Q. Last week I asked if I needed a hunting license to plink or shoot targets. The answer said I only needed a license if I shoot at an animal. Can you clarify this? A. You can shoot cans or other targets without a license. You actually need a license long before you shoot at an animal. If you are pursuing any animal with the intent of shooting it, you are hunting, and so need a license at that time.
Fishing for spring chinook will close July 4 on the Little Salmon, mainstem Clearwater and the North Fork Clearwater at the end of the legal fishing day, 9 p.m. The 9 p.m. closure is for Mountain Daylight Time on the Little Salmon River and 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on the mainstem and North Fork Clearwater Rivers. The season is closing because quotas have been filled for sport fishing harvest. Continued fishing on these waters could jeopardize hatchery production goals and tribal harvest objectives. The season for spring chinook continues on the Lochsa and South Fork Clearwater. Summer chinook fishing will begin at the South Fork Salmon River on June 30. Limits will be two per day, four chinook salmon in possession, and the 20 salmon per season statewide limit remains in effect. Regulation brochures for the South Fork Salmon River chinook fishery should be available at Southwest Region vendors and Fish and Game offices. Through the past weekend, anglers had spent 70,628 hours to catch 3,906 chinook primarily on the lower mainstem and North Fork of the Clearwater River. They caught 2,860 chinook in 41,384 hours of fishing on the Little Salmon River. This was the first chinook salmon season in Idaho since 1998. Anglers fish for hatchery-reared chinook only, which are marked by a clipped or missing adipose fin. All naturally-produced chinook must be released unharmed. All naturally-produced chinook salmon in the fishing areas are either listed under the federal Endangered Species Act or protected by State law. Anglers fishing on the South Fork Salmon River must have fish checked by Fish and Game no later than 10 p.m. of the day they are caught and anglers must receive a receipt for each fish. Salmon will be checked at a Fish and Game check station at Knox Ranch on the South Fork Road, Forest Service #474, about _ mile north of the Warm Lake Highway.
Idaho counties will receive more than a quarter million dollars this year to offset property taxes where Fish and Game owns land. Sportsmen's license money pays the fees-in-lieu-of-taxes (FILT) to keep counties from losing funding that would otherwise come from taxes on private property. These fees have been paid since 1992 when the Idaho legislature approved the offset. Fish and Game owns properties that serve as sportsmen's access to waterways, administrative lands and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). WMAs serve locales where critical wildlife habitat might otherwise cease to exist. Some WMAs have been transferred to Fish and Game by other government agencies, some were purchased outright and others were acquired by private conservation organizations, then transferred to the department. The total of payments to counties in 1999 was $257,049.81. Fees are determined by county officials based on assessed value or on the basis of statewide averages set by the State Tax Commission. Amounts paid to counties vary widely because of the amount and types of lands Fish and Game owns. Minidoka County, for example, received $5.76 in 1999 while Nez Perce County was paid $87,585. Several northern counties receive relatively higher amounts because the department owns larger acreages and because some of them are timbered, which brings a higher tax. This fee-in-lieu-of-tax system was worked out by legislators pressured on one side by county officials concerned about their property tax-funded budgets and on the other side by sportsmen and conservationists who wanted critical lands preserved for public use.
Idaho's 1999 record for tiger muskie was snapped twice in late June. The old record of 34 pounds, eight ounces-set last year by Justin Olson-was broken by a 35-pound fish caught on the last weekend of June. Before the paperwork was submitted for that record, angler Dave Tacherv brought a 37-pound, 13 ounce tiger muskie in to the Panhandle Region Fish and Game office. He caught his fish about 72 hours after the last one. Tacherv's tiger muskie was 49 3/8 inches long. All of Idaho's record tiger muskies have come from Hauser Lake near Coeur d'Alene. When the biggest of them get into the mood to bite, records have fallen in the same rapid-fire pattern as they have this year. Fisheries biologists are not sure how many more huge tiger muskies the lake can hold. They think most of the age class that has produced the records must have been caught by now. Tiger muskies are sterile hybrids, a cross between muskellunge and northern pike. They have been introduced into only a few Idaho lakes where numbers of nongame fish needed to be reduced. Enormous as the record Idaho tiger muskies have been, they still have a way to go for the world record. The biggest in the books is a Wisconsin fish taken in 1919 at 51 pounds, three ounces.
