Ask Fish & Game

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.
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  • Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered-on" date.

Previously answered questions are posted here.

Displaying 101 - 171 of 171 questions
Question Askedsort descending
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: Chesterfield Reservoir, located in our Southeast Region is managed as a "quality fishery."  It is annually stocked with rainbow trout, however, the daily trout limit is 2 per licensed angler. Chesterfield Reservoir is very "productive" and grows big fish in a short amount of time.  The real ...
5/27/14
A: Next time, ask the chef to check with their restaurant buyers to identify the source of the trout being served.  There is no commercial harvest of rainbow trout allowed in Idaho from streams.  The majority of trout sold from Idaho is raised in the Magic Valley (Twin Falls/Hagerman) area on water ...
6/2/14
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: 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: Thanks for your interest in Baptie Lake in the Copper Basin.  As you note, Baptie is capable of growing some very large trout.  In the past, the fishery has been supported by cutthroat trout, although in more recent times, grayling and now golden trout have been stocked.  We switched to goldens to ...
6/9/14
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: 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: 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: 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: You're friend was likely referring to Swauger Lake in the Little Lost River drainage. Swauger Lake is located on the other side of the Little Lost drainage from Sawmill Canyon, in the Dry Creek watershed. The trail to Swauger Lake starts from Long Lost Creek. The current regulations in Swauger ...
7/5/14
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: 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: 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: Bag limits for Lake Coeur d'Alene are: you can keep 6 rainbow trout (no harvest of cutthroat trout); 6 bass - any size; 25 brook trout; 2 fall Chinook that are at least 20" in length; 15 kokanee; and 25 whitefish. These limits are independent of each other, so you could legally have 79 fish in the ...
7/18/14
A: I was in Pocatello at Edison Fichter pond just yesterday.  Fishing for rainbow trout was very good and several people had their two-trout limit.  Each licensed angler can catch and keep 2 trout.  For resident youth under 14 years of age, they can also catch and keep 2 trout.  Nonresident youth ...
7/23/14
A: Yes, remove the skin from the fish and they'll be fine to eat. What you see on the skin of the fish are copepods, or often referred to as "aquatic lice."  They are present in almost every waterbody in Idaho and usually become active when water temperatures warm-up in June through August. If you ...
7/25/14
A: What you may be seeing on the fish is fungus from a wound on the fish.  Many times, when herrons or pelicans attempt to catch a fish and miss, there will be injuries on both sides the fish where fungus will grow.  Once established on the fish, it can spread and can cause eventual mortality.  The ...
7/30/14
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: The lake will be stocked with rainbow trout when all the Tiger Muskie are gone. A few remain and we will try and remove them this fall still. There were still some brookies left in 2013.
8/18/14
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: 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: We have very little concern that the recent levels of suspended sediment in the Boise River are negatively impacting fish populations. Fish, including the trout that everyone likes to fish for, are very resilient to temporary spikes in suspended sediment. Trout and other cold and clear water ...
10/11/14
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: If the fish had long dorsal fins, it is possible that you were catching grayling.  They tend to have a body shape similar to a rainbow trout and a blue hue over their entire body. Otherwise, what you were probably catching were brook trout.  Brook trout can have a blue iridescent color during ...
10/21/14
A: Changes in land use, new wells for urban development, the need for dam repairs and the drought all have affected the reservoir levels at Indian Creek Reservoir. Indian Creek Reservoir is filled primarily by low elevation snowfall.  Back in the 1980's and early 90's, water used to back up past the ...
10/24/14
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: Yellow trout were indeed again stocked in Sego Prairie Pond. Typically, bright colored fish don't last long in pond environments where they are stocked.  If they aren't caught by anglers, their distinct color makes them more vulnerable to predators such as large birds (pelicans, blue heron, eagles ...
12/23/14
A: Answer:  What happened with the flash floods in the South Fork and Middle Fork Boise River drainages was a unique event that most of us have never experienced before – at least in this river system and our lifetime.  Intense rain on recently burned slopes released mud and debris into what was a ...
12/26/14
A: Idaho Code says: 05. Gaff Hook. It is unlawful to land fish of any species with a gaff hook except through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters which have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species or when landing nongame fish species taken with archery equipment. (3-29-12) ...
1/1/15
A: The short answer is, "no." Centain species of game fish, which trout are defined in Idaho rule 13.01.11. , can not have the heads and tails removed while in transit.  You also must be able to show how many fish, the length and species of fish you have in possession while in the field. Idaho ...
1/7/15
A: Thanks for your interest in ice fishing Mackay Reservoir.  As you note, the lake does not always freeze completely over, which means there can be thin ice in certain areas, and possibly around the edge.  The reservoir is generally filling during the winter, which means it is increasing in size.  ...
1/11/15
A: In 2014, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game was directly involved in the stocking of over 32,000,000 fish!  Fish species stocked include both native and non-native trout/salmon species (Rainbow Trout, Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout, etc.) as well as non-native cool- and warm-water species (like ...
