Press Release

June 2008

Grizzly Coordinating Committee Members Honored

Seeley Lake, Montana - Members of the Yellowstone Grizzly Coordinating Committee were honored recently for their role in grizzly bear recovery as part of 25th anniversary celebration of Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. The grizzly bear was listed as a threatened species in 1975, in 1983 the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee was created to help coordinate recovery efforts in the lower 48 states and adjoining parts of Canada. The committee as made up of all the member agencies that were responsible for all facets of the recovery of the great bear in the five identified ecosystems. The bears of the Yellowstone ecosystem were recognized as the jewels in the crown of potential for recovery and delisting. As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the committee presented awards to professionals at all levels and fields of expertise who helped make the recovery and delisting of the grizzly in the Yellowstone ecosystem possible. While the recovery and delisting of the Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly bears was made possible by the combined efforts of thousands of individuals and dozens of government organizations and private conservation groups, the following individuals were selected for special recognition from nominations made by their peers who were involved in these efforts. Managerial Leadership - Managerial Excellence:
  • Larry Timchak - Supervisor, Caribou-Targhee National Forest
  • Jerry Reese - Supervisor, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, retired
On-the-Ground Leadership:
  • Mark Orme - Biologist, Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Communications Leadership - Practitioner / Communications Expert:
  • Gregg Losinski - Conservation educator, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Salmon Fishing Summary: What's Open, What's Closed

Salmon Fishing: Closed Salmon fishing is closed on these rivers:
  • Clearwater River mainstem downstream of the South Fork Clearwater River.
  • Middle Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of Lochsa and Selway rivers.
  • Snake River downstream from Hells Canyon Dam.
  • Lower Salmon River mainstem downstream from Shorts Creek, about 1.4 miles upstream of the mouth of the Little Salmon River.
Salmon Fishing: Open Salmon fishing remains open on these rivers:
  • North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, until further notice or July 20, whichever comes first.
  • South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red rivers, until further notice or July 20, whichever comes first.
  • Lochsa River from its mouth upstream to the Twin Bridges immediately upstream from the confluence of Crooked Fork and Colt Killed Creek, until further notice or July 20, whichever comes first.
  • Little Salmon River from a posted boundary at the mouth of the Little Salmon River upstream to U. S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road, until further notice or August 3, whichever comes first.
  • Upper Salmon River from the Highway 75 Bridge over the mainstem of the Salmon River at milepost 213.5 (about nine miles west of Clayton) upstream to the posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the weir at Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley, until further notice or August 2, whichever comes first.

F&G Commission to Consider Rule Changes

Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public comments on five proposed rule changes this summer. Fish and Game has proposed five changes that would:
  • Eliminate evidence-of-sex requirement for meat being transported from a commercial meat processor.
  • Allow disabled archery hunters to use crossbows with nonmagnifying scopes having battery powered or tritium lighted reticles during archery-only hunting seasons.
  • Allow visually impaired hunters to use nonmagnifying scopes during muzzleloader-only hunts.
  • Allow holders of senior combination and disabled combination licenses to apply for, and participate in, leftover youth-only deer and elk controlled hunts.
  • Include bait containers in the current commission rules on black bear bait placement.
The proposed rule changes will be posted on the Fish and Game Website for public review and comment. Comments must be submitted by July 14. Comments may also be submitted by mail to: Nonbiological Rules, IDFG, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission would consider any big game nonbiological rule changes during its July meeting. In the past, most big game nonbiological rule changes have been made in January. But a moratorium for state agencies prohibits rule changes from mid-November through the following legislative session. Nonbiological rules include equipment restrictions, controlled hunt application and eligibility requirements, possession requirements and motorized vehicle use restrictions. They do not include seasons, bag limits, size limits, sex restrictions, or species restrictions. Commissioners will meet July 23-25 in the conference room at the Cabela's store in Post Falls. Other items on the agenda include sage-grouse seasons, release of bighorn sheep tags for auction and lottery, expenditure of Animal Damage Control funds, legislative proposals and migratory game birds discussions.

Super Hunt Winners Announced

Winners in the first of two Idaho Super Hunt drawings were picked June 16. One Super Hunt Combo ticket was drawn that entitles the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, antelope and moose. Twenty-five other winners were picked for single species with tags for eight elk, eight deer and eight antelope hunts as well as one moose hunt. Winners can participate in any open hunt this fall, following the rules for the hunts they choose, for example, archery-only or muzzleloader-hunts. The official list of winners in the June 16 drawing is: Super Hunt Combo:
  • Ross Whitmarsh, El Cajon, Calif.
Deer:
  • David W. Randall, Puyallup, Wash.
  • Ross Rackliff, Medway, Mass.
  • Don Miller, Boise.
  • L. Dewey Stander, Blackfoot.
  • Shane Lish, Kuna.
  • Charlie Twamley, Murrieta, Calif.
  • Steve Alderman, Meridian.
  • Greg Kensler, Nampa.
Elk:
  • Mike Larson, Athol.
  • Christopher Crosby, Nephi, Utah.
  • Jeffrey Pratt, Blackfoot.
  • John Hepton, Nampa.
  • Michael P. Grossman, Windsor Heights, Iowa.
  • David L. Middleton, Nampa.
  • Glenn D. Land, Shelley.
  • Sandy Moosman, Cascade.
Pronghorn:
  • Jason Lynch, Rupert.
  • Jared Kidman, Idaho Falls.
  • James Burt, Pocatello.
  • Dustin Stevenson, Middleton.
  • James Rogers, Horseshoe Bend.
  • Jeff McMurdie, Twin Falls.
  • John Robinson, Kuna.
  • Clayton Lowman, Nampa.
Moose:
  • Gary Taylor, Cheswick, Penn.

