Press Release

April 2008

Fur Auction Items Filling Salmon Fish and Game Freezers

It takes a lot of freezer space to host Idaho Fish and Game's annual auction of furs, antlers, and hides.

Six whole mountain lions, a whole bear, a wolf, and stacks of hides are just some of the items in this year's sale. The spring auction, also known as the "Fur Sale," will be Saturday, May 3, at the Salmon Region office, 99 Hwy 93 N.

Dave Silcock, Salmon regional conservation officer, is impressed with the diversity of items that will be auctioned.

"We have everything from furbearers to camp stoves," he said.

Silcock is organizing this year's auction. And that includes finding space in the regional office freezers for perishable items coming in from around the state.

"We'll manage to get them in," he said.

Fisher, mink, otter and bobcat will all be available to purchase. In addition, there will be elk, deer and moose antlers, a bighorn sheep hide, and even black bear heads and feet.

A taxidermist-furbuyer license is required in advance to bid on bear parts, mountain lion parts or any furbearer for anyone in the business of buying and selling hides or animal mounts. Resident licenses are $40 for one year, and nonresident licenses are $140.75. The licenses can be purchased at any Idaho Fish and Game office.

Buyers for personal use are not required to have a taxidermist-furbuyer license.

The licenses can be purchased at any Idaho Fish and Game office.

Miscellaneous fishing poles, tents, traps, and a projector screen are also on the auction list.

Auction items can be previewed at 8 a.m. and the auction will start at 10 a.m. Only checks and cash will be accepted as payment for the winning bids.

For more information or a list of auction items, please call Dave Silcock at 208-756-2271.

The list includes:

Kids Fishing Clinic Scheduled for Hordemann Pond in Moscow

Youths, 14 and younger are invited to the 17th Annual Kid's Fishing Clinic at Hordemann Pond from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 26.

Sponsored by the Moscow Kiwanis Club, Palouse Chapter of American Fisheries Society and Idaho Fish and Game, the free event will help children discover the joys of fishing. Volunteers will be on hand to help young anglers, and a limited number of rods and reels will be available for loan.

Families are encouraged to attend. Prizes from Tri-State Distributors will be awarded, as well as free hot dogs, chips, soda, cocoa and coffee.

Hordemann Pond is in Moscow off Eisenhower Street between D and F streets.

Youth under 14 years of age do not need a license, but all other fishing regulations apply.

Fish and Game Receives Noxious Weed Control Grant

The Idaho Fish and Game recently received a $50,000 grant for weed control from the Idaho Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Cost Share Program.

The money will be used on the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area to buy herbicides, aerial spraying contracts and seeding burned areas previously dominated by noxious weeds within the Chimney Complex Fire.

"This grant will help a lot of folks pull together to fight weeds," said John Nelson, Idaho Fish and Game wildlife technician.

Fish and Game is part of the Tri-State Cooperative Weed Management Area, a local group consisting of landowners, federal and state officials from Oregon, Washington and Idaho that work collaboratively to develop integrated management plans that bring available resources and effective techniques together to combat the growing invasive weed problem.

Idaho has 57 noxious weed species that cost millions of dollars to our state by degrading wildlife habitat, choking streams, crowding out beneficial native plants, creating fire hazards, poisoning livestock and fouling recreations sites.

For more information on Idaho's noxious weed management program, visit the Idaho Department of Agriculture's website at www.agri.state.id.us or call 1-888-IDWEEDS.

Ask Fish and Game: Clarifying Hunter Orange

Q. Last week we provided some misleading information here about turkey hunting and hunter orange requirements. Here is the explanation.

A. Turkeys are considered an upland game bird, but the hunter orange rule does not apply to turkey hunters. All other upland hunters on Fish and Game Wildlife Management Areas where pheasants are stocked must wear at least 36 square inches of hunter orange - an orange hat satisfies this requirement - when hunting any upland game during pheasant season.

Upper Snake Sportsmen To Offer Youth Skills Day

Today's youth have lots of things that they can do with their time, probably too many things.

Traditional leisure time activities, such as fishing and hunting, are taking a backseat to Xboxes and MP3 players. There are many reasons for this shift, but the sportsmen's groups of the Upper Snake Region have joined forces to offer youths a chance to experience a variety of outdoor activities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Beaver Dick Park on Highway 33 outside Rexburg.

While Idaho is sportsman's paradise, with all kids of opportunity for exciting outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, trapping and horse packing, many young people don't know how to make the initial contact to get started.

What used to be an activity that the whole family enjoyed, such as fishing, has failed to make the jump to our youngest generation. It seems no one in the family knows how to do the activity any more, or lacks the gear, but more than likely doesn't have the time to get out.

Sportsmen's groups in the Upper Snake Region have taken the step to reach out to young people; they want to make sure the sporting traditions carry-on.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., and everyone who takes part in at least six of the mini-seminars will be entered in a drawing for a rifle. The seminars are free and will cover such topics as fishing, archery, trapping, turkey calling, boat safety, duck hunting, muzzleloading, hound hunting and horse packing.

