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Idaho Fish and Game

Ice Fishing Rules

Ice fishing rules are slightly different than general fishing for public safety and general crowding. Be sure to check the official fishing regulations booklet for details.

  • An angler can fish with up to five poles or lines at a time, and have up to five hooks per line. All lines must be attended by the angler. A two-pole validation does not allow more than five lines while ice fishing. Some waters are managed under special rules that limit the number of poles or bait while ice fishing, so be sure to check fishing regulations for exceptions.
  • Statewide daily trout limit is six fish. There is no limit on perch, bluegill or crappie. Check the rules for the waters you are fishing for any special regulations that may apply.
  • Fishing is allowed only through a hole up to 10 inches in diameter.
  • There are no restrictions on the number of holes.
  • Gaff hooks may be used only to land fish through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters that have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species.
  • Anglers who use any enclosure or shelter for ice fishing and plan to leave it unattended overnight on the ice, must have the owner’s name, telephone number, and current address legibly marked on two opposing sides. Shelters must be removed from the ice before the spring thaw.