Critter Club - Desert Animals

Did you know that Southern Idaho is a cold desert? Join the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center in exploring the lives of desert animals. Find out about the fascinating and diverse desert animals that call Idaho home. Each session learn about a different desert animal and make art to take home. Join the fun from 12:30-2:30 p.m. July 9, July 30, August 6, August 13 in the Nature Center courtyard, on South Walnut in Boise behind the Idaho Fish and Game headquarters. No fees. For information call 208-334-2225.

Ask Fish and Game: Controlled Hunt Results

Q. When can I find out whether I was drawn in the controlled hunt drawing? A. Idaho Fish and Game is compiling big game controlled hunt applications. Results of the drawings for deer, elk and pronghorn controlled hunts will be available by July 10. Fish and Game will announce when the results are available. Winners will be notified by mail. Hunters also may check the Fish and Game Website for drawing results at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ch/results.cfm.

Women's Hunting Clinic Saturday June 28

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has scheduled a hunting clinic to introduce the sport of hunting to women; and, to help female hunters further their hunting skills. The fifteenth annual Panhandle Region "Women in Hunting" clinic will be from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the Coeur d'Alene Rifle and Pistol Club, 5105 Atlas Road, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Space is limited and reservations are required. To register, call Fish and Game at 208-769-1414. The "Women in Hunting" clinic has become a popular annual event, with much of the popularity attributed to the fact that all the instructors are women who already enjoy the sport of hunting. They are volunteering their time to teach other women about the sport. The instructors have developed an effective team approach with each instructor researching and specializing in a subject area. Past participants have enjoyed the clinics because they appreciate the fact that the instructors are all women who have hunting experience. Topics covered at the "Women in Hunting" clinic include firearm safety, hunting regulations - how and why they were developed - preparation for the field, map and compass use, and hunting ethics. More women and girls are taking up hunting, which has often been viewed as an activity that men practice. In fact, female hunters comprise the fastest growing segment of the hunting public. Husbands are encouraging their wives to take up hunting so they can enjoy additional time together in the outdoors. Mothers are learning to hunt to develop an activity they can enjoy with their children. Parents are sending their daughters to hunter education classes so they can learn safe gun handling. Many girls who have completed the class make the decision to become hunters.

Ask the Conservation Officer (CO)

by Gary Hompland, Regional Conservation Officer A group of folks recently attending a public meeting here at the regional office began reminiscing about some of the history of Magic Valley and the history of the Fish and Game. Topics ranged from the feats of Grover Davis; a legendary game warden in the area, raising pheasants at the game farm, to bounties paid for magpies. As a result of the discussion, one of the participants located a brochure produced by Lorayne O. Smith with the assistance of Les Hazen, Don Zuck, and Larry Drexler. The brochure entitled "Southern Idaho Fish and Game Association: History, contained numerous stories and photographs about the history and the role of the Association in fish and wildlife management in the area. In the following weeks I will include some excerpts from this fascinating history about the conservation movement in the Magic Valley. Local sportsmen owe a huge debt of gratitude to the many heroes of this group who successfully cultivated a conservation conscience in the Magic Valley. "The Southern Idaho Fish and Game Association has done many things over its 75-year plus existence to aid sportsmen, but its history really begins with a pioneer Twin Falls jeweler who single-handedly started the fish hatchery in Rock Creek canyon, now owned and operated by the College of Southern Idaho." Walter Priebe, who died at the age of 106 in 1987, was widely known as the "grand old man" of conservation in southern Idaho. Arriving in Twin Falls in 1908, when the town was in its infancy, his concern for game conservation was aroused in 1909 when he and a hunting companion found three sacks of old, decomposed sage hens on the Salmon Butte, about 10 miles south of Twin Falls.