Nick Hogamier of Wallace has certified 1,036 hunters in his 20 years as an Idaho Hunter Education instructor, a volunteer career that earned him the Instructor of the Year award. Governor Dirk Kempthorne was on hand in Coeur d'Alene to honor Hogamier for his service. Hogamier was given a lifetime hunting and fishing license in addition to his award. He has taught 41 classes, beginning when Hunter Education was instituted in 1979. Hogamier is one of 126 Hunter Education instructors in the Panhandle Region. He holds classes in Osburn, Kellogg and Mullan. Besides Hunter Education, Hogamier volunteers on the Shoshone County Search and Rescue, serves on the county waterways committee, and has been a firefighter for 18 years. He has also been a Wallace city council member and serves on the local district water board. He is active in the Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He helps save historic structures as a member of the Forest Fire Lookout Association. Hogamier was quoted at the award event saying he knows Hunter Education is working; "when I joined Search and Rescue in 1970, you always heard of people getting shot. Accidents do happen but they're very rare anymore." He teaches basic survival with hunting safety, telling students to stay where they are if they become "misplaced." He tells them "should you get lost and I have to come get you - which I'd be glad to do - you'd better be sitting in one place." Hunter Education instructors themselves select the outstanding instructor in each region every year, then pick one of the seven to be Instructor of the Year. For 1999, top instructors in the other regions were Tom Anderson, Clearwater; Jack Edwards, Southwest; Bob Penny, Magic Valley; Jerome Bullock, Southeast; Sammy Hendricks, Upper Snake; and Win Turner, Salmon.
The application period for sandhill crane controlled hunts ends July 15. Hunters can apply at any license vendor or by mail using the application form printed in the information brochure. Application can also be made over the phone by calling 1-800-824-3729 or on the Fish and Game Website under "What's New." The address is: http://www.state.id.us/fishgame Visa, Discover or MasterCard may be used for telephone or Internet applications. The information brochure is available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors. It has season dates and hunt locations for eastern Idaho sandhill crane controlled hunts. Applicants should apply for only one species on a form. The application fee is $6.50 per person per application. One dollar of this nonrefundable fee may be designated to go to Citizens Against Poaching. Applicants who use the Internet or telephone method will also be charged a service fee by the contractor who processes the applications and sends the information to Fish and Game. Successful applicants must pay a $1.50 tag fee and $1.50 for the federal waterfowl information validation.
IDAHO FALLS - Most anglers in Idaho associate the opening day of fishing with the Memorial Day weekend, but there is one special opening day unique to certain higher elevation creeks that doesn't take place until July 1 of each year. According to Regional Fish Manager Mark Gamblin, "We keep those creeks closed a little longer to help give native cutthroat trout a chance to complete spawning." While the general fishing season started on May 27, the following creeks do not open until July 1, but they all close together at the same time at the end of the general season on November 30. McCoy Creek Pine Creek Willow Creek Drainage - Brockman Creek Cellars Creek Hell Creek Lava Creek Teton Basin - Fox Creek Teton Creek Trail Creek For further information regarding these waters anglers should consult the 2000/2001 fishing regulations. Upper Snake Region exceptions start on page 56. Unless otherwise noted, regular limits & methods of take apply. Fisherman are reminded of the Upper Snake Region limit of 2 cutthroat, none under 16 inch limit that applies to all rivers and streams in the region, except where noted in the above mentioned section. For further information regarding specific waters or regulations in the Upper Snake Region contact the regional IDFG office at 525-7290.
