This past week fishing was slow in most areas. River section 03 (mouth of the Clearwater to Memorial Bridge) had catch rates of 8 hours a fish and river section 02 (Salmon R. to Hells Canyon Dam) was at 10 hours a fish. River section 04 on the Clearwater (upstream from Orofino Bridge) has ice over the river between the Zans boat ramp and 5 mile ramp. Anglers that fished on the North Fork reported slow fishing. One of the big comments is that the water is too clear. Anglers that used orange beads, orange headed jigs with pink hackle, or plugs have reported the most success. Check Harvest Report for more details. - Jaime Robertson, Senior Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region
Steelhead catch rates on the Clearwater River this past week were good with 10 hours or less to catch. We are starting to document more anglers fishing above Orofino Bridge and we documented catch on the South Fork of the Clearwater. The Salmon River documented 18 hours or less to catch and the Snake River documented 18 or less as well. There are still quite a few people fishing up by Heller Bar on river section 01 of the Snake. Anglers reported that overall the catch rates have been pretty good in that area and are happy with the fishing. Anglers are drifting eggs, floating bobbers, jig with shrimp, bottom bouncing, and back trolling. Check Harvest Report for details. - Jaime Robertson, Senior fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region
In August, Conservation Officer John McLain received a call about an entangled buck near Orofino. Finding the buck, he turned on his body-mounted camera and thought, “this might be a video of me getting my butt kicked, or it might turn out alright.”
Once freed, the deer remained on the ground for a few seconds, then bound away and appeared uninjured by the experience.
For the whole story, read the press release: Conservation Officer Frees Buck And Video Goes Viral.
Don't try this at home.
This video is a short overview of how the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program can help landowners produce and attract more wildlife to their properties. Wildlife Biologist Andrew Mackey talks about the importance of diversity and structure in CRP fields.
For more information about Wildlife Habitat Improvement in Idaho, ask for your regional Habitat Biologist.
It wasn't exactly an unreleased Beatles tune or a missing Monet, but the much-talked-about film featuring parachuting beavers was recently rediscovered in Fish and Game's archives. The 1950s film "Fur for the Future" produced by the department highlighted Fish and Game's efforts to transplant muskrats, marten and beavers, which included parachuting beavers into the back-country.
Working with the Idaho Historical Society, we were able to find the film which was found in a mislabeled box.
The story about the missing film of parachuting beavers rippled through the Internet last year, and reached as far as a Swiss magazine article.
And, well, when you've got film with parachuting beavers, you've got a story, and here it is.
It wasn't just the sockeye salmon that suffered in this record hot summer of 2015. Fish and Game's McCall Hatchery made some changes to accommodate over-heated Chinook salmon.
This video explains some of the events and Idaho Fish and Game's response.
“Because of the water temperatures in the South Fork being in the upper seventies, we were seeing a lot of mortality over there with fish that we were holding as well as fish that were in the river swimming free,’ said Joel Patterson, McCall Hatchery Assistant Manager. “So, those fish were then transported here because of elevated temperatures and low flows.”
Normally, the McCall Hatchery is housing catchable rainbow trout in the summer, but those fish were moved out early to lower elevation lakes and streams to make room for the Chinook salmon. Instead of spawning the fish at the trap, it was done at the McCall Hatchery in late August and early September.
Most of Idaho's fire closure areas have been lifted. However, there are still many trail and road closures in some areas.
Areas that have been burned, and any additional, remaining closures are available in the Idaho Hunt Planner Map Center.
Hunters and anglers: Here are the current Forest Service fire closure areas (As of 9/25/2015 1:00pm MT). This a basic map graphic that we will periodically update. It's intended to give people an easy way to see if their hunting or fishing areas are blocked by fires or access closures. For the best available information, browse to Inciweb.