Press Release

June 2011

F&G Seeks Comments on Proposed Fishing Rules

Idaho Fish and Game seeks public comments on a series of proposed changes to fishing rules.

All proposed rules are available on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/fish/misc/NonbiologicalFishRules_5_19_2.... Comments may be submitted at the links on the web page.

Highlights of Fish and Game's recommendations include:

  • Allowing filleting of hatchery salmon and steelhead harvested and recorded on a salmon or steelhead permit when certain conditions are met.
  • Allowing use of a gaff hook while archery fishing for nongame fish.
  • Modifying the definition of a "steelhead" in the Salmon, Snake and Clearwater River drainages.
  • A new definition for when a fishing contest permit is needed.
  • New definitions used in the 2011-2012 fishing rules booklet.
  • Making it illegal to mark and release fish.

Written comments also may be sent to IDFG Fisheries Bureau, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707.

The deadline for comments is July 8.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will act on these proposed rules at the July 28 meeting in Salmon. Adopted rules would not take effect until April 2012.

F&G Seeks Comments on Big Game Rules, Wolf Hunting

The southeast regional office of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is planning an open house to gather public comments on "nonbiological" rules for big game hunting as well as proposals for the upcoming wolf hunting season.

The public is encouraged to stop by the Fish and Game office at 1345 Barton Road in Pocatello anytime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on July 13 P.M. for the open house.

There is a difference between biological and nonbiological rules. Biological rules are those rules 1 annually in the hunting proclamations that include seasons, limits, size, sex and harvestable species. Nonbiological rules include all other rules adopted by the Fish and Game Commission.

Examples of nonbiological rules include methods of take, tagging requirements, evidence-of-sex requirements, and controlled hunt eligibility requirements.

Two nonbiological rules proposals to be discussed at the open house in Pocatello have to do with boundary designations for hunting units in the southeast region. Fish and Game proposes fixing the boundary description for Units 69 and 66A as there is an incorrect road mentioned in the proclamations.

Likewise, correction of the description for Unit 77's boundary is being proposed.

Other proposals related to nonbiological rules will be added to the list of discussion items for the open house as they become available and posted on Fish and Game's website within the coming weeks at fishandgame.idaho.gov.

During the open house, proposals for the wolf hunting season will also be presented. These proposals are for biological rules associated with wolf hunting, and will include, in part, discussions of season structure, quotas, and method of take.

The comment period for both the nonbiological rules as well as the proposals for the wolf hunting season will conclude sometime in late July.

Ask Fish and Game: Angler Access

Q. Do I need permission to fish along a side channel of the Boise River?

A. No. Under Idaho law, anglers do not need permission to fish along a navigable stream as long as they stay within the normal high-water marks and enter and exit the stream from a public right-of-way, such as a road or bridge. Anglers may cross private land only with permission, except to go around an obstruction with no other means of getting around - but they must use the shortest most direct route around the obstruction. For details, refer to Page 48 of the current Idaho 2011-2012 Fishing Seasons and Rules booklet, available at fishing license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Two Moose Captured in Inkom

On Wednesday morning, June 22, Idaho Fish and Game responded to a call about an adult cow moose and her year-old male young discovered behind Bisharat Market in Inkom.

Fish and Game personnel darted both moose with tranquilizers to load the animals in a trailer for transport and release out of the immediate area. The tranquilizing drugs used typically take effect in a moose within three to five minutes.

The small bull moose succumbed to the tranquilizer drug fairly quickly. The adult female, however, jumped a fence after being darted and ended up staggering into Rapid Creek that runs through town.

Worried that she would take in water and possibly drown, Fish and Game personnel jumped in with the moose and worked to keep her head above water.

They carried her about 100 feet before several personnel and a couple of bystanders were able to pull her from the water.

Fish and Game biologists worked to revive the moose. They administered a drug to reverse the effects of the tranquilizer. They also attempted to manually expel creek water from her lungs by placing her on her chest and stomach and pressing on her sides.

Unfortunately, the moose had taken in too much water and died in the trailer.

"This is not the ending we wanted for this moose," said Toby Boudreau, regional wildlife manager for Fish and Game's southeast region. "Going into these situations, there is always the chance something can go wrong, but we have been able to successfully dart and move 10 other moose in southeast Idaho this year without major incident."

Boudreau added: "Losing an animal is a tough part of this job. The upside is that the little bull recovered nicely, and releasing him to a more secluded quality habitat was no problem."

The young bull was released on national forest lands south of Pocatello.

Pocatello Deer Fence Fund Program end July 1

Donations to Farm Bureau Insurance's Pocatello-Inkom deer fence fund matching program are at the halfway mark with one week remaining before the program ends.

Farm Bureau Insurance will match up to $5,000 in individual monetary donations made to the fence project before Friday, July 1.

