Press Release

April 2012

Chinook Season Opens Sunday

Though the fishing season for Chinook salmon opens on Sunday, April 22, in the Clearwater River, Snake River, Little Salmon and lower Salmon rivers, this year's run is appears to be one of the latest on record.

No fish had crossed Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River as of April 15.

Season closing dates will be announced by Fish and Game.

In the Clearwater River drainage the daily limit is four Chinook; only two may be adults (24 or more inches long), but only one adult may be from the North Fork Clearwater. The possession limit is 12, only six 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 may be adults.

The statewide annual limit is 20 adult Chinook in the 2012 seasons occurring before September 1.

Daylight fishing hours are in the season brochure.

Waters that open April 22 are:

Clearwater River, main stem:

  • Lower - from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge at Lewiston upstream to the Cherrylane Bridge
  • Middle - from the Cherrylane Bridge upstream to the Orofino Bridge, excluding the perimeter of Dworshak National Fish Hatchery at Ahsahka, and excluding the ladder to the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery as marked by posted boundaries about 100 yards upstream and downstream of the ladder and extending into the river about 50 yards.
  • Upper - from the Orofino Bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River.

North Fork Clearwater: From the mouth to the Dworshak Dam, excluding the perimeter of the Dworshak National Hatchery at Ahsahka.

South Fork Clearwater: From its mouth to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.

Fishing in Idaho: It's Better than Ever

The fishing is great in Idaho, and people are catching on; more people are fishing now than most years in the past decade.

In 2011, Idaho Fish and Game sold about 450,000 fishing licenses, down about 5 percent from the recent high in 2009. More good news, though, most license and permit sales through March 2012 are above what they were at the same time in 2011.

Resident fishing license sales are up about 9 percent; resident junior licenses are up 14 percent; resident disabled licenses are up 16 percent; two-pole permit sales are up 6 percent; nonresident licenses are up 10 percent; salmon permits are up about 6 percent; and steelhead permits are up about 2 percent.

The increase in fishing license sales is not just an indication of good fishing; it is also proof that fishing represents affordable and popular recreation in spite of the economy.

To fish in Idaho, anglers need a fishing rod and a valid fishing license, unless they're under 14. Licenses and fishing rules are available from any Fish and Game office and from a long list of vendors statewide. Anglers are on their own for the rod, reel and lures.

It's easy to get started, and Idaho Fish and Game can help. Check out the Fishing section of the Fish and Game Web site - http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/ - and click on the section called Learn to Fish. It includes basic information on getting started, how to identify fish and several opportunities for beginning anglers.

In addition Fish and Game's Fishing Planner at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/Fishingplanner/, can help anglers find fishing spots all over the state, how to get there and what kind of fish they'll find when they do. Simply type in the name of a lake or stream or click on the "recommended fishing waters."

Fish and Game Commission to Meet in Riggins in May

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet May 9 and 10 at the Best Western Salmon Rapids Lodge in Riggins.

A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. May 9 at the Salmon Rapids Lodge.

Routine agenda items include setting seasons for Chinook salmon fishing in the South Fork Salmon and the upper Salmon rivers; fiscal year 2014 budget direction; election of commission chairman and vice-chairman; and a briefing on auction and lottery tags.

A complete agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available.

Mountain Lions Captured from Gibson Jack Area

On the night of Tuesday, April 10, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game captured and removed two mountain lions, a female and a male, from the Gibson Jack area of Pocatello.

The mountain lions, both sub-adults, were thin and dehydrated, the female weighing only 15 pounds and the male 20 pounds at time of capture. Both were taken to a secure, safe holding facility where they are being monitored and awaiting placement at a zoo.

Fish and Game had received a call over Easter weekend about mountain lions observed in the Gibson Jack area. An investigation revealed that a house cat likely had been killed by a mountain lion; however, it also appeared that the mountain lions were moving away from the residential area toward suitable habitat.

