Press Release

May 2002

Rainbow Trout Stocking Report

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 84,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during June. Note that many local ponds will be stocked in early June just prior to June 8, Free Fishing Day.

LOCATION NUMBER OF TROUT

Boise River (Boise) 4,000

Boise River (Eagle to Middleton) 4,000

Boise River (Middle Fork - Atlanta) 1,000

Boise River (Middle Fork - Lower 1,000

Boise River (North Fork) 4,000

Bull Trout Lake 2,000

Caldwell Pond #1 500

Caldwell Pond #2 500

Capehorn Lake #2 1,000

Crooked River 1,000

Ed's Pond (Emmett) 250

Josephus Lake 500

Grimes Creek 1,000

Legacy Park Pond (Mt. Home) 300

Little Bull Trout Lake #1 300

Little Bull Trout Lake #2 300

Little Bull Trout Lake #3 300

Little Payette Lake 20,000

Lost Valley Reservoir 10,000

Lowman Ponds 2,000

Marsing Pond 500

Martin Lake 1,000

McDevitt Pond 250

Mill Pond (Horseshoe Bend) 500

Mores Creek 1,000

Ol' McDonald's Pond (Council) 300

June 8 is Free Fishing Day

Saturday, June 8 is Free Fishing Day, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, to celebrate the day by fishing anywhere in Idaho without a license. Though fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules, such as limits or tackle restrictions, remain in effect.

"Free fishing day provides a great opportunity for novices to give fishing a try and perhaps develop it into a life-long pursuit," Fish and Game regional fish manager Jeff Dillon said. "Parents are encouraged to bring their children out for a day of fun and excitement."

Lack of fishing experience is no excuse. At special locations around the southwest region, equipment will be available for use and fishing experts will be on hand to help novice anglers learn the ins and outs of fishing. Look for the special event nearest you and, "Take a Kid Fishing."

Free Fishing Day Events in the Southwest Region - Saturday, June 8, 2002:

Note: pay special attention to event times.

C.J. Strike Reservoir - Cottonwood Access - 9:00am - 1:00pm.

Hosted by American Legion Post #101 (Mt. Home).

Ed's Pond (Emmett) - 9:00am - Noon.

Hosted by the Payette National Forest (Emmett Ranger District), Gem County Recreation District and Idaho Fish and Game.

Fischer's Pond (Cascade) - 10:00 - 2:00pm.

Hosted by Lake Cascade State Park, Southern Valley County Recreation District, Walmart, Cascade Library and Idaho Fish and Game

Legacy Park (Mountain Home) - 8:30am - 1:00pm.

Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game.

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds - 9:00am - Noon.

Hosted by the Boise National Forest (Lowman Ranger District), Sourdough Lodge and Idaho Fish and Game.

McDevitt Pond (Meridian) - 9:00am - Noon

Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game.

Meadow Creek Pond (New Meadows) - 9:00am - 2:00pm.

Lower Snake River Chinook Season Closed

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has closed the chinook fishery on the Lower Snake River from Lewiston upstream to Heller Bar as of May 28.

The fishery had been extended from its original dates to allow chinook fishing through the Memorial Day weekend. Fish and Game biologists informed the director that further fishing there could interfere with hatchery and natural production goals on the Grande Ronde River.

This spring's Lower Snake fishery was the first approved in recent decades for this portion of the Snake River.

Volunteers needed for Little Salmon River Planting Projects

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is looking for volunteers to help plant native shrubs and trees in an effort to restore native riparian habitats along the Little Salmon River. The plantings are scheduled for June 15, 22 and 29. For more information or to volunteer, contact Mary Dudley at 327-7099.

Because of their penetrating root structure, shrubs help stabilize eroding riverbanks. In addition, native shrubs provide shade, cooling the water. "For decades, high water temperatures and a heavy sediment layer have plagued the Little Salmon River," Fish and Game volunteer coordinator Mary Dudley noted. "As native riparian habitats are restored, water quality will improve, creating better habitat for fish and wildlife."

Thanks to past volunteer efforts, sections of the Little Salmon River north of New Meadows are showing signs of healing. "Native shrubs planted by volunteers a few years ago are beginning to establish and colonize along the river's banks," Dudley said. "And we simply would not be able to accomplish these planting projects without the excellent help of our volunteers." Past volunteers have included students from Meadows Valley High School, the McCall Chapter of Trout Unlimited and people traveling from as far away as Mountain Home and the Treasure Valley.

