Press Release

Press Releases

Upper Salmon River Chinook season to close July 31

chinook, Clearwater River, fishing season, summer Chinook


Idaho Fish and Game will close fishing for Chinook salmon on the Salmon River from the Copper Mine boat ramp about 2.5 miles upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River upstream to a posted boundary approximately 100 yards downstream of the weir and trap at the Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley at the end of fishing hours (10 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time) on July 31, 2016.  

Weekly angler surveys indicate that sport anglers will have harvested the non-tribal share of hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the Sawtooth Hatchery by this time.

Chinook fishing continues in the lower Mainstem Clearwater from the railroad bridge in Lewiston upstream to the Cherrylane Bridge and from the Orofino bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater, the South Fork Clearwater River, the Lochsa River, and the Boise River.

Anglers are reminded that changes to seasons or limits may be implemented on short notice. For current information on Idaho's salmon seasons and fishing rules, visit the Fish and Game website at or call the Salmon Hotline at 1-855-287-2702.

Livestock Killing Grizzly Bear Euthanized

July 25, 2015

Livestock Killing Grizzly Bear Euthanized

ISLAND PARK – On Saturday, July 23, 2016, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, with the permission of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, euthanized a 26-year old adult male grizzly bear that had been responsible over the past week for killing seven sheep in three separate incidents in Moose Creek of Unit 61.  The grizzly bear was originally trapped for scientific purposes twenty-three years ago and not had been known to have been in any human-related conflicts until this incident.  When first trapped it was designated as number 219, today over a thousand bears have been trapped for scientific purposes. Examination of the bear once it was sedated indicated that it had totally lost its upper teeth and its lower ones were also in very bad shape, explaining why it had turned to running down sheep. 

Because of the bear’s physical condition and its recent behavior it was euthanized by IDFG biologists.



Don’t forget to buy your controlled hunt tags by August 1

Big game hunters who were successful in drawing controlled hunt tags for deer, elk, pronghorn, and black bear have until midnight Mountain Daylight Time, Monday, August 1 to buy their tags.

It is the individual applicant's responsibility to check online at, or watch for a post card to see if they were drawn for a tag. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified.

Tags may be purchased at any Fish and Game office, any license vendor, by telephone at (800-554-8685), or online from Fish and Game’s website.

“Every year we have people contact us after the deadline,” said Michael Pearson, Fish and Game administration bureau chief. “Please call your hunting partners, family and friends to remind them to buy their controlled hunt tags so they can enjoy the benefits of drawing those tags.” 

Last year, Idaho elk hunters with controlled-hunt tags were more than twice as likely to harvest as general-season elk hunters (45.6 percent vs. 21.7 percent). Deer hunters weren’t far off with 60 percent of those who drew a controlled hunt harvesting a deer vs. 43 percent success for general-season hunters. 

Any controlled hunt tag not purchased by midnight (MDT) Monday, August 1, except unlimited tags, will be forfeited and made available in a second drawing.

A change this year combines all unsold tags, including controlled hunts that start in early August, into a single, second drawing.  In the past, Fish and Game made the tags for early season controlled hunts available first-come, first-served in early August. Some August controlled hunts will already be in progress when the second drawing occurs, but there will be plenty of hunting time available for most of those hunts.  

Between August 2 and August 4, Fish and Game will compile a list of all unsold and forfeited tags that will be available in the second drawing.  The application period for this second drawing runs from August 5 to 15, with the drawing to be held around August 20.  Any tags not drawn will go on sale first-come, first-served August 25 at 10 a.m. Mountain Time.

Fish and Game Commission to meet August 8 in Boise

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet Monday, August 8 at Fish and Game’s Headquarters office, 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

Commissioners will consider proposed seasons for sage-grouse, approve the fiscal 2018 budget, and hear a briefing on nonbiological rules for all game animals.

There will be no public hearing during this one-day meeting, but the public is welcome to attend.

A full agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game director's office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).

Keep a clean camp to avoid bear conflicts

With summer temperatures continuing to increase and natural food sources for bears becoming harder to find, potential for human interactions with bears are on the rise.

With thousands of campers, anglers, and hikers venturing outdoors, Idaho Fish and Game encourages people to be mindful of their food and garbage.  The same cautions apply to homeowners in bear country.

Grizzly in camp
Grizzly in camp
Creative Commons Licence
Gregg Losinski, IDFG


"It is important for campers and homeowners to be proactive so they don't attract bears," said Gregg Losinski, Fish and Game conservation educator.  "Don't wait until it's a problem, because once bears become accustomed to an easy food source - they will return and conflicts will continue."

Bears can travel great distances while switching from spring to summer foods and when berries and other natural foods become scarce, human related attractants such as food and even garbage, becomes appealing.