On the morning of April 10, Fish and Game received a report that a small dog was attacked by what was described as a "small mountain lion" in the Gibson Jack area the night before. According to the caller, the attack occurred while the dog and its owner were recreating in the area. The dog's owner and a jogger who also saw the attack began throwing rocks at the mountain lion and were able to scare it away. The dog was not killed.

Because this was the second attack on domestic animals in the Gibson Jack area, and because of its proximity to humans at the time of the attack, Fish and Game began the process of setting up live traps to capture the mountain lions.

Before the traps could even be put into position, another report of a mountain lion attacking a dog in front of a Gibson Jack residence came in to the Bannock County Sheriff's office the night of April 10. The Sheriff's Office and Fish and Game responded. Two young mountain lions were discovered on the property of a homeowner. Both animals were darted and removed from the area.

Applications Sought for Fish and Game Commission Positions

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is accepting applications to replace two outgoing Idaho Fish and Game commissioners whose terms expire June 30.

Commissioners Gary Power from the Salmon Region and Wayne Wright from the Magic Valley Region have both served two four-year terms - the term limit for Fish and Game commissioners.

To be appointed, a successful candidate must be a resident of the Salmon or the Magic Valley region, and be well informed and interested in wildlife conservation and restoration. Fish and Game commissioners are appointed by the governor for staggered four year terms - no more than four may be from the same political party. Each commissioner must be confirmed by the Idaho State Senate.

To download the application click on the following link: http://gov.idaho.gov/pdf/ApplicationForAppointment.pdf.

Anyone interested should fill out the application and e-mail it to ann.beebe@gov.idaho.gov. Or they may mail it to the address at the top of the form or FAX it to 208-334-3454, attention Ann Beebe. Don't forget to include a brief resume.

Applications must be received or postmarked by May 18.

The seven Fish and Game commissioners each represents a different region of the state. The commission is responsible for administering the fish and game policy of Idaho.

By law, commissioners must meet in January, April, July and October of each year. In recent years the complexity of wildlife and fisheries management has made special sessions necessary in addition to the quarterly meetings.

Youths Urged to Unplug and Be Outside

Youths today spend as much as 30 hours a week dialed into video games, computers, mobile devices and other technology.

We can improve the physical, mental and emotional health of our children by getting them off the couch. From April 21-28, you are invited to "Unplug and Be Outside" by participating in more than 100 free or low-cost activities offered in Boise, Nampa, Meridian and Caldwell.

"Unplug and Be Outside" is sponsored by Be Outside, Idaho! and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. Be Outside, Idaho! is a statewide coalition of agencies and businesses founded in 2008 to "connect Idaho's youth from backyards to mountaintops."

Partners also include Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Boise Parks & Recreation, Let's Move Boise, Idaho Foundation for Parks & Lands, National Park Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Education, Meridian and Nampa Parks and Recreation Departments. Our media partner is KTVB Newschannel 7.

Activities include birdwatching, fly tying, rock climbing, geocaching, art classes, tennis and golf lessons, preschool storytimes, bike rides, ice skating, gardening, swimming and many more programs designed to get children and adults moving.

Children will receive passport cards. Those who participate in three or more activities will be entered into a drawing to win great prizes, including fishing rods, backpacks, Idaho State Parks pass, water bottles and more.

For a complete schedule of events, see www.unplugandbeoutside.com.

Media contacts:

Kendra Witt-Doyle, Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, 208-286-3461

Victoria Runnoe, Idaho Department of Fish & Game, 208-287-2874

Become a Hunter-Bowhunter Education Instructor

The Southeast Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has scheduled three new instructor workshops for individuals who would like to become hunter education or bowhunter education instructors.

The new instructor orientations will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the following dates at these locations.

  • April 24: Senior Center, 60 South Main Street, Soda Springs.
  • April 25: Larsen-Sant Library, 109 South 1st East, Preston.
  • April 26: Fish and Game Regional Office, 1345 Barton Rd., Pocatello.