1/12/15
A: The lake trout bounty program on Lake Pend Oreille was discontinued in 2013.   Originally, it was funded by Avista Power Company and was intended to assist our agency in restoring/reducing depredation on kokanee by lake trout.  Between the bounty program and selective netting with commercial ...
1/13/15
A: Idaho's license fees are set by legislation. The two licenses (3 Day Salmon/Steelhead and the Daily Fishing) are different types of licenses and have different fees as per the Idaho Code 36-416. Therefore, the daily fishing license purchased for two days (no steelhead permit) would be the $12.75 ...
1/15/15
A: I'm not sure what document you're referring to, but let me give you some background on bull trout/Dolly varden in Idaho and how the name has changed over time - at least in Idaho. "Bull trout/Dolly varden" are members of the Salmonidae family.  They are native to Idaho and have actually been ...
1/30/15
A: Your question is very broad and there are well over 100 papers out there on trout to draw on so generalizing is difficult.    Under most conditions,  Catch-and-release mortality or “hooking mortality” of trout is thought to be relatively low in most instances.   There are a number of summary ...
2/23/15
A: In Idaho Code, landlocked salmon are considered "trout" unless otherwise denoted.  In the case of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Fall Chinook salmon are included in your daily trout bag limit.  Therefore, you can keep 6 "trout/Fall Chinook" per day.
5/7/15
A: We manage the area below Anderson Ranch Dam as a "wild trout" fishery. Consequently, we don't stock hatchery produced trout in that area.  When they refer to stocking the South Fork Boise River in our planting report, we mean the South Fork above Big Smoky Creek.
8/4/15
A: Greetings,  When it comes to transporting fish, there are some specific (but often overlooked) rules to keep in mind. Your question is very good, as it addresses a gray area when interpreting the head/tail rule for transporting fish. The intention of the rule is for the fish to remain whole while ...
8/12/15
A: I'm not sure if you mean from a predator-prey perspective or water quality. Large trout (10"+) typically add small fish to their diet - and this could include koi.  Prior to achieving 10", they feed on insects, zooplankton, detritus, and other organic substances.  Large trout with small koi will ...
8/12/15
A: Hunts opening Saturday in the Owyhees unlikely to change With controlled deer and pronghorns hunts opening in Unit 40 in portions of Owyhee County Saturday, Aug. 15, Idaho Fish and Game is monitoring the Soda Fire, but not closing or altering hunts at this time, nor expecting to in the immediate ...
8/14/15
A: Tiger Muskie, as you would guess from their name, are agressive predatory fish.  They are effecient eating "machines" that survive well in Idaho lakes.   Sterile (unable to reproduce) Tiger Muskie have been introduced in mountain lakes to remove Brook Trout.  Brook Trout tend to over-populate and ...
8/25/15
A: Hello, I can provide answers to your questions.  I listed your questions below with my responses. 1.Are these Kokanee's that were recently stocked at Honeysuckle beach wild or farmed? The kokanee are raised in a Fish and Game fish hatchery and stocked into Hayden Lake every year.  The get stocked ...
9/3/15
A: Hi there Vaugh, The Yankee Fork is home to several species of fish, including Chinook Salmon, Steelead, Bull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Mountain Whitefish. At this time, the populations of salmon and steelhead are very low and no fishing is allowed for those species. Bull Trout and ...
9/18/15
A: The Portneuf Wellness Complex is a multi-use 80-acre facility located near the former North Bannock County Fairgrounds. The complex was generously donated to Bannock County by the Portneuf Health Trust to help promote both physical and mental well-being for those who use it. Among the amazing ...
9/20/15
A: Bass were illegally introduced into Treasureton Reservoir. "Bucket" biologists are a serious problem in Idaho.  They not only effect some our most important fisheries, they endanger native fish in some lake and river systems.  This has a huge impact from a dollars and cents perspective.  Lost ...
9/24/15
A: The salmon in Anderson Ranch Reservoir are landlocked fall Chinook that were stocked in the reservoir to help reduce the number of kokanee salmon.  In Idaho rules, landlocked salmon are considered in the trout bag limit and all rules for catching trout also apply to fall Chinook in Anderson Ranch ...
10/9/15
A: In the Salmon River below the Middle Fork, you can only keep trout with a clipped adipose fin.  The cutthroat you are catching are wild and will have all their fins.  Therefore, it would be illegal to keep wild cutthroat caught in that reach of the Salmon River.
11/3/15
A: Another 150 steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Thursday, November 19, the last of two planned stocking efforts prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.  In years past, as many as 900 steelhead made the road trip from Hells Canyon Dam to the Boise River, but this year's below-average ...
11/18/15
A: Thanks for your question about the upcoming changes to the trout possession limit. When the new fishing rules take effect in 2016, anglers will be able to have 3 daily bag limits in possession, whereas before it was just one. This usually meant fisherman traveling for the weekend or on vacation ...