Effective July 1, and running through August 31, the bag, possession, and size limits on all fish in certain waters at Hagerman Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be removed. Those ponds include Anderson Ponds #1, #2, and #3, plus both Bass Ponds. On June 23, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission issued a special order to remove these limits in anticipation of summer repair and construction work on the dike system. Normal fishing methods (rod and reel) are still required on all waters. The water will be drained from these ponds through the summer to allow repairs and other work on the dikes, bridges and water control structures between ponds. Low water levels and high temperatures into the summer will likely result in fish kills; the Department is allowing anglers to take as many fish as possible and reduce that die-off. Agency personnel may also remove undesirable carp from Anderson Ponds #1 and #2 if conditions are suitable. Due to safety concerns during construction, public access will be restricted at some ponds and dikes after July 31. These closed areas will be posted. Waters at Hagerman WMA that are still under normal bag, possession and size limits include the Riley Creek Pond, the effluent pond (below raceways), all six Oster Lakes, the West Pond, the Goose Pond, and all of Riley Creek. For further information or clarification, please contact the Magic Valley Fish and Game office in Jerome at 324-4359, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please refer to the attached map for those ponds with restrictions removed.
Registration for late summer and early fall rifle hunter education classes will be held in the Magic Valley Region from Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14 at various locations throughout the area. Those people needing the basic course, and planning to hunt this fall, will only have this opportunity to sign up for the remainder of the year. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1975 must attend and pass the state-approved hunter education course to hunt in Idaho. Each registration session is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Courses costs $8 per person; fees must be paid the night of registration. Dates and locations for registration are as follows: July 10 & 11 East Twin Falls Co. Boy Scout Service Center 2988 Falls Ave. E., Twin Falls July 10 & 11 Cassia & Mindoka Co. Cassia Co. Sheriff Office* 129 E. 14th St., Burley July 12 & 13 Gooding Co. Gooding Middle School 1047 7th Ave. W., Gooding July 12 & 13 Blaine Co. Blaine Co. Sheriff Office 220 1st, St., Hailey July 12 & 13 Jerome Co. Fish and Game Office 868 E. Main, Jerome July 13 & 14 West Twin Falls Co. Filer City Library 219 Main Ave., Filer
Salmon anglers can begin fishing the famous South Fork of the Salmon River for summer chinook June 30 or after, as soon as federal fisheries authorities approve Idaho's request for a permit. Anglers are already enjoying good fishing for spring chinook on the Clearwater and Little Salmon Rivers. A summer chinook season on the South Fork of the Salmon had to wait until fish counts indicated enough summer chinook would be heading to the South Fork to allow a fishing season for them. The season would target unlisted hatchery summer chinook, which are marked by an adipose fin-clip. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must approve the salmon fishing seasons because all of Idaho's native anadromous fish runs are listed under the Endangered Species Act and some may be caught and released during the course of the fishery. Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners voted unanimously for a South Fork summer chinook season when they met by conference call June 20. The season is set to open June 30 or after, as permitted by NMFS. Fishing will cease August 4 unless the harvest quota is met before that date. The salmon hatchery at McCall needs about 570 of the unlisted, hatchery-reared, adults for the hatchery program. Biologists estimate a run on the South Fork Salmon at 1,800 to 2,300 adults, leaving a surplus for tribal and nontribal fisheries of about 1,700 if 2,300 salmon do run in the river. A rules brochure for the season is being prepared now to be available at Southwest Region vendors and Fish and Game offices by the beginning of the season. Hours for fishing on the South Fork Salmon River will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time with a limit (including subadult jack salmon) of two per day, four in possession. The statewide salmon limit remains at 20 for the year and includes the South Fork.
Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners will continue to take comment from the public on the proposed predator management policy when they meet in Stanley July 13-14. Predator policy has already been the subject of comments to commissioners in prior meetings. The policy is also posted on the department's internet web site under "What's New" at www.state.id.us/fishgame and is available in printed form at Fish and Game offices. Those who wish to comment on the proposed policy may do so at open house meetings in the seven regions. Regional open houses will be announced locally and will include taking comment on waterfowl seasons and the proposal to allow outfitted wild turkey hunting as well as the predator policy. Written comments may be made to Idaho Department of Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707, attention Dale Toweill. Comment is also taken by email. A decision on the policy may come later this summer. Dale Toweill, coordinator of the comment process for predator policy, said the policy is intended to "ensure that department actions are bounded by good science and good management."
Q. Do I have to have a license to target practice? A. No, you can plink cans, or shoot targets without a license. As soon as you shoot at an animal, you need a license.
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