Press Release

April 2010

Steelhead, Habitat, Nutrient Enhancement Highlight Sportsman's Breakfast

Potlatch River steelhead and habitat restoration, and Dworshak nutrient enhancement will highlight a May 8 sportsman's breakfast in Moscow.

Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to attend the breakfast meeting at the Best Western University Inn in Moscow. Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game, the meeting will run from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the restaurant at 1516 West Pullman Road.

Fish and Game staff will present information on recent Potlatch River steelhead research discoveries and habitat restoration activities. Reports will also be given on the Dworshak Nutrient Enhancement project, local habitat improvement projects, the spring Chinook season, as well as other related activities.

A $10 breakfast buffet will be offered and the coffee will be free.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in wildlife and is designed to stimulate informal discussion about local wildlife issues.

For more information, contact the Fish and Game Lewiston office at 208-799-5010.

New Project WILD Workshop Scheduled for Teachers

Project WILD's "Wild about Turkeys" workship is scheduled for May 7 and 8 in Stateline.

Wild turkeys are strange in appearance and behavior. People often ask whether they are native to Idaho. When told that wild turkeys are not native to the Gem State, people ask how they came to be living in the forests and fields of Idaho.

Other inquiries are likely to follow. "What do they eat? Do they gobble like barnyard turkeys? Is there a turkey hunting season? Do they taste like store bought turkeys?"

K-12 educators or a youth leaders can learn the answers to these and many other questions about this strange bird by attending a new workshop developed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game called "Wild About Turkeys."

The workshop is scheduled from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 7, and from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.Saturday, May 8. Yes, that's 5 a.m. We plan to head to the woods to try to hear and perhaps view this unique bird in the wild. The workshop will be at Cabela's in Stateline, Idaho, near Post Falls.

This new workshop will focus on the biology, ecology, and management of wild turkeys here in Idaho, and is for those educators who work in the K-12 curriculum. Participants will be introduced to Project WILD activities geared toward turkeys, as well as receive a curriculum guide from the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Idaho Fish and Game educator's packet, book "All About Turkeys", dinner Friday evening, and other materials.

As with all Project WILD workshops, participants will get hands-on experience with activities, projects, materials and a variety of educational tools they can take back to the classroom. And, this particular workshop will treat participants to a field trip to see wild turkeys.

The registration fee for WILD About Turkeys is $30. As an option, participants can attend the workshop for college credit at an additional cost.

F&G Director on Western Issues Panel

Idaho Fish and Game Director Cal Groen will be among the panelists on a day-long conference on western issues at Boise State University May 1.

The history of the West - the history of Idaho - is a story of change. One hundred years ago, the challenge in the West was to tame the frontier. Today the challenge is balancing and accommodating millions of people who affect the land, water and wildlife.

The nation's two premier land managers - the director of the Bureau of Land Management and the chief of the U.S. Forest Service - will be in Boise on Saturday, May 1, as keynote speakers at a conference at the Andrus Center for Public Policy - "Life in the West: People, Land, Water and Wildlife in a Changing Economy."

Panels will focus on practical and successful approaches to collaboration that balance the growing Western economy with the traditional values that continue to make the West unique. The conference will focus on an agenda for Idaho.

Conference registration closes April 28. For information contact the Andrus Center for Public Policy at www.andruscenter.org/, 208-344-0882 or contact@andruscenter.org.

Ask Fish and Game: Family Fishing Waters

Q. Where's a good place to take a youngster fishing?

A. Family Fishing Waters are great places to take the family fishing. They are easy to get to and have plenty of fish to catch. Each of Idaho Fish and Game's seven regions across the state can answer your questions and get you and your family started on the road to fishing. Or find local Family Fishing Waters in the current fishing rules brochure or online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ffw/.

Fishing Trailer Scheduled for Local Pond Tour

Stocked with equipment and information, Idaho Fish and Game's fishing trailer will soon be making the circuit at local ponds across the region, promoting fishing as part of a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

To learn more about the trailer, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465. More information regarding the fishing trailer is also available on Fish and Game's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/misc/trailer/.

With its exterior wrapped completely with vibrant fish illustrations, the trailer is hard to miss.

"It's eye-catching for sure, both for kids and adults," Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said. "That's what we wanted; something to grab an adult's attention and help get a kid excited about fishing."

But the important stuff is inside the trailer.

"The idea is to bring fishing equipment and fishing expertise to what we call our Ôbicycle fisheries' - the local ponds," Oneale said. "All kids and their parents have to do is show up. We hope our efforts will get kids excited about fishing and help build a new generation of anglers."

The trailer's 2010 schedule will kick off at Merrill Pond in Eagle on Thursday evening, April 29 followed by a stop at Sego Prairie Pond in Kuna on May 15.

