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 101 - 143 of 143 questions
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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: The Middle Fork Boise River is open year-around for fishing.  You can keep 6 trout EXCEPT from the confluence with the North Fork Boise River to Atlanta Dam.  In this reach you can only keep 2 trout and they must be at least 14" long.  Artificial flies and lures only with a barbless hook is ...
5/14/14
A: First, thanks for the note.  Water was just turned into the pond last week.  It is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout the first week in June and again just before the 4th of July.  It should receive about 600 fish in each stocking event. For more information, contact Regional Fisheries ...
5/15/14
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