A $100 donation was recently made by a Three Forks, Montana, resident after his car hit a deer on I-15 between Inkom and Pocatello. The deer smashed through the passenger side of the windshield and hit his wife in the head. She recovered after spending several days in the hospital.

Each year, according to Idaho Fish and Game estimates, at least 100 deer are killed on the section of Interstate 15 between Pocatello and Inkom. These deer-car collisions also cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and personal injuries.

To make a donation to the Pocatello-Inkom deer fence or for information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Jim Teare, wildlife staff biologist and Mule Deer Initiative coordinator at the Idaho Fish and Game's Pocatello office, at 208-232-4703.

To report a wildlife collision observation or for more information about wildlife collisions in Idaho, please visit www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/manage_issues/collision

Jacks Only Salmon Season on Lower Clearwater and North Fork

After Sunday, June 26, anglers on the lower Clearwater River and on the North Fork Clearwater River will be allowed to catch and keep only jack salmon less than 24 inches long.

The change takes effect at the close of fishing on Sunday, June 26 in the North Fork Clearwater and the Clearwater downstream of the Orofino Bridge. The new bag limits for these waters are six jack Chinook salmon per day and 18 in possession. No adult Chinook may be kept.

Anglers may not fish in these sections if they have adult Chinook in possession, even if they were legally caught in other river sections.

Idaho Fish and Game fishery managers estimate that by the end of fishing on June 26, anglers will have taken about 80 percent of the nontribal harvest share of the adult Chinook returning to the Clearwater drainage. Most of this harvest has occurred in the Clearwater River downstream of the Orofino Bridge and in the North Fork Clearwater River.

To ensure opportunities for upstream anglers in communities including Orofino, Kamiah, Kooskia and Grangeville to fish for adult salmon, Fish and Game recommended this jacks-only season in the downstream areas.

The bag limits on the upstream portion of the Clearwater, the Middle Fork and South Fork rivers remain unchanged.

Ask the Conservation Officer (CO)

by Gary Hompland, Regional Conservation Officer, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Question: "I heard about someone that found an orphaned deer fawn and raised it to an adult. I'd like to do this, what kinds of permits are required?"

Answer: The short answer is, only under very rare circumstances would the Department authorize anyone to possess a wild fawn deer or calf elk.

In the past it may have been common in Idaho to allow a "Good Samaritan" to raise an orphaned fawn and "release it back into the wild." When Idaho's human population was sparsely distributed, deer that were habituated to humans were often released on large ranches and farms. Gracious landowners tolerated these deer that often lived out their lives within the security of the ranch. These deer were usually not marked so the success of these animals returning to the wild could not be evaluated. No doubt some were successful and some were not, but nature decided, not people.

Idaho's population is no longer sparsely distributed. Deer habituated to humans in urban environments damage property and threaten personal safety. Several years ago a buck deer that was raised in captivity as a fawn attacked and injured several people. One elderly lady was charged repeatedly, knocked down and left with numerous bruises on her legs. In the end the deer was euthanized due to the danger it posed to the public.

To add a layer of complexity of the issue, several wildlife diseases, unknown in the past, now pose a threat to other wild deer, domestic livestock, and people. Examples include chronic wasting disease, brucellosis, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, and tuberculosis.

Chronic wasting disease has devastated wild deer populations across country and caused several states to prohibit importation of the carcass or skull of deer taken by hunters. Some think its spread is by contact with infected animals or body fluids.

Take Me Fishing Event at Hordemann Pond Cancelled

Idaho Fish and Game's "Take Me Fishing" event planned for Hordemann Pond on Saturday, June 25, has been cancelled because of warm water and poor fishing success.

Instead, the event will be moved to Mann Lake in Lewiston. Another fishing event will be at Elk Creek Reservoir in Elk River on Sunday, June 26. Both events run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Fishing equipment can be checked out for free on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants who register at the trailer will be granted a permit that will allow them to fish for a few hours without needing a license.

Stocked with basic fishing equipment and information, the trailer is wrapped with vibrant fish illustrations, it is hard to miss. With Mann Lake and Elk Creek Reservoir recently stocked with rainbow trout, the only thing kids and their parents need to do is show up.

Fish and Game has held 27 "Take Me Fishing" events this spring and summer. The Mann Lake and Elk Creek Reservoir events will be the final events this summer.

Poachers Sentenced in Owyhee County

Kyle Whiteley and Andrew Lusk were sentenced June 6 on charges stemming from the illegal take of a bull elk in Eastern Owyhee County on January 4.

Whiteley was charged with and pleaded guilty in Owyhee County Court to the unlawful possession of an elk and concealment or destruction of evidence, both misdemeanors. Magistrate Judge Dan C. Grober fined him a total of $500 in fines and court costs, and sentenced him to 180 days in jail (suspended), 12 months unsupervised probation, and a one year hunting license revocation.

