Press Release

July 2011

State Record Carp Taken with Archery Equipment

When Kuna's Brian Pokorney let fly with an arrow this past Saturday, he had no idea just how large the carp in his sights might be.

It took another arrow from teammate Scott Frazier and both men working together to boat what ultimately was a new state record common carp.

At nearly 4 feet in length and weighing in at 67.65 pounds, the carp crushed the previous record - also taken with bow and arrow in 2010 - by nearly 20 pounds, and was only a few pounds short of the all-tackle world record for common carp.

The two men were participating in the Idaho Bow Fishing Association's two-day state championship tournament at C.J. Strike Reservoir when they spotted the prize fish five feet below the surface.

"At that point we estimated the carp's weight at around 30 pounds," Frazier said.

Pokorney's arrow struck home and the fish quickly surfaced, giving Frazier a chance for a second shot. With Frazier holding a tight line on his arrow, Pokorney was able to wrestle the carp into the boat.

Frazier brought the giant fish to the Nampa Fish and Game office on Monday for certification. Fish and Game staffer Joe Kozfkay established an official weight along with a total length of 47 inches and a girth of 34.5 inches.

The memories of that day should stay with Pokorney and Frazier for some time; Frazier plans to have the carp taxidermied.

"Absolutely," Frazier said when asked whether he planned to hang the fish on his wall. "This is one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced."

Salmon Seasons Ending in Some Areas, Others Remain Open

More of Idaho's Chinook salmon seasons will close this week as fish have moved through the fishery areas and anglers have harvested many of the fish available to the sport fishery.

Areas that will close at the end of fishing hours Thursday, July 28, include the Park Hole section of the lower Salmon River and the South Fork Salmon River.

Closing the Park Hole section means all lower mainstem sections of the Salmon River will be closed to salmon fishing. The Little Salmon River will remain open.

All sections of the South Fork Salmon River will close to salmon fishing at the end of fishing hours on Thursday. The southern section is still open for jack salmon only - but only through Thursday. The daily limit in the southern section is six jack salmon less than 24 inches in total length, and the possession limit is 18 jack salmon. No adult salmon may be kept.

The upper Salmon River, from about the town of North Fork upstream to Ellis, remains open to salmon fishing.

In the Clearwater River drainage, all sections remain open to Chinook salmon fishing. In the mainstem Clearwater River downstream of Orofino Bridge and the North Fork Clearwater River, anglers may harvest only jack salmon. The Snake River, from Dug Bar upstream to Hells Canyon Dam also will remain open for salmon fishing.

Anglers should consult 2011 Chinook salmon rules 1 in season brochures and on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/. For an interactive map of river segments open to Chinook fishing go to the website page at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingplanner/chinook/.

F&G Commission Adopts Wolf Hunting and Trapping Seasons

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, July 28, adopted wolf hunting and trapping seasons for 2011-2012 during a meeting in Salmon.

The commission adopted the Fish and Game department recommendations with a few changes.

The newest commissioner, Kenny Anderson from the Upper Snake Region, in his first commission meeting, asked for an increase hunting limits by five each in the Beaverhead and Island Park zones.

"I want more for my area, a better hunt and to take out more wolves," Anderson said.

Commissioner Fred Trevey from the Clearwater Region moved the commission accept the proposed season with the limits in the Beaverhead Zone increased to 10 and the Island Park Zone increased to 30. He also moved to extend the season in the Lolo and Selway zones to coincide with the spring black bear season, which ends June 30.

"We always have the option to truncate that if we need to," Trevey said. He also moved the nonresident wolf tag be reduced to $31.75 statewide, to be effective retroactively - hunter who already bought tags would be eligible for a refund.

Commissioners also adopted recommended trapping seasons with a few changes.

Trevey moved to accept the trapping seasons be extended to run from November 15 through March 31, with the option of opening a trapping season in all other zones upon review in January. He also moved that the nonresident trapping fee be reduced to $31.75 retroactively.

Fish and Game will add the changes to the proposed seasons posted on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov

Tag Lottery Raises Wildlife Lab Dollars

Idaho's raffle drawing for one bighorn sheep hunt produced two winners this week. The Wildlife Health Laboratory receives money for research into bighorn sheep diseases and one lucky sportsman has the opportunity to hunt for a bighorn sheep this fall.

"The lucky sportsman," said Joe Curry, board member of the Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation, "is Earl Macasaet from Rancho Cucamonga, California."