MK Nature Center plans to build small aviary

Kindergarten students at Boise's ANSER charter school didn't think it was right that the owl visiting their classroom spent it's days in a small crate, so they raised $155 towards a new aviary proposed by Fish & Game.

"To make a big outdoor cage," said Kindergarten student Trevor Hattabaugh.

The kindergarteners know a lot about birds, they've spent the whole school year on an "expedition" to study the feathered creatures. The idea is to teach science, math, geography and even dance using birds as a vehicle for learning. In addition, the concept of public service plays a large role in the lesson plans. "When Christmas time came and we were going to be selling some bird feeders and talking about what to do with the money, the children decided they wanted to put that money toward the first step in building that aviary," said Kindergarten Teacher Jane Dunbar.

The MK Nature Center currently has two birds, a saw-whet owl and a kestrel. Both are at the Center because they were injured and can no longer live in the wild. The small aviary being planned for the Nature Center would give the birds a more natural place to live and allow the public to view them on a regular basis, according to Dave Cannamela, Nature Center Superintendent.

"We're talking about an outdoor facility where the birds would have a box inside that outdoor facility where they would feel safe, comfortable, they'd be protected. But at the same time, get some sunshine, fresh air and have people be able to see those birds."

The plan is to build an atrium on the side of the building that will house four to six birds.

Cannamela said the project would cost fifteen to twenty thousand dollars. He hopes to build with enough spaces to accommodate "guest" birds.

"If somebody wanted to come in for the weekend and we wanted to do a Birds of Prey presentation, we could house those birds from the World Center," said Cannamela.

IDFG Schedules June Breakfast Meeting

LEWISTON -- Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to the monthly Idaho Fish and Game breakfast meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, 6:30 a.m., at the Helm Restaurant in Lewiston.

IDFG personnel will provide information on the salmon season and upcoming free fishing day events, black bear season update, significant enforcement cases; and a report will be given on the five-year mountain lion management plan. Local outdoor groups are also invited to give reports of their current activities.

The breakfasts are held the first Tuesday of each month at the Helm restaurant. The meetings are open to anyone and are designed to stimulate informal discussion about wildlife issues in the Clearwater Region. The breakfasts run until 9:00 a.m., with coffee provided by Fish and Game.

F&G Online Magazine Begins with Fishing Edition

Everyone with an interest in life in the Idaho outdoors and access to a computer is invited to cruise the pages of Fish and Game's new online magazine.

The Internet address for the first edition is http://www2.state.id.us/fishgame/incredid/May2002/ or it can be found in the What's News section on the main Fish and Game website under New Additions. The publication is called Incredible Idaho, the same name as the department's television show, which is no longer produced.

Magazine editor Jack Trueblood said in his introductory editorial "We hope we have recaptured some of the magic of the discontinued hard-copy Idaho Wildlife magazine. An electronic magazine is a new medium for all of us, and it will probably evolve over several issues until we establish an identity, so bear with us. Along the way we will try to present solid information about Idaho's great wildlife resources and recreation opportunities.

"This is the fishing issue so we've tried to provide a summary of what last year's drought did to some of the favorite fishing waters across southern Idaho, and a prediction of what to expect as the season opens in each region. We've also included a chapter of law enforcement stories for you "true crime" fans, news about the volunteer/reservist program, some history, and a few recipes along with lots of other information.

IDFG Takes Action on Disease

By Gregg Losinski, Upper Snake Conservation Educator

Almost every time you open the newspaper or turn on the radio or television it seems like you see or hear something about the spread of diseases in wildlife such as brucellosis, chronic wasting disease (CWD), and tuberculosis.

Colorado is struggling to contain a growing problem in its elk herds and Wisconsin is currently killing 15,000 white-tailed deer as a gambit to check the spread east of the Mississippi River. On Monday, May 20, IDFG personnel used lethal methods to remove two moose and five mule deer that had accidentally been trapped in a private game farm enclosure and thereby exposed to domestic elk, and the possibility of transmissible diseases.

According to Regional Wildlife Manager Brad Compton, "During our aerial survey flights last winter we observed a moose in the private enclosure, so we knew we had a situation that required attention." The enclosure was part of a recently developed private captive elk breeding and private hunting preserve along Canyon Creek, off of State Highway 33 between Rexburg and Driggs, Idaho. The operation is located in big game hunting Unit 64.Domestic elk had been kept in the enclosure, along with the wild big game discovered by IDFG. Exposure to some diseases can be detected visually or through blood samples, but for others it is not so easy. "Because the only method for testing for CWD is the physical removal of brain stem material, live trapping and holding for testing was not a option," Compton said.