Lusk pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of an elk and to hunting without a license. Judge Grober fined him $2,245 in fines and court costs, a civil penalty of $300, a processing fee of $250, and sentenced him to 180 days jail with 10 days to serve and the rest suspended, two years of unsupervised probation, and a five year revocation of all hunting and fishing privileges.

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers received an anonymous phone call made to the Citizens Against Poaching phone line about a six-by-six bull elk that had been shot the day before and was hanging in a nearby barn.

When officers arrived, they found that Whiteley had the elk carcass in a barn and a six-by-six bull elk head and antlers in the back of his truck. They discovered that the elk had been shot at a neighboring ranch on the evening of January 4 by Lusk and that Whiteley was storing it for him. The Owyhee County prosecutor's office was involved in the case from the beginning and saw the case through to its conclusion.

Cases like this often come to light because of concerned citizens who take a moment to call their local conservation officer or the Citizens Against Poaching line at 1-800-632-5999.

CAP offers rewards for information leading to a citation and information may be given anonymously.

Controlled Hunt Drawing Results Online

Hunters who applied for elk, deer, pronghorn, fall turkey and black bear controlled hunts can check online to see whether they were successful in the recent computerized drawing.

Controlled hunt drawing results are now available for deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey hunts at:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ch/results.cfm.

Drawing odds are available at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ch/odds.cfm.

For additional information about controlled hunts go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ch/.

Applicants can enter their hunting license numbers to find out instantly how they did in the drawing.

Postcards will be mailed to successful applicants around July 10. Winners must buy controlled hunt tags by August 1. Unclaimed and leftover tags from the first drawing will be available in a second application period from August 5 through August 15.

Any tags not purchased by August 1 will be forfeited. After the second drawing, any left over tags are sold over the counter. Tags are sold at any license vendor, through the Internet at https://id.outdoorcentral.us/, or by telephone at 800-554-8685, starting August 25 at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

For information on rules and dates for specific hunts consult the regulations brochure or the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. And those lucky enough to draw can use Fish and Game's hunt planner on the website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner to plan those fall hunts.

Meetings Set on Proposed Fishing Rules

Idaho Fish and Game is planning a series of public open-house meetings at regional offices across the state to take comments on a series of proposed changes to fishing rules.

All open-house meetings run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in:

Panhandle Region:

  • June 23 - 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., Coeur d'Alene, or call Regional Fish Manager Jim Fredericks at 769-1414.

Clearwater Region:

  • June 21 - 3316 16th Street, Lewiston, or call Regional Fish Manager Joe DuPont at 799-5010.

Southwest Region:

  • June 23 - 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa, or call Regional Fish Manager Jeff Dillon at 465-8465 or Dale Allen at 634-8137.

Magic Valley Region:

  • June 30 - 324 S. 417 E., Jerome, or call Regional Fish Manager Doug Megargle at 324-4359.

Southeast Region:

  • June 28 - 1345 Barton Road, Pocatello, or call Regional Fish Manager David Teuscher at 232-4703.

Upper Snake Region:

  • June 29 - 4279 Commerce Circle, Idaho Falls or call Regional Fish Manager Dan Garren at 525-7290.

Salmon Region:

  • June 28 - 99 Highway 93 N., Salmon, or call Regional Fish Manager Tom Curet at 756-2271.

Highlights of Fish and Game's recommendations include:

Leftover Moose Tags Available

Hunters have until Saturday, June 25, to apply for a chance at 13 leftover moose controlled hunt tags available in the second drawing.

The second controlled hunt application period for the 13 leftover moose hunt tags ends June 25. Any tags left over from this drawing will be available first-come first-served beginning July 10.

Tags available are:

  • 1 bull in Hunt 3037, area 10A-1.
  • 1 bull in Hunt 3044, area 12-3.
  • 3 bulls in Hunt 3053, area 16A.
  • 4 bulls in Hunt 3054, area 17.
  • 4 bulls in Hunt 3056, area 20.

There are no leftover sheep or goat tags. The application period for leftover tags for deer, elk, antelope and fall black bear hunts will be August 5 to 15.

For a list of hunt numbers and leftover tags available, go to the controlled hunt page:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/licenses/leftover/leftover_moose.cfm.

Check the moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep rules brochure and the controlled hunt information section for details on each hunt and specific controlled hunt information.

Controlled hunt applications may be submitted at any hunting and fishing license vendor, Fish and Game office, with a credit card by calling 1-800-554-8685, or online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov or https://id.outdoorcentral.us/.

The resident controlled hunt tag and application fee is $173. The nonresident controlled hunt tag and application fee is $2,116.50. These fees include a nonrefundable application fee of $6.25 for Idaho residents and $14.75 for nonresidents.

Tag fees must be included with moose controlled hunt applications.

There is a service charge for processing phone-in and Internet applications.