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: There are no restrictions on wading below Henrys Lake.  While there are many redds visible, and many anglers wading through the stream (and even through redds), it is rare for impacts from wading to have enough of an impact on egg to fry survival to reduce fish populations.  In general terms, the ...
3/6/13
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: 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: 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: Each year we count spawnng kokanee around historical shoreline spawning areas.  It gives us a rough index of the adult kokanee population.  This year we saw close to 30,000 fish, which is about 10 times higher than the average of the past 15 years.  That's encouraging, but unfortunately, it doesn' ...
11/29/12
A: It is not legal in Idaho to let your line sit overnight.  Fishing lines must be attended at all times by the person who is fishing.
10/26/12
A: This list includes fish species found to be present in this water during fish surveys. This may not be a complete list of species present in this water. Some species listed here may only be present in small quantities or seasonally. Black Crappie ,  Brown Bullhead ,  Brown Trout ,  Bull Trout ,  ...
10/26/12
A: No.  It is illegal to fish in any waters of Idaho by archery, spearfishing, snagging, hands, and netting except as permitted. Archery and spearfishing is permitted only in the taking of bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish and only in those waters during the season set for the taking of game ...
10/9/12
A: This is such a broad topic that it is hard to answer here.  It was suggested to me that you should go to a local sporting goods store and talk with them about what works well in your area.
10/1/12
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: We've conducted creel surveys and have officer reports that indicate the stocking was marginally successful.  We documented a number of brown trout caught both upstream and downstream of the stocking sites.  We went many years not stocking brown trout in the Palouse River - mostly because we lost ...
9/24/12
A: A number of the lakes in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area have brook trout populations.  You are not finding them when searching in the Southwest Region because they are all on the Stanley side of the Sawtooths and in the Fish and Game Salmon Region. Here is a list of lakes in the Salmon ...
9/13/12
A: They are included in the database - you just need to do some sluthing.  Here is an example:  1) Select Panhandle Region; 2) select records for 1967 to present; 3) click on "other trout;" 4) highlight "Antelope Lake; 5) and now click "search."  You will see 2,111 fingerling brook trout were stocked ...
9/13/12
A: No, the current record is over a year old.  You can see all the current records at:   https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=82
8/28/12
A: Henry's Lake is managed with a two trout limit.  No size restrictions apply but once an angler keeps two fish he may not continue to fish. Brook trout are counted in the two fish limit. 
8/20/12
A: The tiger muskie plants were part of a fish research project to see if the sterile predators could reduce or eliminate stunted brook trout populations in mnt lakes. The fish wer stocked in 2005 and followed through this summer. They can definately turn a brook trout population around to either ...
8/6/12
A: General rules apply to the water below the Hayden Lake outlet, so snagging, spearing, and netting are not allowed and limits do apply.  It's relatively uncommon to have so much outflow (like we had this year) that large numbers of fish actually leave the lake through the outlet, so we have not ...
8/6/12
A: Forage Lake was stocked with golden trout last year as well as 2004 and 2006, so it should have fish in it.  It is possible that they were simply in deeper water and you just weren't able to see them, but usually if fish are in a mountain lake, they're fairly obvious.  It's very possible that some ...
8/5/12
A: Although, bull trout are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as "threatened" anglers can still actively fish for them in Idaho.  Catch-and-release fishing for bull trout can be great sport given the size bull trout can achieve and their aggressive nature.  With that said, before an ...
8/4/12
A: There are several reasons for rainbow trout being the most stocked resident fish in Idaho.  *1)  surveys show the majority of anglers that fish in Idaho prefer catching rainbow trout; 2) rainbow trout eggs are readily available for commercial/conservation, large-scale production; 3) our fish ...
8/3/12
A: It's easier if I first list the game fish.  They are all the trout species, all the salmon species, grayling, whitefish, cisco, crappie, perch, bass, all catfish/bullheads, sunfish, sturgeon, northern pike, tiger muskie, walleye, sauger, burbot, bullfrogs, and crayfish.  That essentially leaves ...