A trailer with a portable laser shooting gallery will also be on hand for youngsters to test their skills.

Beaver Dick Park is along the banks of the Henry's Fork and next to Idaho Fish and Game's Cartier Slough Wildlife Management Area. Children of all ages are welcome and families are encouraged to attend. There is sure to be something for everyone, and the goal is to get more people out enjoying the great outdoors of Idaho.

Bear Activity Increasing in Eastern Idaho

Forest and wildlife officials are seeing bear tracks in the snow in the Island Park area.

Bears are emerging from their winter dens; consequently, local residents and visitors need to be alert for the presence of both black and grizzly bears within Caribou-Targhee National Forest, particularly in the northern portion of the forest.

As bears once again become active, appropriate precautions for traveling in bear country must be taken. When bears leave their winter dens, they search for any food source that will help restore fat reserves lost during hibernation.

"This could be a challenge with the significant snow levels in the national forest and communities adjacent to the national forest," said Mark Orme, biologist for the Caribou-Targhee.

Winter-weakened animals and winter-killed wildlife carcasses provide immediate sources of protein and are vigorously defended by hungry bears. As snow banks recede, bears also dig up and eat burrowing rodents and spring wildflowers.

Historically, adult male bears emerge from hibernation by mid-to-late March.

Female bears, accompanied by their cubs, emerge later in the spring and are especially protective of their young. Any bear will defend a food source against perceived threats.

Do not approach a bear under any circumstances.

This is particularly important for situations involving bears with cubs, or bears near a carcass or other food source.

When traveling in bear country, precautionary measures include carrying bear pepper spray and keeping it easily accessible for ready use. Please take the time to learn how to properly handle bear pepper spray and remember that having it with you is not a substitute for being alert. While enjoying public lands, visitors and residents should exercise good judgment and follow recommended safety precautions, such as making noise and traveling in groups.

Governor Plugs Fish and Game's Super Hunt

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter urges hunters to participate in Idaho Fish and Game's Super Hunt program.

"I think all hunters should enter the Super Hunt drawing because it helps everybody," Otter said in a short audio file available on the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. Plus it gives hunters who enter a chance at winning the hunt of a lifetime, he said.

The money raised by the drawings goes to Fish and Game's Access Yes! program and helps compensate private land owners who provide hunter access to or across their land to public land beyond.

"We've all had that experience with sign that say private property, no trespassing - no hunting," Otter said. "A lot of prime wildlife habitat is on private ground."

The special Super Hunt drawings began in 2004 to raise money for Access Yes! program. The program has grown and last year provided hunter and angler access to more than 620,000 acres of private land and opened access across private land to nearly 700,000 acres of public land beyond.

The Super Hunt is a fund-raising drawing for 40 big game tags. The tags are handed out to winners in two drawings. Tickets are drawn for elk, deer, pronghorn and moose tags. Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose. That includes general hunts and controlled hunts.

The first drawing on June 16 will be for eight elk, eight deer, and eight antelope hunts as well as one moose hunt; one "Super Hunt Combo" ticket also will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, antelope, and moose.

A second drawing will be August 15 when another "Super Hunt Combo" and tickets for two elk, two deer, and two antelope hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn. The entry period for the second drawing is June 2 through August 11.

F & G Commissioners Set Spring Salmon Seasons

The Idaho spring Chinook salmon season is set to begin a half hour before sunrise on Saturday, April 26, on parts of the Snake, Clearwater, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.

It opens on May 24 on the Lochsa River. Commissioners are expected to consider seasons on the South Fork Salmon River and the upper Salmon River in May.

Though only 24 Chinook salmon, as of Sunday, April 20, have crossed the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, nearly 100,000 are expected to cross the dam and return to Idaho this year.

Chinook fishing will open on the Snake River from the Dug Bar boat ramp upstream to Hells Canyon Dam; on the mainstem Clearwater River from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge at Lewiston upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River; on the North Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam; on the South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of the American and Red rivers; and on the Middle Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers.

The Lochsa River will be open, starting May 24, from its mouth upstream to the Twin Bridges immediately upstream from the confluence of Crooked Fork and Colt Killed Creek.

These above segments will be open until July 20 or further notice, whichever comes first.

The Lower Salmon River will be open from the Hammer Creek boat ramp upstream to a posted boundary at the mouth of Short's Creek - about 1.4 miles upstream of the mouth of the Little Salmon River - until June 22 or until further notice.

The Little Salmon River will be open from a posted boundary at its mouth upstream to U. S. Highway 95 Bridge near Smokey Boulder Road will be open until August 3 or further notice.

Access to salmon fishing on the Little Salmon River for those without boats in the Riggins area will be more limited this year than in the past because of the loss of some bank access.

