Press Release

June 2005

South Fork Will Remain Open Through 4th

Anglers hoping to spend their holiday weekend fishing for summer Chinook salmon can fish the South Fork Salmon River.

Unlike last year, fisheries managers say they are confident the South Fork will remain open through the three day holiday weekend. Compared to this time last year, fewer fish have been in the open section of river, and fewer anglers have been fishing.

Anglers are only allowed to keep one fish per day. Managers set that limit hoping to extend the fishery, and it appears to be working.

The number of fish moving into the South Fork trap is picking up, but so far recreational anglers have only harvested about ten percent of the state's share of the harvestable surplus. Managers will assess the harvest following the three day holiday weekend to determine if the season can continue. For more information on salmon fishing rules, hatchery returns and fishing reports check the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov./cms/fish/salmon/

Project WILD is Coming to Salmon

Teachers in the Salmon region will want to take advantage of the upcoming Project WILD workshop to be offered July 27 - 28 at the Fish and Game office in Salmon. The course will be offered for one university credit that can be applied toward continuing education requirements for Idaho's teachers.

Project WILD is an award-winning nationally known education curriculum that teaches students about wildlife through interdisciplinary hands-on activities. All the material is science-based, providing teachers and students with the most up-to-date information about wildlife. In addition, the activities can be used for any grade level. Here in Idaho, all Project WILD activities have been correlated to the state standards making it easy for teachers to implement activities that will help their students meet the educational standards set by the state.

Project WILD workshops are active workshops where teachers will get a chance to try out a variety of the over 150 activities contained in the activity guides. Besides receiving these guides, workshop participants will also receive posters, videos, and other educational materials to take back to the classroom. If you would like to spend a few days getting WILD, please contact Vicky Runnoe at the Salmon Region Fish and Game Office at 756-2271. This just might be the most fun summer class you will ever take!

Women's Archery Clinic Planned July 23 & 24

OROFINO - Women interested in learning the fundamentals of archery hunting and target shooting are invited to attend the Women's Archery Clinic, sponsored by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the National Wild Turkey Federation's Women in the Outdoors Program.

The clinic will be held at Three Meadows Campground near Dworshak Reservoir from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 23, and 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, July 24.

Cost is $40 for adult women and $20 for young women ages 12 to 17. Youth must be accompanied by attending parent or guardian. The fee includes cabin accommodations, use of archery equipment and a Saturday evening Dutch oven dinner.

The clinic is intended to expose women and their daughters to archery hunting and shooting techniques, a variety of archery equipment, target shooting, survival skills, and tree stand safety. Participants will also learn to put together a pack of essentials and will practice their shooting skills at an 18-station target shoot.

Participants need to provide their own bedding, other meals for the event, and any camping equipment that they choose. Use of personal archery equipment is encouraged, but not required. Because the event will be held outdoors, the women are encouraged to plan for adverse weather and brushy, uneven terrain.

For more information or to register, contact Theresa Luna, (208) 435-4464 by Monday, July 18. A confirmation letter and map will be mailed to all registrants.

Rainbow Trout Stocking Report

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa and McCall Hatcheries will be releasing more than 51,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during July.

LOCATION NUMBER OF TROUT

Boise River (Boise) 4,000

Boise River (Eagle to Middleton) 2,000

Boise River (Middle Fork) 4,000

Boise River (North Fork) 4,000

Boulder Creek (Lake Fork) 250

Brown's Pond (McCall) 600

Bull Trout Lake (Granjean) 4,000

Capehorn Lake #2 (near Stanley) 250

Crooked River (Idaho City) 500

Fischer Pond (Cascade) 1,000

Goose Creek (N. of McCall) 250

Goose Lake (N. of McCall) 2,500

Grimes Creek (Idaho City) 1,500

Josephus Lake (Capehorn area) 1,000

Lake Fork Creek (McCall) 1,200

Little Bull Trout Lake #1 (near Stanley) 750

Little Bull Trout Lake #2 (near Stanley) 750

Lowman Ponds 1,750

Marsing Pond 500

Martin Lake (near Stanley) 1,500

Meadow Creek Pond (New Meadows) 500

Mores Creek 2,000

Payette River, Middle Fork 2,250

Payette River, North Fork 2,250

Perkins Lake 1,000

Poorman Pond (McCall) 250

Scout (Rowland's) Pond (McCall) 1,250

Silver Creek 2,250

Warm Lake 5,000

Warren Dredge Ponds (Warren) 1,000

Wilson Spring (Nampa) 600

Wilson Spring Ponds (Nampa) 1,000

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.