"Everyone is welcome at this free event, but we want to make a point of inviting kids and their parents who have an interest in fishing but lack the equipment and perhaps the knowledge to get started," Oneale said.

Southwest Region Fishing Trailer Schedule:

Date - Location - Time

Thursday, April 29 - Merrill Pond (Eagle) - 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

Saturday, May 15 - Sego Prairie Pond (Kuna) - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Saturday, May 22 - Parkcenter Pond (Boise) - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Saturday, June 5 - McDevitt Pond (Boise) - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Found Camera Leads To Wildlife Violation Convictions

A trail camera left at an illegal bear bait in Oregon in 2008 has led to the conviction of a former Idaho resident on wildlife related violations that occurred in Idaho.

On April 12, 2010, Aaron Loosli, formerly of Rexburg and now of La Pine, Ore., was sentenced in Idaho's Madison County for unlawful possession of a bull moose in October of 2004.

Information stored on the camera implicated a number of other individuals in illegal wildlife activities both in Oregon and Idaho. A joint investigation between Oregon and Idaho wildlife enforcement officers resulted not only in this conviction, but a variety of other charges.

The investigation resulted in the confiscation of numerous illegally taken trophy animals. Officers involved in the investigation said this was not about subsistence poaching to feed a family, but lust for trophy quality animals.

While investigators were able to charge Loosli with nearly 30 violations as the result of their investigation, legal maneuverings resulted in only the bull moose charge moving entirely through the court system.

Loosli's sentence issued April 12 included:

  • Nine-year revocation of hunting privileges.
  • One-year of determinant, two years indeterminate jail time (suspended).
  • $10,000 civil penalty to be paid to the State of Idaho at $200 a month.
  • $500 in fines plus $181 in court costs.
  • 150 hours of community service.
  • 30 days in jail served in either Idaho or Oregon.
  • Shall not carry any weapons during probation.

Daniel Parker of Bend, Ore., was also found guilty for his role in the illegal killing of this same bull moose. He received a similar sentence. Because of the interstate Wildlife Violator Compact both individuals will lose the privilege to hunt in the participating 33 states for the next nine years.

Bowhunter Education Course Offered in Deary

Beginning archery hunters wanting to pursue game this year are encouraged to register for a bowhunter education course offered at the Deary Community Center on May 15 and 16th.

The course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, with the field exercise to run from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Sunday, May 16.

This course will be the last course offered in the Deary-area before big game archery season begins.

Students can register online by visiting the hunter education page on the Department's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, by calling Bill Freytag at 208-877-1340, or by visiting the Lewiston Fish and Game Office, 3316 16th Street. An $8 materials fee for each student is required at registration.

The course is a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on experiences that last about 12 to 16 hours.

Idaho's bowhunter and hunter education courses are taught by volunteer instructors, with the vast majority of courses offered between January and April.

Fish & Game Puts Pelican Management Plan into Action

This spring, Idaho Fish and Game continues with the state's Pelican Management Plan, approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in May of 2009.

The pelican plan provides population management objectives to assure healthy sustainable pelican populations that are balanced with desired management objectives for Yellowstone cutthroat trout and other important public fish and wildlife resources.

In March, using snow fence and over-head bird line with flagging (fladry), Fish and Game excluded one half of the available nesting habitat from pelican access, on Willow Island, one of two nesting islands for the Blackfoot Reservoir pelican nesting colony.

On April 12, Fish and Game personnel released three badgers and two skunks on Gull Island, the second pelican nesting island, in Blackfoot Reservoir. The native predators were released on Gull Island before migratory birds began laying eggs.

Fish and Game is also conducting a multi-year research project on pelican feeding, dispersal patterns and predation effects on Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Blackfoot Reservoir and the upper Blackfoot River.

These management efforts comprise measured "adaptive management" to reduce the size of the Blackfoot Reservoir pelican nesting colony cautiously to a level that does not threaten the important Blackfoot Reservoir Yellowstone cutthroat trout fishery and other valuable hatchery rainbow trout fisheries in near-by reservoirs. Yellowstone cutthroat trout are classified as an Idaho species of special concern.

All Fish and Game pelican management actions are conducted under the guidelines of the pelican management plan and with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service review and coordination. All migratory bird species, including the American white pelican, are protected by federal and state laws. It is unlawful for the public to shoot migratory birds or to destroy their eggs or young.

Volunteers Needed in Fishing for Conservation Effort

In the spring of 2009, more than 50 conservation-minded anglers, many from the Idaho Bass Federation Nation, gathered at CJ Strike Reservoir for a day of fishing for crappie conservation.

