Questions & Answers

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions. Not all questions are answered. Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.

Displaying 51 - 100 of 136 questions
Question Askedsort descending
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