Interested individuals need only attend one new instructor orientation. The instructor orientations are free, however, pre-registration is required. To register, please contact Jennifer Jackson with the Idaho Fish and Game in Pocatello at 232-4703.

Instructor orientations outline how to organize a class, select meeting sites, order supplies, and get students registered and certified. Instructor candidates also learn how to use the hunter education curriculum and how to teach using various effective methods and styles. Fingerprinting will also take place at the orientation to initiate the background check process.

Each year in Idaho's southeast region, volunteer instructors teach basic hunter education courses to about 1,000 students. These men and women are invaluable to Idaho Fish and Game and to the hunting heritage many of us in southeast Idaho cherish. Without them, it would be impossible to recruit new hunters; and because of them, we are able to ensure that these new hunters have been exposed to essential safety and ethics concepts.

Anyone who is a safe and responsible rifle or archery hunter, or likes sharing their knowledge and skills with youth and others new to the sport, with a passion about being an ethical and safe hunter, please consider becoming an Idaho hunter or bowhunter education instructor. Future hunters need you.

Parkcenter Fishing Trailer Event Cancelled

Idaho Fish and Game's April 14 fishing trailer event at Boise's Parkcenter Pond in Boise has been cancelled.

Another user group has reserved the park and pond for the weekend, with activities incompatible with a fishing event.

"That's the bad news," Fish and Game regional conservation educator Evin Oneale said. "The good news is, we have more than 40 fishing trailer events coming up in the weeks ahead, so everyone should be able to find an event to fit their schedule."

To learn more about the trailer, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465. More information regarding the fishing trailer is now available on Fish and Game's website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=79.

"The idea is to bring fishing equipment and fishing expertise to what we call our Ôbicycle fisheries' - local, neighborhood ponds," Oneale said. "All kids and their parents have to do is show up; we'll get them geared up and on the water."

"We hope our efforts will get kids excited about fishing and help build a new generation of anglers," he said.

A fishing license is not needed by any participant that registers at the trailer for the duration of the event, regardless of age or residency.

"Everyone is welcome at these events, 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. "The only cost is a bit of time, and the idea is to help people gain enough fishing experience and confidence to strike out on their own and enjoy fishing as a fun, family activity."

Turkey, Black Bear Seasons Begin April 15

The general spring turkey and black bear hunts open Sunday, April 15 - turkey hunts run through May 25, and spring black bear closing dates vary.

A few bear hunts opened earlier in some areas where hunters may also use a second bear tag.

Dates for general season hunts are listed in the Upland Game or Big Game seasons and rules brochures, available at all Fish and Game offices and at license vendors statewide. The brochure is also on the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov in PDF format.

Hunters also can use the convenient Idaho Hunt Planner, found in the hunting section of the Website, where detailed maps are available.

Hunters must have a valid Idaho hunting license and the appropriate tags.

Turkey hunters may buy two turkey tags - one general and one extra tag - for the spring season.

Resident adults pay $19.75 for the first tag and $12.25 for an extra tag. Discounted tags for youth, seniors and disabled veterans are $10.75. Nonresident turkey tags cost $80.00, except for junior mentored tags priced at $19.75.

Turkey hunting requires special attention to safety in the field. Hunting information and safety tips are found on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=132.

Black bear hunters are reminded that grizzly bears may be encountered in many areas where black bears are also found. Hunters should know the difference.

Hunters are urged to learn more about bear identification on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/education/bearIdentification/

Moose, Sheep, Goat Applications Due

April is not just tax month; it's also the month to apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts.

Applications for these controlled hunts will be accepted through April 30.

Earlier this year, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission eliminated 10 antlerless moose permits in the Panhandle and reduced bull hunts in Hunt Area 1-4 to 25 permits, down from 45.

In Hunt Area 1-1, hunt 3095 was eliminated. In Hunt Area 1-4, hunt 3008 was reduced to 20 tags from 30, hunt 3009 was eliminated, and hunt 3010 was reduced to 5 tags from 10.