12/10/15
A: Thanks for your inquiry. IDFG has never drained Lost Valley Reservoir; we have worked with the Irrigation Company on years that water use was high and the resulting reservoir carryover was going to be small, to use that opportunity to apply a piscicide to try and remove the yellow perch. It is a ...
1/1/16
A: Yes, rotenone kills the rainbow trout in the treated water - and all other fish (perch, brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, etc.). Rotenone is an odorless, colorless organic compound extracted from the roots of a native legume known as a Jicama vine found in South America.  Before being ...
1/7/16
A: Sunapee trout would be included in the current definition of a trout in Idaho.  The limit would be 6 unless there is a special rule on the water where they are found.  There are no sunapee in Dworshak Reservoir or tributaries.  The only place in Idaho that we have sunapee is in a couple of high ...
1/8/16
A: Greetings, thanks for your question about adipose-clipped trout!  Idaho Fish and Game does not typically adipose-clip hatchery rainbow trout. You may see some adipose-clipped hatchery trout in some waters (Salmon River near Stanley, for example), but they are not very common. The Department may ...
1/11/16
A: Depends on if there is ice on the Bruneau Arm of C.J. Strike.  Ice fishing for rainbow trout and perch can be very good if you have the equipment and know where the underwater fish habitat structures are located. If there is no ice on the reservoir, fishing can be slow this time of year on C.J. ...
1/13/16
A: Hello, thank you for your question about yellow perch.  Lost Valley Reservoir is managed as a coldwater trout fishery. Yellow Perch can be a problem for producing quality trout fishing, especially when the become overabundant and small.  Idaho Fish and Game does salvage fish in some cases. But, ...
1/14/16
A: We stock Golden Trout in select high mountain lakes as the fish become available.  California Dept. of Game and Fish, every few years, have Golden Trout eggs that are excess to their needs.  When that happens, they make them available to other western states including Idaho.  Idaho has tried on a ...
1/19/16
A: Your question is interesting and timely. Sunapee (which are a type of char and related to lake trout, brook trout and bull trout) were stocked in several lakes in the Sawtooths over 50 years ago.  Over the years we've had anglers catch Sunapee and bring them to our offices for identification.  We ...
1/30/16
A: Yes, page 14 in the fishing regulations only restricts fishing to single point barbless hooks while fishing for salmon and steelhead.  Barbed hooks are allowed while fishing for trout, although cutthroat are catch and release only; and if you caught a salmon or steelhead while using a barbed hook ...
1/31/16
A: There have been a few fall Chinook that have passed out of Anderson Ranch Reservoir and  caught downstream in Arrowrock Reservoir.  However, the fish in your picture are not fall Chinook or coho.  The fish in the bottom of the picture is clearly a rainbow trout while the upper fish appears to be a ...
2/7/16
A: Dear Mr. Arnett, Yes, there are trout in Upper Clover Creek, King Hill Creek, and Salmon Falls Creek upstream from Lily Grade.  These trout are native Redband Trout. They are relatively small and typically look slightly different than your standard hatchery Rainbow Trout. They typically have more ...
2/23/16
A: Joe Dupont is our Regional Fisheries Manager in Lewiston and is the person who can answer questions about the Clearwater River Basin.  He can be reached at 208-799-5010. What may be faster is to access our study archives located on our Department webpage.  Go to fishandgame.idaho.gov; click on the ...
2/29/16
A: Thanks for your question about Bull Trout and the Boise River. Bull Trout are now mostly extinct below Lucky Peak dam. It is possible (but very unlikely) that a Bull Trout could be flushed downstream through Arrowrock and Lucky Peak dams and be caught in the lower Boise River. Bull Trout have not ...
3/22/16
A: To whom it concerns, We appreciate your recommendation to stock Trout in Milner Reservoir; however, water temperatures are typically unsuitable for rainbow trout survival in the Milner Reservoir pool. Stocked trout that pass through the Minidoka Dam do not persist much downstream.  We have ...
3/24/16
A: Based on my own personal experience, I would recommend smallish in-line spinners. Common brands include blue fox or mepps. Personally, I have caught trout on silver or blue and silver, blue fox spinners in size one to three. Alternatively, you might want to try small (2-3.5") "stick" baits. Common ...
3/30/16
A: Unfortunately, if you are stuck on fly-fishing for coldwater species, you have very few options within that limited distance.  We stock hatchery trout in several nearby waters including Wilson Ponds, Wilson Creek, Duff Lane Pond and Marsing Pond during the cooler and colder portions of the year. ...
4/26/16
A: Lamprey are native to Idaho waters and can still be found in low numbers in rivers and streams which also support ocean-going salmon and steelhead populations.  As with our other Idaho anadromous fish, changes in river and ocean conditions have reduced current populations to a fraction of historic ...
4/27/16