Magic Valley

The Incredible Salmon Journey Ends - and Begins

August is the time for death and life for Salmon in Idaho. Watching this real-life drama is difficult in the wild but you can see it at our fish hatcheries at Riggins (Rapid River), McCall, Stanley (Sawtooth), Orofino (Clearwater) and Pahsimeroi (Challis). At these locations you can watch biologists monitor and artificially spawn adult Salmon and place the eggs in incubators to once again produce the next generation of Idaho fish.

Kokanee are freshwater Salmon that are blocked from making the ocean journey. They live their entire lives in Idaho in our lakes and reservoirs. The early run Kokanee spawn in August and early September and can be seen in reservoir tributaries due to their bright red color. Like ocean-going salmon, they also die after spawning and their bodies release nutrients that feed fish and other wildlife in Idaho's remote rivers and streams. We do have late spawning Kokanee that spawn in November and December. Most of these are found in North Idaho waters.

If you want to learn more, visit our Boise Nature Center during Salmon and Steelhead Days Sept. 9-11, 2015.

Janessa' First Bull Elk

Janessa shot this bull in his bed at 301 yards with one shot from Sako rifle in 7mm STW. He was a big herd bull that we found early in the morning and tried to bugle him into range, but his cows got nervous and headed out. We had an idea where they were headed and found them again about noon and Janessa made a great shot. Then the work began.

Update: August 11, 12:30 p.m. - All early unclaimed controlled hunt tags have been sold.

The sale of 142 controlled hunt tags for hunts that begin in mid August were sold on a first-come, first-served basis at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, August 11 at Fish and Game offices, license vendors and online at

In case you missed the August 6 news release, a vendor system glitch made the sale of our first-come, first-served tags impossible on Thursday morning, August 6.

Updated August 18, 2015 10:00 am

All 142 tags scheduled to be sold were available when the sales resumed.

These tags are for unclaimed, early-season controlled hunts. They are different from the tags available for the second controlled hunt drawing.

The application period for the second controlled hunt drawing ended August 15th.

Updated August 18, 2015 10:00 am


Can I still buy a regular license?

Yes. The glitch only happened for these special case tags. You can still buy a license.

When did sales resume?

Tuesday, August 11th at 10:00 am MT.

Were tags sold?

All of the 142 tags were available for purchase once the system glitch was resolved.

Updated August 18, 2015 10:00 am

More Wild Tiger Trout Tails

Last week, we were sent a picture of a Tiger Trout caught from the Big Wood River near Stanton Crossing by Cory Hanley. This is a wild "Tiger" versus the hatchery produced Tiger Trout we've recently stocked in the Upper Snake and Salmon regions.

Tiger Trout are a cross between a Brook Trout and a Brown Trout and are sterile. This is the third wild Tiger Trout I've seen in the last ten years.

Noxious weeds: a serious habitat threat

I've heard a lot about pesky weeds in Idaho over the years. However, I was surprised to read the statistics in a recent Post Register article picked up by the Spokesman-Review.

Many of Idaho's wildlife management plans have sections dedicated to weeds as a habitat threat. I know that I'll be looking for additional information so that I'm personally not inadvertently spreading noxious weeds. I'll start with Idaho Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Program.