Controlled Hunt Application Period Coming Up

The application period for deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey starts May 1 and runs through June 5.

This year more fall turkey hunting opportunities will be available in the Southeast and Upper Snake regions.

Youths 15 or younger on September 15 may apply for one of the 100 fall controlled hunt permits available for Unit 71 in the Southeast region. In addition, any turkey hunter may apply for another 100 controlled hunt permits for Unit 71 where the fall controlled hunt runs from September 15 through December 31.

Youths also may apply for one of 25 permits for Hunt Area 950 in the Upper Snake region where the fall controlled hunt runs from September 15 through November 30.

A general tag or an extra tag can be used with the controlled hunt permit to participate in the fall controlled turkey hunts.

Hunters may apply for controlled hunts by phone, Internet or mail, or at any license vendor or Fish and Game office. To apply, residents and nonresidents must have a valid Idaho hunting license.

To apply with a credit card call 1-800-55HUNT5 or 1-800-824-3729, or go online to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. An additional fee of 3 percent of the transaction plus $5.50 is charged for telephone, and 3 percent of the transaction plus $3.50 for Internet applications.

Application worksheets, available in the Fish and Game rules brochures and on the Website listed above may be mailed, with proper fees, to any Fish and Game office. The application fee is $6.25 per person, per application. Don't send permit or tag fees.

Mail applications to Idaho Department of Fish and Game, P. O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Mountain Lion Workshop Coming in May

The Ninth Mountain Lion Workshop will be May 5-8 at the Sun Valley Resort hosted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

The theme for the 2008 workshop is "Cougars: Past, Present and Future Challenges." The keynote speaker will be world-renowned big cat expert Maurice Hornocker.

The workshop will celebrate the rich history of cougar research with origins in the Idaho River of No Return Wilderness.

The workshop also will provide a forum for researchers, managers, academicians, and other mountain lion enthusiasts from across western North America to exchange recent advances in research and management. This workshop will promote communication and cooperation among agencies, organizations and individuals.

The tentative agenda is:

  • Monday, May 5: Evening registration and social.
  • Tuesday, May 6: Registration, opening comments, invited speakers and technical sessions.
  • Wednesday, May 7: Technical sessions and evening banquet with keynote speaker.
  • Thursday, May 8: Technical session in morning. Afternoon birding-waterfowl field trip to Camas Prairie.
  • Friday, May 9: Field tour of Sawtooth wolf area and wolf management discussions.

To reserve rooms at the Sun Valley Resort, call 800-786-8259. For information on a shuttle from the Boise airport to the workshop call 877-622-8267.

For information visit Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/lion/. For more information contact David Smith dsmith@idfg.idaho.gov or Steve Nadeau snadeau@idfg.idaho.gov, or contact them at 208-334-2920.

Idaho Woodcarvers Guild Annual Exhibition

The Morrison Knudsen Nature Center will host the annual Idaho Woodcarvers Guild show from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4.

The Nature Center is located behind the Idaho Fish and Game office at 600 South Walnut St. in Boise.

The guild and the Nature Center have teamed up to make this show accessible to woodcarvers and the public. The event will be open to the public free of charge.

A variety of work will be represented in the exhibit, including the traditional woodcarving categories of wild fowl, animal, fish, human figure and caricature. Northwestern American Indian art forms are a special feature.

The show will include carving demonstrations, contests and raffles.

Idaho has a strong tradition of woodcarving. The Idaho Woodcarvers Guild promotes the art through teaching and exhibitions. Membership includes youth and others who whittle for their own enjoyment, sculptors who use wood as their medium and professionals who have won blue ribbons at world-level carving competitions.

This exhibit will present the work of carvers at all skill levels from beginner to expert. For information contact Maggie Foreman at 208-469-9855 or gmforeman_5@msn.com; or Douglas Rose at 208-387-0492 or roseboise@yahoo.com.

Fish Lake Spillway Cut Down for Safety

Fish and Game will not allow spring runoff to fill Fish Lake west of McCall because the earthen dam there is leaking.

Work to lower the spillway at the dam should be complete by Wednesday, according to Fish and Game engineering chief Mike Maffey. Excavation will lower the level of the spillway so that the reservoir will only fill to about half capacity, or about 100 acre feet, this year. The lake has had a capacity of about 200 acre feet.

Fish and Game owns the dam and maintains a fishery in the lake. The outflow from the lake goes into Little Creek and from there to the Little Salmon River.

Winter snowpack in the area had only just begun to melt when a leak around the dam's overflow pipe was noticed. Dam safety experts from Idaho Department of Water Resources and a Fish and Game fisheries biologist from the McCall office inspected the dam last week and noted a continued leak after their attempts at minor repair.

Maffey said cutting the spillway down will take care of safety concerns but that major work to fix the dam so the water level can be raised back up to 200 acre feet will have to wait for funding.

The dam was built by local ranchers in 1931.