Snake River Shore Donated

Contact: Gayle Valentine, Executive Director Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, (208) 334-2648

The Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, recently accepted a generous donation of land along the Snake River in Elmore County.

The 35-acre parcel was gifted by brothers and sister, Ken, Wes, Russell and Wilma Jones, whose parents, Frank and Virginia Jones, were long-time residents of the area. Jones commented, "Our family wanted a lasting legacy to our grandparents who homesteaded the land prior to 1920."

The river front property, located near King Hill, is downstream from the family's 1994 donation of five acres to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

This land provides valuable habitat for mule deer, upland birds and waterfowl. In addition, this contribution allows continued public access to the Snake River for boating, hunting, or wildlife viewing opportunities in the King Hill area.

The Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1990 to protect and sustain Idaho's fishing, hunting and wildlife heritage. Board members represent each region of the state.

Ask Fish and Game

Q. I tried to apply for a controlled elk hunt, but the vendor couldn't get the POS'M to accept my hunt. According to the vendor the hunt is not available, but it's listed in our regulation book. What happened?

A. If you tried to apply for hunt 2085, it won't be processed because that hunt has been cancelled. Hunt 2084, a later hunt in unit 37, is still available and has had 100 permits added to it.

If you tried to apply for hunts 2073 (32-2) or 2089 (39-4) it won't be processed because these hunts are landowner permission hunts and are only available after July 15. The landowners in the hunt area receive permission slips, which they give to interested hunters. Hunters with permission slips can go to the regional offices in Nampa or McCall, or to the Boise Headquarters office, to get the tags and permits for those hunts issued.

Stennett Donates Land For Sportsmens Access On Big Lost River

LESLIE - Some people accuse legislators of only liking to spend other people's money, but one central Idaho State Senator is a definite exception to that school of thought. On Wednesday, May 22, a formal dedication ceremony will be held on the approximately one acre parcel that Senator Clint Stennett of Ketchum donated to the Idaho Department of Fish & Game to serve as an access for local sportsmen.

According to Senator Stennett, who has served in the State Legislature for the last twelve years, "I've always been a big supporter of public access throughout my public service and I love the Big Lost, so I wanted to guarantee that others could enjoy it as well." Stennett not only owns a television station in Sun Valley, Idaho, but also has a working ranch in the Big Lost River Valley. "This access will provide a perfect take-out point for those who float the river." Said Stennett. The property is already serviced by a county road and contains a few hundred feet of riverfront footage.

According to Regional Habitat Manager Steve Schmidt, "We have already erected a sign to inform the public about the access site and plans are being developed for additional improvements to the site in the future." The access site is located on the Big Lost River, almost directly across from the small town of Leslie, Idaho.

In addition to being an on the ground supporter of public access, Senator Stennett has worked to champion the cause in his service on the Senate Resources/Environment Committee and Agricultural Affairs Committee. Stennett has also served as the Senate Minority Leader for the last four years. He is running for re-election to the Senate this year in District 25, rather than District 21, of the newly restructured Idaho State Legislature.

IDFG & Forest Service Team Up Again To Enforce ORV Violations

IDAHO FALLS - One agency is in charge of the forests, the other is in charge of the animals that live there, together the two will once again team up to make sure travel management plans are followed for the benefit of all. Interagency cooperation isn't just a buzzword; it's a way of doing business for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game and the United State Forest Service. Officers and staff from the Upper Snake Region and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will resume their joint ORV (Off Road Vehicle) patrols for the upcoming Memorial Holiday weekend.

The upcoming patrols resume where efforts left off last fall. During the fall 2001 hunting season the agencies patrolled together on 11 different days. Efforts will again focus on the same areas as in the past: Poker Peak, Medicine Lodge, Big Bend Ridge, and Centennial Mountain Areas. Last year a total of 37 violation notices were issued by the Forest Service and five citations were issued by IDFG for Forest Travel Plan and other Forest related illegal activities.

Efforts last year worked out so well that IDFG Regional Supervisor Bob Saban awarded a plaque of appreciation to Palisades District Ranger Ron Dickemore, who spearheaded the project for the Forest Service.

Patrols were accomplished using a wide variety of methods of locomotion. In many instances, a spotter airplane was used to identify potential problems to staff on the ground that then investigated on foot, horse, ATV, or other marked vehicles. Personnel also made numerous contacts with outdoor resource users and distributed copies of the Forest Travel Plan. The majority of individuals contacted were very supportive of the patrols and hoped that a few bad apples wouldn't ruin things for the whole bunch.