Public's Help Sought in Deer Poaching Case

The remains of an illegally killed doe mule deer were discovered recently and Fish and Game is asking the public for information to bring the poacher to justice.

Citizens against Poaching (CAP) is offering a reward for information in the case and callers can remain anonymous. Contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999, twenty-four hours a day.

On Sunday afternoon, passersby noticed deer parts wrapped in a green tarp behind the Albertsons store at the corner of East Lexington and Apple Streets in southeast Boise. A call to Fish and Game brought Conservation Officer Matt O'Connell to the scene where he discovered a freshly killed and hastily butchered doe mule deer. "The deer had been quartered and skinned, and most of the remains had been left wrapped in a green tarp," O'Connell said. "Parts of the hindquarters and backstraps were taken, but the entire front quarters and parts of the hind quarters were wasted having been left sitting on the hot pavement in the heat."

An Albertson's grocery store employee spotted a dark blue 1980s model Chevrolet truck leaving the area where the deer was dumped. Meat samples were collected for possible DNA matching and other evidence was collected at the scene, but O'Connell noted that an eyewitness to the crime would move the case forward quickly. "Someone in addition to the poacher knows about this case and we'd like to talk with them," O'Connell noted. "And we'd like to visit with anyone who may have seen the deer and tarp being dumped at the location."

Summer Off-Road Recreation Season Is Here!

By Gary Gadwa, Conservation Officer, Stanley

For avid outdoor enthusiasts, as well as an off-road travelers, early summer is a good time to review and consider a few rules and regulations pertaining to off-road motorized travel. First of all, off-road motorcycles and ATV's must be registered with the Idaho Dept of Parks and Recreation. The fee is a minimal $10.00, most of which goes directly to the motorbike recreation account, providing trail maintenance, construction, purchases land for motorized recreation, and funds the trail ranger program.

Once you have registered and have your ORV sticker displayed on your ORV, it's time to hit the trailsÉ.or is it? Maybe. You might just want to take the time to review a few other important rules and regulations. Brand new this year is the addition of the ATV to the requirement that anyone under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet while driving OR riding an ORV. This new addition to the helmet law is a good idea and one we can ALL live with.

What else should you consider before your ride? Mufflers are a consideration for a couple of sound reasons. The muffler on your ATV or trailcycle must have a Forest Service Approved Spark Arrestor to reduce the chance of causing a forest or range fire. In addition, the noise produced by your muffler is important. The machine's muffler has to be able to pass a 96 db noise test. 96 db is actually pretty loud. This restriction protects your ears and will go a long way to reduce the noise for non-motorized recreationists in the vicinity. Remember that if you ride on an unpaved road, you could be asked for your driver's license and proof of insurance.

Idaho Fish and Game Director Sets Salmon Closures

Contact: Bill Horton, 208-334-3791

Salmon seasons on the South Fork Clearwater River and the Lochsa River have been closed for the year effective June 28, 2005.

Nearly all the projected surplus of salmon available to sport anglers has been harvested. Director Steven Huffaker closed these streams to sport salmon fishing because counts at the hatchery traps are lagging behind the expected return.

Salmon fishing will continue on the Little Salmon River near Riggins for another four-day fishing period from July 1 to July 4 and then will close for the year. Sport anglers are expected to harvest their share of salmon by the time the season is closed. Director Huffaker also signed the closure order for this fishery June 28.

Tribal anglers in the Clearwater drainage and the Little Salmon River will continue their seasons because they have not harvested the share of salmon available for tribal fisheries.

The fishery for summer Chinook salmon on the South Fork of the Salmon River is currently open. Fish and Game is assessing this fishery daily to determine if harvest targets or the allowed take of endangered salmon have been reached. Reaching those targets will bring fishing to a close. Through June 27, harvest has been less than 100 salmon and the fishery has been slow.

Ask Fish and Game

Q: I want to take my grandson fishing. Where is a good place where a kid can catch a fish?

A: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game maintains Family Fishing Waters around the state. Family Fishing Waters are geared toward families, young anglers and others who may be wetting a line for the first time. They are regularly stocked and generally contain species that are relatively easy to catch. Family Fishing Waters are easy to access and the rules for fishing there are simple: the limit is six fish. You don't have to worry about bait restrictions, size restrictions or any other restrictions that apply to many fisheries in Idaho. For a list of waters in your area check this internet address: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/fish/family/

Biologists To Monitor Angling Success On Idaho's Kootenai River

Anglers fishing the Kootenai River can expect to meet an inquisitive Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) creel clerk this year.

