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Magic Valley

Chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam

May 1, 2014 - 8:13am -- idfg-dparrish

The number of Chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River took a jump this last week in April.  We know a number of these fish are destined for Idaho because they carry PIT tags, individual numbered radio tags, that were inplanted into the fish as juveniles on their downstream migration.  Travel to Idaho is dependent on flow conditions, but you can expect these fish to arrive in Idaho within 30 - 45 days.

Lucky Peak Kokanee Fishing

April 28, 2014 - 1:36pm -- idfg-dparrish

A "crack" team of anglers fished Lucky Peak Reservoir on Friday April 25, 2014.  Fishing from boats and using a variety of gear, they were able to average about 1 kokanee per hour fished.  Size ranged from 12 to 16".

Most used down-riggers and fished in roughly 20' of water.  Best reported success was near the upper end of the reservoir and around Spring Shores Marina.

Projected Chinook Returns - Lower Salmon River

April 28, 2014 - 9:14am -- idfg-dparrish

The latest indicators, as of the last week in April 2014, show a projected return of Chinook salmon to Rapid River fish hatchery of somewhere between 11,000 and 17,000 adults.  Passive Induced Transponder (PIT) tags detectors at Bonneville Dam continue to show strong numbers of salmon passing through the ladder with embedded tags that were placed in the fish before they left Rapid River Hatchery on their migration to the ocean.

Fish currently passing over the dams should arrive in Idaho within the next 30 - 45 days, depending on flow conditions at the Columbia and Snake River dams.

Schedule your time-off and break-out your salmon fishing gear!

Bridge repair near C.J. Strike Reservoir

April 24, 2014 - 12:10pm -- idfg-bstuder

Here's some information that sportsmen interested in C.J. Strike Dam should know. The bridge below the dam is going to be closed for rennovations through July 31, 2014. Please consider alternate routes.

C.J. Strike Dam is a popular location for fishing and this closed bridge is near several popular Fish and Game access points. This location is along the Snake River upstream from Grandview, Idaho. 

Learn more about the closure in this Mountain Home News article about the closure and from Idaho Power.

The wooden bridge near CJ Strike Dam. Photo from Flickr, Don Burr by CC Attribution
 

A Birthday Turkey Hunt

April 21, 2014 - 5:31pm -- idfg-vosborn
Ryleigh's Youth Turkey Hunt in the Magic Valley

I found out on my 12th birthday this year I had drawn a youth turkey hunt. On Thursday, April 10th, after I got out of school, my dad and I drove to the South Hills to look for Toms. For the next couple of hours we searched. We did not hear anything, but we saw one Hen. I encouraged my dad to keep driving and looking. He called from his diaphragm and still no sound. We kept on driving and there was this tree in the way so we turned around the other way and we found another tree down. My dad said we should get out and walk. As we started walking we heard him gobble about 100 yards from us. We hurried and ran back to our truck. I grabbed my gun and we put our camo face masks on. We walked down slowly and he was gobbling the whole way. I finally got a place to sit down and get ready to shoot. I eventually got to see him and he was followed by seven Jakes. I was so excited I could barely think straight.  He walked to the decoys and did not even see us. I pulled my lever back and shot him. He was a trophy bird and was very good looking. I had such a great experience and would love to hunt turkeys again. - Kyleigh from the Magic Valley

An Afternoon on C.J Strike

April 14, 2014 - 4:46pm -- idfg-vosborn

We just got back from an afternoon of fishing on C.J. Strike Reservoir. We fished the narrows from a boat and caught several hundred yellow perch, bluegill and crappie. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.

Now for the rest of the story... The crappie averaged 6.5 to 7.5” and the perch averaged 8”.  Bluegill were small, as well. We did hook a few nice smallmouth bass, and Jerry managed to land a 6 lb. northern pikeminnow on a super-ultralight rod with 2 lb. test line, which had us all glued to the water until we saw what it was.  

We got kind of bored catching so many small fish. We started off with a piece of nightcrawler on the hook, but got tired of the perch ripping it off all the time and having to re-bait, so we quit using it. So, we started using 1-1.5” tube jigs. We lowered it about six to ten feet, jigged it twice and set the hook.  Many times fish would hit it on the way down.  We had the best luck with white and yellow, but I think anything you put down there would catch fish, there’s just so many. 

A few anglers were catching a few bigger perch a couple hundred yards out from the Cottonwood launch site. 

Although we got bored catching small fish, this would be a great time for kids and family!  And the fish should grow an inch or two this spring and summer, so August and September could be great!  For real fun, fish with ultralight gear, as it helps to detect the bite better, as well. - Joe from Hagerman.

Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir - An Anglers Conundrum

April 14, 2014 - 4:43pm -- idfg-vosborn

Salmon Falls Reservoir, located near the Idaho-Nevada border in South-Central Idaho, is known for outstanding walleye fishing. But it's the other species of fish that bring me back. Spring fishing for rainbow and rainbow/cutthroat trout along the shore using bait has been exceptional this spring. An afternoon fishing on the rocky points with jigs and lures produced respectable smallmouth bass.  We even found a few walleye venturing into the shallows at the upper end of the reservoir  as the afternoon sun warmed the water.  Nowhere else in Idaho offers so much diversity and opportunity.  It also generates indecision because I can’t decide what to fish for first. – Dave from Boise

Volunteering for habitat [Article and Photos]

April 14, 2014 - 9:20am -- idfg-bstuder

Idahoans care about their wildlife. It's always uplifting to me to see a group of volunteers taking time to show their appreciation and volunteer at events such as sagebrush and bitterbrush planting to restore wildlife habitat.

Volunteers recently planted over the Minidoka complex fire at Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area. The Times-News story and photo gallery are now online.

Interested in volunteering? You can also learn more about the history of volunteers in Idaho Fish and Game's 75th celebration page.

Planting Game Habitat at Big Cottonwood
VIRGINIA HUTCHINS • TIMES-NEWS Mark Fleming, regional wildlife habitat manager, gives instructions to volunteers who will help the Idaho Department of Fish and Game plant sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings in burned areas of the Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area on April 5, 2014.

Photo used by permission.

 

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