During the effort, more than 2,000 pre-spawn adult crappie were caught, loaded in a hatchery truck, transported to Lake Lowell and released. Monitoring late last summer indicated that these crappie spawned successfully in the lake and may have been one of the shots in the arm this reservoir needed.

Encouraged by the success of last year's event, Fish and Game is asking for that same dedicated effort again this year during the crappie for conservation event at CJ Strike on Saturday, May 1. For more information, contact Fish and Game's southwest region office at 208-465-8465.

Volunteer anglers - ideally with boats and live wells - are asked to gather at CJ Strike on May 1 and begin catching crappie destined for Lake Lowell.

"It is imperative the crappie be kept well oxygenated and unstressed prior to transport," event coordinator and Fish and Game fisheries biologist Joe Kozfkay said. "Fish and Game staff will be stationed at the Air Force Ramp (only) with fish holding cages and a hatchery truck beginning at 8:00am. They will count, sort, and load fish for the trip to their new home."

The event should wrap up by 2 p.m.

While several fishing groups have already pledged their participation, additional volunteer anglers are needed.

"We'll have the capacity to haul more than 2,000 crappie, so the more anglers the better," Kozfkay said. "It's a great chance for folks to spend a day on the water and help Fish and Game reestablish crappie fishing in Lake Lowell."

A valid Idaho fishing license is required to participate in the crappie for conservation effort, and anglers must follow all established fishing rules.

For more information regarding the event, contact Fish and Game's southwest region office at 208-465-8465.

Chinook Fishing Season Opens This Week

The 2010 Chinook salmon fishing season opens Saturday, April 24 on the Clearwater, Snake, Little Salmon and the lower Salmon Rivers.

Chinook fishing also will open May 23 on the Lochsa River, and June 19 in the lower Salmon River from Short's Creek upstream to Vinegar Creek. In addition, this year Fish and Game will open a new section of the lower Salmon River from Rice Creek to Hammer Creek to salmon fishing during the same time as the other sections of the lower Salmon.

Chinook salmon fisheries in the South Fork Salmon River and upper Salmon River will be set by the Fish and Game Commission at a later date.

In the Clearwater River drainage the daily limit is three Chinook, only one may be an adult 24 or more inches long; the possession limit is nine, only three may be adults.

In the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four Chinook, only two may be adults. The possession limit is 12, only six adults.

The statewide annual limit is 20 adult Chinook.

Daily fishing hours will be presented in a table in the 2010 rule brochure.

Only Chinook with a clipped adipose fin - the small fin between the dorsal fin and tail - as evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept.

Anglers may use only barbless hooks no more than five-eighths of inch from point to shank. On the Lochsa, only artificial flies and lures - no bait - with one barbless hook per fly or lure may be used. A single hook may have up to three points.

A new rule prohibits fishing from any watercraft within 30 yards of the west shoreline of the Salmon River from the Riggins City Park boat ramp upstream to a posted boundary about 200 yards upstream of the mouth of the Little Salmon River, and the lower 200 yards of the Little Salmon.

Big Game Rules for 2010 Now Available

The Idaho big game hunting seasons and rules brochures for 2010 seasons are back from the printer.

The printed rules brochure is being shipped out and will be available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices statewide. It is also available on the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/.

The primary changes this year include some new caps on general season elk tags in three elk management zones to reduce harvest and provide better quality hunting. Caps are being placed on Lolo "A" tags, Smoky Mountain "A" tags and Salmon "B" tags. Caps are being reduced on Lolo "B" tags and Sawtooth "A" and "B" tags.

Resident youth elk hunters who purchase a general season elk zone tag while they are between ages 12 and 17, inclusive, may participate in any A or B tag elk season within the specified zone, regardless of whether they purchased an A tag or B tag. All other season, weapon restrictions, and commission rules apply. Controlled hunts are excluded.

Changes in the black bear and mountain lion rules for the coming fall seasons allow bear and lion hunters to use electronic calls in the Lolo and Selway elk management zones, extend the mountain lion season to June 30, 2011, in the Lolo and Selway zones, and increase the bag limit to two lions in the Lolo Zone.

In 2010 mandatory hunter reporting for deer, elk, and pronghorn is moving towards a paperless system. All successful hunters are required to report by Internet or phone within 10 days of harvest. Hunters who do not harvest, or did not hunt on their tag, are required to report within 10 days of the close of the hunting season.

Fish and Game Commission to Meet in Lewiston

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet May 19 and 20 in Lewiston

A public comment period will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at the Fish and Game office at 3316 16th St., in Lewiston.

Agenda items include considering Chinook salmon seasons on the upper Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers, a rules-briefing for game animals, and commission chairman and vice-chairman elections.