The IDFG is conducting a creel survey from Deep Creek upstream to the Leonia bridge (Idaho-Montana border). Creel clerks will count, measure and weigh angler-caught fish to determine how size structure of the population is affected by harvest. In addition, anglers will be asked how long they fished and how many fish they released so catch rates can be determined. Data will be used to help evaluate the 2-trout bag limit and 16" minimum size limit for trout initiated in 2002.

Prior to 2002, the Kootenai River had a six-trout bag limit, no size limit and no closed season. These were very liberal regulations for a wild trout stream in Idaho. There were indications that fishing pressure was increasing, as more anglers were accessing the river with jetboats, and as float trips originating in Montana were becoming more popular.

The Kootenai River in Idaho supports a low population density of trout due to limited spawning and rearing habitat. Nutrients in the river have also decreased since the construction of Libby Dam, resulting in less food production for fish. Increased harvest had the potential to further limit the trout population, so the more restrictive regulations were initiated.

Earlier this spring, biologists tagged rainbow trout with $10 reward tags. The tag is a yellow plastic tube about 1 1/4 inches long, and is a little larger in diameter than pencil lead. The tag protrudes from the back of the fish just below the dorsal fin. If a tagged fish is harvested, anglers are encouraged to record the tag number and report it to the Fish and Game regional office in Coeur d'Alene.

"RELIABLE METHODS OF CATCHING LAKE TROUT ON LAKE PEND OREILLE"ÑNOW OUT ON VIDEO/DVD

In an effort to better manage the lake trout population, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) teamed with Avista to create and distribute an educational VHS video/DVD designed to increase angler performance.

"What we are doing with this video is trying to use angler harvest as a management tool," explains Ned Horner, IDFG regional fisheries manager. "It's not realistic, nor is it our goal to eliminate lake trout completely from Lake Pend Oreille but what we want to do is manage lake trout at a level where they don't risk collapsing native cutthroat and bull trout populations; or important sport fisheries, like kokanee and rainbow."

"Reliable Methods of Catching Lake Trout on Lake Pend Oreille" is hosted by Ron Sharp, a commercial rod-and-reel fisherman on Lake Pend Oreille. This video contains a brief introduction by Horner on the importance of managing the lake trout population, a lake trout, bull trout identification segment, information on general lake trout habits, as well as sections covering all the different types of fishing techniques that can be used to catch lake trout. Sharp clearly uses diagrams, pictures and fishing footage to show anglers how to use dodgers and flies, flatfish, jigging techniques, Lyman plugs, and flutter spoons.

Videos and DVD's are available to check out from the Regional Fish and Game Office in Coeur d'Alene; at both the Clark Fork Hatchery, Sandpoint Hatchery and Cabinet Gorge Hatchery; Bayview Research Office; public libraries in Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Sandpoint and Priest River; and the Avista office in Noxon, Montana.

For more information on the videos, contact Ned Horner at (208) 769-1414.

System Slow, Buy Fishing License Early

The computerized licensing system used by Idaho Fish and Game continues to operate slowly at times, so folks who want to fish over the Independence Day holiday should not wait until the last minute to buy a fishing license.

Those who plan to buy a fishing license on the way out of town Friday night might be standing in a line at a vendor.

Fishing and other licenses will go up by about 10 percent across the board July 1.

The licensing system used at Fish and Game offices as well as some 400 license vendors has had periods of frustratingly slow operation for several weeks while the contractor for the system continues to work on the problem. The contractor has so far not found a complete solution to the slowdown.

Fish and Game Director Steve Huffaker issued an apology to the agency's license buyers after frustrations with system during the controlled hunt application period in May.

Check Website for Stocking Information

With the Independence Day holiday weekend just around the corner, many families are planning to head to the hills for a holiday camping trip.

If you want to camp in a place where you can also catch fish, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game provides information that may help you decide where to go. The Fish and Game website includes a link that allows anglers to find out when, where, and how many fish are stocked in lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds around Idaho. With a few clicks of the mouse anyone can find out specific information about stocking on specific bodies of water in any region of the state.

Log on to the Fish and Game website and follow the links to "fish stocking", or go directly to this link: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/stocking/