The winner will be able to hunt in any unit open to sheep hunting for Rocky Mountain or California bighorn in 2011, pursuant to Fish and Game rules - except Unit 11, Hells Canyon of the Snake River. Unit 11 is available to the lottery winner on alternating years.

Every year one bighorn tag is awarded through a raffle and one other tag is offered annually at auction. This year's lottery was conducted by the Idaho Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation.

"The lottery drawing is the biggest event of the year for sportsmen who don't have thousands of dollars to bid for a bighorn sheep tag," said Joe Curry.

This year's lottery raised $54,000. Proceeds from the bighorn sheep raffle are used by Fish and Game to support bighorn sheep disease research at the Wildlife Health Laboratory.

"Money raised from the raffle last year," said Tricia Hebdon with the Wildlife Health Lab, "supported health and genetic research in wild sheep in the Owyhees and genetic research in Idaho's core native herd along the Salmon River."

Diseases of bighorn sheep have drawn concern across the West for decades.

The lottery has raised more than $750,000 since its inception in 1992. The money is used to investigate diseases of interest to both the Department of Fish and Game and livestock producers.

For more information visit www.idahowildsheep.org.

The Wild Sheep Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to protect and restore bighorn sheep to historic habitats throughout Idaho.

Fish and Game Commission Adopts Fall Chinook Season

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, July 28, adopted fall Chinook salmon seasons in the Snake River from the Washington-Idaho border upstream to Hells Canyon Dam and in the Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the Memorial Bridge.

The season opens September 1and runs until October 31 or further notice on:

The Snake River is divided into four management sections:

  • From the Washington-Idaho border upstream to the Bridge Street Bridge - the Blue Bridge.
  • From Bridge Street upstream to the Oregon-Washington border.
  • From the Oregon-Washington border upstream to the mouth of Sheep Creek
  • From the Mouth of Sheep Creek up stream to Hells Canyon Dam.

The Clearwater River:

  • From its mouth upstream to the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge.

The daily limit is six adult fall Chinook, with a clipped adipose fin evidenced by a healed scar, and 18 adults in possession. An adult is 24 or more inches in total length. There is no limit on the total number of adult fall Chinook an angler may keep during the fall season.

The season is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are no daily, possession or season limits on fall Chinook jacks, with a clipped adipose fin evidenced by a healed scar and less than 24 inches in total length. Anglers must have a valid permit to fish for jacks, but they are not required to record the jacks on their permits.

Steelhead Harvest to Open on Lower Clearwater River

The fall steelhead harvest season in Idaho opens Monday, August 1, on a two-mile stretch of the lower Clearwater River from its mouth to the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge near Lewiston.

The catch-and-release steelhead season has been open on the lower Clearwater River since the beginning of July.

On Monday, August 1, anglers can start to take some home. The daily limit is two fish with six in possession. Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the fall season, which ends December 31. Only steelhead, defined as rainbow trout longer than 20 inches, with a clipped adipose fin, evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept.

Upstream of the Memorial Bridge, steelhead fishing in the Clearwater is limited to catch-and-release.

Catch-and-release fishing also opens August 1 on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers and on the Snake River from the Washington border and the confluence with the Clearwater to Hells Canyon Dam.

Steelhead harvest seasons open:

  • September 1 - on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers and the Snake River from its confluence with the Clearwater to Hells Canyon Dam open for steelhead harvest. The limits on these waters are three per day and nine in possession.
  • October 15 - on the main stem of the Clearwater River above the Memorial Bridge, the South Fork Clearwater River, the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, and the Middle Fork Clearwater River below Clear Creek all open to steelhead harvest. The limits on these waters are two per day and six in possession.
  • The season limit for the fall 2011 season is 20 fish statewide.

For regular steelhead counts at Bonneville and Lower Granite dams, visit the steelhead section of the Fishing page at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Ask Fish and Game: Hunter Education Classes

Q. How can I get my kid into a hunter ed class in time for hunting seasons this fall?

A. Idaho hunter education and bowhunter education are offered in all parts of the state, but availability varies by region. To find out when classes are offered, check the Idaho Fish and Game Website, click on "Hunter/Bowhunter Education Program" link from the home page. Then click on the orange bar labeled "View or Sign Up for Courses and Internet Field Days Here." Scroll down and pick the course and then select the nearest town from the list provided to find out what's available: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/education/?getPage=30. But don't put it off to the last minute. Later in the year, closer to hunting seasons, classes fill up fast.