Campers can help avoid most conflicts with bears by practicing the following:

  • Keep a clean camp.  Pick up garbage and store it in a closed vehicle or in a plastic bag tied high in a tree.  Store all food enclosed in a bear-resistant container, camper or vehicle - never keep food in your tent.  Some national forests in Idaho even have specific food storage regulations, so check before heading out.
  • Do not bury food scraps or pour cooking grease or anything that might be tasty on the ground or into the fire pit.  Also, stow barbecue grills or other smelly cooking gear inside your vehicle.  Bears have a tremendous sense of smell and they will come looking for an easy meal.
  • If you see a bear, watch it from a distance and leave it alone.  Black bears are not usually aggressive, but the danger may increase if a bear loses its fear of humans

Homeowners can avoid most conflicts with bears by practicing the following:

  • Keep garbage in bear-resistant, latchable containers.  Keep garbage in a closed building until the morning the garbage will be picked up.
  • Empty and remove bird feeders during the summer months.  Songbirds are able to forage on food provided by nature.  Bears find that bird feeders are an easy food source.  If you hang a hummingbird feeder make sure it is suspended at least ten feet high and at least four feet away from your home.
  • Clean up fruit that has fallen from fruit trees in your yard.  In addition to bears, rotting fruit will attract raccoons and skunks.
  • Feed pets inside or during daylight hours; do not leave pet food or food scraps outside of your home or camp.  Table scraps and pet foods make a great attractant for bears.
  • Store horse and livestock grains inside closed barns.
  • Composting in bear country is not advised. Decomposing organic materials will attract bears.
  • Chicken coops have grown in popularity with rural dwellers and bears love them too.  Electric fencing has proven to be an effective method for stopping bears.
  • Keep barbeque grills stored in closed buildings.

Fish and Game deals with most nuisance bear complaints from July through September when bears are traveling in search of food. Bears will eat almost anything, including human food, garbage, birdseed, and pet and livestock food.  Bears that become conditioned to raiding these food sources can lose their natural fear of people and can become nuisances or even threats. Live trapping and moving a bear does not always solve the problem, and bears often will need to be euthanized. That is why biologists often say a fed bear is a dead bear.

Mile Marker 14 Fire prompts closure of Boise River Wildlife Management Area

Because of the Mile Marker 14 wildfire burning northeast of Boise, Idaho Fish and Game closed portions of its Boise River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to the public. 

Fire on Boise River WMA
Creative Commons Licence
Courtesy Ada County Sheriff's Office


Areas closed to all public entry until further notice include the Highland Valley Road, the burned area on both sides of Idaho 21, and all trails in the burned area.  Boaters and anglers are reminded that the Robie Creek boat launch, the Mores Creek Arm of Lucky Peak Reservoir, and several boat-in camp areas are also closed while aircraft use the reservoir to fight the fire.  Fire officials have also closed Robie Creek and Rocky Canyon to recreation, but property owners can still access their land.


Mile Marker 14 Fire Closure Area Map / Krista Muller

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, July 21, the fire was 60 percent contained and burning northeast of the WMA in the Mores Creek Bridge and Deer Creek areas.

So far, the fire has burned about 4,306 acres of land managed by the Idaho Fish and Game and various federal agencies. 

The fire started Tuesday afternoon near Hilltop Summit on State Highway 21.  Afternoon winds and hot temperatures quickly helped the fire expand to several hundred acres.  At Fish and Game’s WMA field office, two outbuildings were burned and numerous trees scorched.  The extent of damage to the WMA, which is critical winter range for big game and other wildlife, has not yet been determined, but planning for rehabilitation projects is already underway.

“Volunteers will be at the heart of the rehabilitation efforts on the WMA fires, including fall seedling planting and native seed collection,” said Michael Young, Fish and Game volunteer coordinator.  “Folks interested in helping out can sign up on the contact list and we’ll notify them of our future plans.”     

Those interested in volunteering can sign up here    

The cause of the fire was human caused and is under investigation. 

More details on the Mile Marker 14 Fire and other fires burning in Idaho are available on the InciWeb fire information website at

First sockeye of 2016 arrives in Stanley

After disastrous summer last year, river temperatures have improved for sockeye this year

Sockeye SalmonIdaho Fish and Game crews welcomed the first sockeye of the summer back to the Stanley area on Tuesday, July 19. The fish completed a 900-mile journey that included crossing through eight dams and swimming 6,500 vertical feet of elevation from the ocean to Stanley. 

Hopefully, it will be followed by more sockeye. Through July 19, an estimated 1,029 sockeye bound for Idaho had crossed Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. Of those, 730 had crossed Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, which is about 25 miles downstream from Lewiston and the last dam the fish cross before reaching Idaho. 

After crossing Lower Granite Dam, the fish still have to swim about 400 miles to return to their spawning grounds in the Stanley area. 

Last year, a heat wave warmed temperatures in the Columbia River to lethal temperatures that killed about 99 percent of the sockeye run. The rivers are cooler this year and migration conditions more favorable, but it's still a perilous trip for the fish. 

Since 2009, survival from Bonneville Dam to the Stanley Basin, has ranged from a low of 1 percent last year to a high of 60 percent in 2010. 

Here's where you can read more about Idaho's sockeye:



Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 29,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during August.

Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 29,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during August.


