rainbow trout unless they are part of a research project. We do clip the adipose fin on hatchery produced anadromous (ocean-going) salmon and steelhead raised in our hatchery system.  This is so anglers can distinguish them from wild chinook and ...
2/21/14
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: 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: The weir will be installed the week of March 17 with trapping set to being on March 24.
3/3/14
A: Thanks for your interest in Idaho steelhead and the trapping data at our hatcheries. For the past two years we have been able to provide an automated daily update from each of our hatcheries from a centralized IDFG database. In the last year we have been in the process of transferring our database ...
3/7/14
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: 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: Thanks for the question regarding Potlatch River steelhead.  In the Big Bear Drainage, which included the West Fork of Little Bear and Big Meadow Creek, steelhead should be in the middle of spawning right now.  Our past surveys have shown that they typically start spawning after water temperatures ...
3/22/14
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: You cannot purchase a second permit, but you can get a duplicate at any vendor.
4/1/14
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: 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: We can relate to your concerns.  Being on the upper-most reaches of the Columbia River system, we watch Idaho salmon and steelhead being harvested by anglers, commercial fishermen, and tribal members in the ocean, Washington, and Oregon - with no way for us to influence the number of fish being ...
4/21/14
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