Tags for mountain goats and bighorn sheep were not changed.

Hunters may apply at Fish and Game offices, license vendors, and with a credit card by telephone or over the Internet. Telephone applications may be made at 1-800-554-8685; Internet users may apply at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/.

Telephone and Internet applications are subject to additional service charges.

Each applicant must possess a valid 2012 Idaho hunting license to apply for a controlled hunt. License fees will not be refunded.

For moose, goat and sheep hunt applications only, the entire application fee must be paid with the application. All but the $6.25 application fee - $14.75 for nonresidents - will be refunded to those who do not draw. The resident application, including permit fee, costs $173; nonresidents pay $2,116.50.

Unsuccessful resident applicants will receive a refund of $166.75; unsuccessful nonresident applicants will receive a refund of $2,101.75.

Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than April 30.

Hunters who apply for moose, goat and sheep may not apply for any other controlled hunt in the same year except for unlimited controlled hunts, extra deer, elk or pronghorn hunts, controlled bear hunts or depredation hunts.

Bear Managers Invite Public to Spring Meeting

The spring meeting of Yellowstone grizzly bear managers is open to the public.

The Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee will meet April 18 and 19 in Teton Village, Wyoming. The spring meeting has a full agenda with reports on the estimation of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population and issues relating to future management.

The meeting will be at Hotel Terra in Teton Village, Wyoming. Hotel Terra is 12 miles from downtown Jackson, Wyoming and is reached via the Moose-Wilson Road - Wyoming-390. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, and end at 5 p.m. Proceedings will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 19, and conclude by noon. Time for public comments will be included.

The Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly bear recovery area includes all of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, as well as portions of northwest Wyoming, eastern Idaho, and southwest Montana. Other federal lands include the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, the Bridger-Teton, and Caribou-Targhee, Custer, Gallatin and Shoshone national forests. Federally managed lands make up 97.9 percent of the recovery area's 9,209 square miles.

A multiagency organization charged with recovery of the grizzly in the Yellowstone ecosystem, the subcommittee is part of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, which is responsible for grizzly bear recovery in the contiguous United States and adjoining Canadian Provinces. The subcommittee is made up of federal, state, county and tribal agency partners.

Individuals requiring special assistance can contact Gregg Losinski at idfg-glosinski@idfg.idaho.gov or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529 (TDD). A copy of the meeting agenda will be posted before the meeting at the YES portion of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee website at www.igbconline.org.

Peregrine Falcon Nest Webcam Live in Downtown Boise

The daily life of a wild peregrine falcon family in downtown Boise is once again on view via a web camera in the next box.

This is the fourth year that the webcam has followed the daily activities at a nest box on the 14th floor of One Capital Center, 10th and Main streets. The webcam may be seen at: http://peregrinefund.org/subsites/webcam-peregrine/.

The nest box has been used each spring since 2003. Last year, four chicks successfully fledged from the nest, though one died about a month later from injuries suffered in a collision.

The ledge where the nest box is located simulates the high, steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild. The falcons, which strictly eat other birds, prey on a plentiful supply of pigeons, mourning doves, starlings and other birds downtown.

The web camera is sponsored by The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe. The nest also can be viewed on monitors in the lobby of One Capital Center, courtesy of Oppenheimer Development Corp. and J.R. Simplot Co.

"The birds are currently in the midst of courtship," said Connie Stanger, curator of birds at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey. "Webcam followers can expect loud vocalizations as the male brings food to the female. Watch for the birds bowing to each other and scraping out a depression in the gravel at the bottom of the box where the eggs will be laid."

Last year, the female laid the first of four eggs on April 7. Hatching began on May 16, and the first flight from the nest occurred on June 24. The young birds stayed in the downtown area for several weeks to hone their flying and hunting skills under the watchful eyes of their parents.