Salmon Fishing to End in Parts of the Lower Salmon River

Chinook salmon fishing will close at the end of fishing on Sunday, July 24, in the sections of the lower Salmon River from the mouth of Shorts Creek upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek, and from the Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Time Zone Bridge.

The two sections are being closed to reduce the catch of fish headed upstream to the South Fork, Middle Fork and upper Salmon rivers.

The Park Hole section of the lower Salmon River, from the Time Zone Bridge upstream to the mouth of Shorts Creek, and the Little Salmon River remain open. The daily bag limit remains six salmon per day, no more than three of which may be adults; the possession limit remains 18 salmon, no more than nine of which may be adults.

Construction Forced Move of July 30 Free Fishing Event

The free fishing event planned for Saturday, July 30, at the Ryder Park Pond just south of Idaho Falls, is being moved to the Gem Lake Boat Ramp because of construction delays at the newly developed Ryder Park Pond.

While the new pond has been filled, landscaping work needs to be done along the shore before fish can be stocked. Once site work is completed a grand opening event will be announced.

The new "Take Me Fishing" trailers have been a big hit all across the state. Wherever the trailers show up, it's free fishing for whoever checks in. Not only is the fishing free, but the trailers are completely stocked with loaner rods & reels and plenty of bobbers and worms.

The event will take place at the scheduled time of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be the final scheduled trailer event for eastern Idaho this summer. The Gem Lake Boat Ramp is located south of Idaho Falls, just off of South Yellowstone Highway on West 49th South.

Construction Closes Wilson Ponds Area

Wilson Ponds, the popular fishing and recreation area south of Nampa, will be closed to all public entry beginning Friday, July 22, through Friday, July 29.

The closure comes as a result of pathway reconstruction and surfacing by a local contractor.

"Closing the area to public entry, though a short-term inconvenience, will provide for public safety and an efficient work environment for the paving contractor," Fish and Game habitat manager Jerry Deal said. "The end result of the project will be improved safety and convenience for the public, especially those with mobility impairments."

Fish stocking at Wilson Springs will be suspended until the paving project is completed and the area reopens. Hatchery fish scheduled for delivery during the closure period will be included in future stocking in the following weeks.

The closure includes all access points to the Wilson Springs Ponds area, as well as public parking and restrooms. Entering the area posted as closed would be in violation of state law.

For more information regarding the closure, please contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465.

Deadline to Buy Controlled Hunt Tags

Big game hunters who names were drawn in controlled hunt drawings have to buy their tags by August 1.

Any tags not purchased by that date will be forfeit. After a second drawing, any leftover tags are sold over the counter.

Results of deer, elk, antelope and fall black bear controlled hunt drawings are available on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ch/results.cfm.

Hunters can buy their tags at any Fish and Game office, license vendor, by telephone at 800-554-8685, or online at https://id.outdoorcentral.us/. For information on rules and dates for specific hunts consult the regulations brochure or the Fish and Game Website.

And those lucky enough to draw can use Fish and Game's Hunt Planner at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner to plan those fall hunts.

It is the responsibility of hunters to determine whether they were drawn for a controlled hunt.

For hunters who weren't drawn, big game over-the-counter tags also are available in many big game units. For details contract license vendors or local Fish and Game offices.

Open House Set on 2011 Panhandle Wolf Seasons

The public is invited to an open house from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at the Idaho Fish and Game Panhandle Region office at 2885 W. Kathleen Avenue in Coeur d'Alene.

Regional staff members will be on hand to answer questions and to solicit comments on Fish and Game's 2011 wolf season proposals.

Wolves were hunted during 2009 in Idaho, with 27 wolves legally taken during the hunting season. This harvest likely slowed the growth of the Panhandle's wolf population for that year, but wolf numbers increased further during 2010, a year in which no wolf season was held.

The proposal for 2011 in the Panhandle is to start the hunting season a month earlier than in 2009, to allow trapping during a portion of the season, and to allow hunters and trappers to take more than one wolf per year.

The harvest season proposal was designed to help Idaho meet its joint objectives of ensuring the long-term viability of wolves, while meeting other big game objectives and minimizing conflicts between wolves and people in general.

Individuals interested in commenting on the proposed seasons are encouraged to go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/proposals.cfm for further information and a public opinion survey. All input will be provided to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, which will be making a decision on these season proposals at the July 27 - 28 meeting in Salmon.

Individuals with disabilities may request accommodations by contacting the Fish and Game Panhandle Region office at 208-769-1414 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD) at least 24 hours in advance.