Some Chinook Salmon Seasons to Close

Salmon fishing will close at the end of fishing Sunday, June 22, on the Middle Fork Clearwater, the Snake, and Lower Salmon rivers. Salmon fishing will close at the end of fishing hours on Sunday, June 22, on:
  • Middle Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of Lochsa and Selway rivers.
  • Snake River from Dug bar boat ramp upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.
  • Lower Salmon River mainstem from the Hammer Creek Boat ramp upstream to Shorts Creek, about 1.4 miles upstream of the mouth of the Little Salmon River.
Salmon fishing will remain open in the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, the South Fork Clearwater River, the Lochsa River, and the Little Salmon River. Clearwater River: Fishery managers for the Idaho Fish and Game estimate that as of June 15, anglers caught 64 percent of the state's harvest share of adult hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the Clearwater River drainage. They estimate that by June 22, the state's share of salmon destined for the Kooskia Fish Hatchery will be met. To ensure sufficient brood stock reaches the Kooskia Hatchery, it is necessary to close salmon fishing in the Middle Fork Clearwater River. Within the Clearwater River drainage, Chinook fishing will remain open in the North Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater and Lochsa rivers. Fish and Game will provide updates on fishery status and potential closures in the Clearwater River basin every Monday until the season closes. Fish and Game expects some salmon fishing in the Clearwater River basin to remain open through the July Fourth weekend. All salmon fishing in the Clearwater River basin will close once the remainder of the state's harvest share of Clearwater River hatchery salmon has been caught.

Chinook Season Opens on Upper Salmon River

Many anglers have been waiting a long time for the Chinook salmon season that opens June 19. It has been three decades since the last Chinook season on the upper Salmon River. The lower boundary of the area open to Chinook fishing is at the Highway 75 Bridge over the mainstem of the Salmon River at milepost 213.5, which is about nine miles west of Clayton. The river is open upstream to the posted boundary about 100 yards downstream from the Sawtooth Hatchery weir. Anglers will need a fishing license and a salmon permit, which can be purchased at any Fish and Game vendor. The regulations for the Chinook salmon season are available at all vendors and on-line at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. Fishing hours for Chinook are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Successful anglers can only keep hatchery Chinook salmon with a clipped adipose fin. Unless there is a healed scar from the clipped fin, the salmon is considered wild and must be released immediately. It is legal to catch both adult and jack Chinook salmon on the upper Salmon River. Adult Chinook are at least 24 inches long, while jack Chinook are less than 24 inches long. Anglers can keep two jacks each day and six in possession. It is not necessary to record jacks on salmon permits. After landing an adult Chinook salmon, anglers should validate their permit. Limits on adult Chinook salmon are two each day, six in possession, and 40 for the season. Anglers are required to stop fishing for salmon once they reach the adult salmon bag, possession, or season limit. There will be three check stations, with two on Highway 75 and one on Highway 21. It is mandatory for anglers to stop at check stations, even if they haven't caught any fish. For more information please call 208-756-2271.

Salmon Fishing in the Clearwater Mainstem Closed

Salmon fishing on the mainstem Clearwater River downstream of the South Fork Clearwater River closed at the end of fishing hours Sunday, June 15. Fishery managers for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game estimate that as of June 8 anglers had harvested about 50 percent of the state's harvest share of adult hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the Clearwater River drainage. By June 15, anglers had caught about 64 percent. Harvest is estimated by daily angler surveys. To ensure sufficient fishing opportunities in the tributaries, the state's remaining harvest share will be used to continue existing fisheries. These fisheries include North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater and Lochsa rivers. Fishing is expected to improve on these rivers, but so far have accounted for only 7 percent of the harvest. To ensure sufficient harvest opportunities in the South Fork Clearwater and Lochsa rivers, additional closures could occur in the future on the North Fork Clearwater and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers. Fishery managers will provide an update on fishery status and potential fishery closures in the Clearwater River basin every Monday until the season closes. By managing the remaining portion of the state's harvest share in this manner, fishery managers expect some salmon fishing in the Clearwater River basin to remain open through the July 4 weekend. All salmon fishing in the Clearwater River basin will close once the remainder of the state's harvestable share of Clearwater River hatchery Chinook salmon is harvested. Jack Chinook salmon and adult Chinook are each defined by regulation and have separate bag limits. The jack bag limit is two per day and six in possession statewide. By regulation, jacks should not be recorded on the salmon permit. Adult bag limits are fishery specific and all adults must be recorded on the permit card. An angler must cease fishing when he or she has caught the adult bag limit.

Head for Riggins for Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing

With fish starting to move and water levels continuing to fall on the Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, now is the time for anglers to pack their gear and head for Riggins. In the past few days, boat and bank anglers have started picking up salmon at the mouth of the Little Salmon River as the fish begin the final leg of their migration. "Salmon fishing in Riggins has improved recently as water levels drop," Fish and Game fisheries manager Dale Allen said. "This is the time spring salmon anglers have been waiting for." Flows on the Salmon River have dropped below 40,000 cubic feet per second. With anglers harvesting fish on this stretch, the salmon fishing season on the Salmon River probably will close on schedule at the end of fishing hours on June 22. The Little Salmon River will remain open. Angler crowding has not been an issue thus far. "The sluggish migration, cool weather and high flows have kept people away," Allen said. "But it appears that all those factors are now shifting in favor of salmon anglers." Salmon anglers must have a valid fishing license and salmon tag to fish for - or harvest - hatchery Chinook salmon.