8/2/12
A: Please contact the Regional Fisheries Manager at the Southwest Regional Office via phone 208-465-8465 ext. 301
8/2/12
A: There is a extremely small probability, but it is highly, highly unlikely. Tiger musky have been stocked in Little Payette Lake and Lake Cascade. For a tiger musky to make it to Horseshoe Bend, it would have to pass through a dam and move downstream through several class IV-V rapids. Furthermore, ...
7/30/12
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: 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: IDFG does in fact have a stocking program in Dierkes Lake.  Rainbow trout between 8-10 inches are stocked primarily in the spring when water temperatures are cool enough to provide suitable stocking conditions.  Additionally, the Departement has intermittently stocked channel catfish.  The ...
6/25/12
A: Yes, there are fish in Long Tom and Mountain Home reservoirs.  Mountain Home Reservoir is typically stocked with rainbow trout in the early spring.  Fish will survive all year if adiquate water remains in the reservoir over the winter.  If conditions are right, this can be a very nice ice fishery ...
6/19/12
A: From the Boise area, a great place to camp and fish is along the Middle Fork of the Boise River. This area is accessed via Highway 21. Just past the high bridge over Mores Creek, turn right onto the Middle Fork Road and drive past Lucky Peak and Arrowrock Reservoirs. The Middle Fork offers a ...
6/16/12
A: No, you can't. On page 46 of the Fishing Rules Book: Sale of Fish: Fish harvested by anglers cannot be bought or sold without a commercial license except as provided by Idaho Code.
6/12/12
A: According to our records, we did not know that there were wild trout in Sand Hollow Creek. I certainly didn't know.  A couple of other sampling sites surveyed in this creek during 2001 came up as no fish present.  We appreciate the information. I would like to talk with you on the phone about your ...
6/5/12
A: Most brook trout fishing opportunities within the Magic Valley involve smaller headwater streams.  Places such as upper South Fork Boise River, Upper Littlewood River, Upper Rock Creek (Twin Falls County), Upper Cassia Creek, and various tributaries feeding into the Upper Big Wood River.  All of ...
6/5/12
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: 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: We are using a few pike in mountain lakes in south-central Idaho to reduce brook trout numbers, but we really don’t want them to be harvested (some lakes have less than 10 pike stocked).  In the Southwest part of Idaho the best place to find Tiger muskies is Dog Creek Reservoir near Gooding or ...
5/7/12
A: Both are open all year.  The trout limit is 2.
5/5/12
A: At the present time, cutthroat trout are considered part of the “trout” bag limit in most of the state.  This means you can catch and harvest 6 cutthroat trout per day over most of Idaho.  The Magic Valley, Southeast, and Upper Snake restrict cutthroat harvest in rivers and streams to 2 cutthroat ...
4/23/12
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: We do not stock trout in rivers when they are at flood stage. Instead, these fish remain at their respective hatchery until flow conditions improve or we reallocate them  to ponds or reservoirs.  
4/18/12
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: A decision has not yet been made regarding the future of Priest Lake and the lake trout fishery.  IDFG is currently in the “scoping” phase of developing a new statewide fisheries management plan for 2013-2018.  The plan will set direction for Priest and Upper Priest lakes, as well as other ...
2/11/12
A: Technically the brook trout is a char, more closely related to bull trout than to rainbows or cutthroats. They are not a native species in Idaho. The limit is high because brook trout are very prolific and tend to out-compete and interbreed with the other trout species, including the native bull ...
5/22/11
A: Yes, you can. They have been available since January 1, 2003. Because no rules prohibited such plates, the Transportation Department decided it was allowed to issue some special interest plates for such towed vehicles. Wildlife license plates, including the bluebird, elk and cutthroat trout, ...
1/23/11
A: It depends. In most of the state, there are no restrictions on the number of holes, but an ice angler can fish with up to five poles or lines at a time, and up to five hooks per line. A two-pole validation does not allow more than five lines while ice fishing. All lines must be attended by the ...
1/13/11