Location                                                    Week Stocked                           Number of Trout


Boise River - above Glenwood Bridge         August 8, 22                          1,440/1,440

Boise River - below Glenwood Bridge         August 8, 22                             720/720

Boise River, Middle Fork                                August 8                                  2,000

Boise River, North Fork                               August 1, 22                          2,000/2,000

Browns (Airport) Pond (McCall)                  August 1, 29                             500/500  

Bull Trout Lake, Little #1 (Grandjean)           August 15                                  750


Bull Trout Lake, Little #2 (Grandjean)            August 3                                   200

Council (Ol’ McDonald) Pond                       August 29                                  500

Crooked River (Idaho City)                            August 8                                   500

Fischer Pond (Cascade)                               August 1, 29                             750/750

Fish Lake (McCall)                                        August 29                                 1,500

Gold Fork River (Donnelly)                            August 1                                   750


Kimberland Meadows Pond (New Meadows) August 29                                  500

Lake Fork Creek (Lake Fork)                         August 8                                   300

Lake Fork Creek, North Fork (Lake Fork)      August 8                                   200

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds                              August 15                                  600

Marsing Pond                                               August 1, 29                             450/450

Martin Lake (Grandjean)                               August 15                                 1,000


Northwest Passage Pond (McCall)               August 1, 15                             375/375

Payette River, Middle Fork                          August 1, 15                             750/750

Payette River, North Fork                             August 8, 29                             250/250

Rowlands (Scout) Pond (McCall)                 August 1, 15                             750/750

Silver Creek (Crouch)                                  August 1, 15                             750/750

Tripod Reservoir (Smiths Ferry)                     August 8                                  1,000


Weiser River, Middle Fork                             August 22                                  500

Wilson Springs (Nampa)                           August 1, 15, 29                      250/250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa)                August 1, 15, 29                      400/400/400


      The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.

- IDFG - 

Project WILD Workshop Will Focus on Wildlife, Water, Trees and Words

If you are an educator who has participated in a Project WILD, Project WET, or Project Learning Tree workshop, then you are already aware of some of the innovative tools available for teaching science and environmental education to students of all ages. But did you know there is one workshop that ties all three "Projects" together with a special focus on literature?

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Idaho Forest Products Commission, and the University of Idaho are sponsoring a "Focus on Literature" workshop for educators. This workshop will help teachers link science and environmental education with reading and writing in their classrooms.

A Focus on Literature workshop will be held at the Fish and Game office in Coeur d’Alene, 2885 W Kathleen Ave. The workshop will run from 8am through 4pm on Wednesday August 3 and Thursday August 4.

Focus on Literature is ideal for any educator-schoolteachers (K-12), Head Start instructors, 4-H leaders, scoutmasters, docents, afterschool program teachers, and home school educators.

Advance registration is required. The registration fee for this workshop is $40. As an option, participants can attend the workshop for university credit at an additional cost ($60 - $75 depending upon institution chosen for credit). Typically, an outside assignment is required for those taking it for credit.

Workshop participants will learn about Idaho's wildlife, habitats, forests, and water resources as well as the value, use, and management of those resources.

Participants will also take home a variety of educational materials, including their choice of activity guides from one of the programs (Project WILD, Project WET, and Project Learning Tree) as well as posters, books, and a host of other materials, tools, and project ideas perfect for any classroom setting.

For more information about this workshop, please contact Idaho Project Wild Coordinator Lori Adams at (208)287-2889. You can access the registration form via Fish and Game's Web site at Click on “Education”, then “Project Wild”.  Sign up under “Specialized” workshops.



Sandhill crane tags available starting August 1

Hunters are reminded that Sandhill crane will be available on a first-come first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m. (MDT) August 1.



Tags can be purchased at Fish and Game license vendors, online at, or with a credit card by calling (800) 554-8685.

Hunters can find Sandhill crane hunting information in the new 2016-2017 Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Rules brochure, which now includes season information for waterfowl, Sandhill crane, dove and crow.  The brochure is available online at, or at license vendors by July 22.

Sandhill tag numbers were increased to a total of 465 tags, season lengths were extended in some hunt areas, and a small section of the Jefferson County Hunt Area was closed.  The daily limit is two birds for all hunts, and the season limit is two birds for each hunter.

Waterfowl seasons will be similar to last year, except seasons in northern and eastern Idaho will begin two weeks earlier than last year to allow hunting opportunities prior to wetlands freezing. Overall, hunters will enjoy a 105 day season for ducks and Canada geese with a 2-day youth hunt scheduled statewide on September 24 and 25, 2016.

The daily bag limit is seven ducks; but not more than two female mallards, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails, or two canvasbacks.

The daily bag limit is four Canada geese, except in a portion of southeast Idaho where the daily limit is five from September 1 - 15th; 10 white-fronted geese; and 20 light geese (Snow and Ross's geese). The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

Waterfowl season opening and closing dates vary by different management zones of the state.

The dove season runs September 1 to October 30 statewide, with a daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

The season for American crows is October 1 to January 31 statewide, with no daily bag limit.   

A new process and schedule, established in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was used this year that allowed migratory game bird hunting seasons and rules to be set earlier than in the past. The Fish and Game Commission can now set all migratory game bird seasons at the same time, allowing seasons and rules for all migratory game birds to be available in the same brochure and more time for hunters to plan their hunts.