Press Release

September 2012

Improvements Close Martin Access Area

The Martin Access Area will be closed most of October for a major renovation.

The project includes a designated RV camping site with 11 RV sites and a camp host site, two pit vault toilets, overhead security lighting, improved parking area and over flow camping, three primitive camping areas near the banks of the Snake and Boise Rivers, gravel footpaths leading to the river banks and a new gravel access road.

Martin is on the south bank of the Boise River mouth 5.5 miles from Parma off State Highway 95. The area will be closed to the public while work is being completed from the first week of October through the end of the month.

For information, please contact the Fish and Game regional office in Nampa at 208-465-8465.

The finished project is intended to offer better access to fishing and camping along the Snake and Boise rivers. The camping area will be managed cooperatively by Canyon County Parks and Recreation and Idaho Fish and Game.

The new facilities will provide families a place to fish, hike and watch wildlife. The area will also be available to people floating or motor boating on the Snake and Boise River Water Trails.

The project is funded by federal grants and an Idaho State Parks RV grant. The total estimate project cost is $210,000.

Improvements Closes Martin Access Area

The Martin Access Area will be closed most of October for a major renovation.

The project includes a designated RV camping site with 11 RV sites and a camp host site, two pit vault toilets, overhead security lighting, improved parking area and overflow camping, three primitive camping areas near the banks of the Snake and Boise rivers, gravel footpaths leading to the river banks and a new gravel access road.

Martin is on the south bank of the Boise River mouth 5.5 miles from Parma off State Highway 95. The area will be closed to the public while work is being completed from the first week of October through the end of the month.

For information, please contact the Fish and Game regional office in Nampa at 208-465-8465.

The finished project is intended to offer better access to fishing and camping along the Snake and Boise rivers. The camping area will be managed cooperatively by Canyon County Parks and Recreation and Idaho Fish and Game.

The new facilities will provide families a place to fish, hike and watch wildlife. The area will also be available to people floating or motor boating on the Snake and Boise River Water Trails.

The project is funded by federal grants and an Idaho State Parks RV grant. The total estimate project cost is $210,000.

Wolf Trapper Classes Set in the Clearwater Region

Idaho Fish and Game will be offering four wolf trapper classes this fall the Clearwater Region.

Attendance at an Idaho Department of Fish and Game wolf trapper education class is required for those wishing to trap wolves in Idaho.

The eight-hour class provides students with interactive, hands-on training from experienced, certified trapper instructors. The curriculum includes wolf management, wolf trapping regulations and ethics; wolf habits and behavior; making, rigging, and setting traps and snares; proper care for a wolf; and reporting requirements.

Classes in the Clearwater Region on wolf trapper education by are scheduled for:

  • Friday, October 26 - Fish and Game regional office, 3316 13th St., Lewiston.
  • Saturday, October 27 - Clearwater Fish Hatchery, 118 Hatchery Roe Rd., Ahsahka.
  • Friday, November 9 - Nez Perce National Forest office, 104 Airport Rd., Grangeville.
  • Saturday, November 10 - Fish and Game regional office, 3316 16th St., Lewiston.

Cost is $8 per student. Online registration includes an additional fee of $1.24.

Hunters must sign-up to take the wolf trapper education class either through the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, or by contacting a Fish and Game office, 208-799-5010.

Sharp-tailed Grouse Season Opens Next Week

The sharp-tailed grouse season opens October 1 and runs through October 31, with a daily bag limit of two birds and a possession limit of six.

The season is open only in eastern Idaho in these areas: Bingham and Clark counties east of Interstate 15, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson County east of Interstate 15, Madison, and Teton counties, Bonneville County east of Interstate 15, Bannock County east of Interstate 15 and south of Interstate 86, Bear Lake, Caribou, Cassia County east of Interstate 84 and that portion west of Interstate 84 south of the Malta-Sublette Road and east of the Malta-Strevell Road, Franklin, Oneida, and Power County south of Interstate 86.

Sharp-tailed grouse have been introduced into historical range in southern Twin Falls county and southeastern Owyhee County. Twin Falls County, Owyhee County and most of Cassia County are closed to the hunting of sharp-tailed grouse. Sharp-tailed grouse also occur around Split Butte area in Minidoka County. Hunting of sharp-tailed grouse is closed in Minidoka County.

Any person hunting sharp-tailed grouse must have in their possession a valid Idaho hunting license with a sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation at $4.75. The permit allows better monitoring of the harvest of this game bird.

It is available at Fish and Game license vendors.

All hunters are encouraged to refer to the upland game or waterfowl rules brochures for hunt details on seasons, limits and rules.

F&G Officers Use Several Ways to Detect Wildlife Crimes

In areas where Idaho Fish and Game gets complaints of spotlighting or other suspicious activity near roads, conservation officers will use "artificial simulated animals," to apprehend unlawful hunters.

Artificial simulated animals, commonly called ASAs, are life-like specimens of deer, elk and other game species.

Aside from the inherent danger in shooting from a vehicle or road, road hunting for wildlife brings to question the ethical behavior of some hunters.

Most hunters abide by the laws, but those who do not continue to perpetuate a negative image for hunters.

"Road hunters are the visible minority," said Mark Hill, regional conservation officer of Lewiston. "They are what everyone sees, and many of their activities are bad for the image of all hunters."

Many of the citations issued to road hunters, who violate game laws, include spotlighting, trespassing, shooting from a motorized vehicle, shooting across the road and waste of game. The penalties for shooting an artificial animal may include a mandatory license revocation and a fine up to $1,000 and a jail sentence up to six months. There is also a $50 minimum restitution penalty for shooting an ASA to help maintain the decoys.

The use of such tools has been upheld in the court systems across the country as a legitimate method of apprehending violators and has helped to reduce illegal hunting. More than 48 states and several Canadian provinces have been using artificial animals since the late 1980s.

To check for law compliance, officers will also conduct impromptu enforcement check stations at which all hunters and anglers, successful or not, must stop.

Usually conducted on less traveled roads and set up at any time day or night, impromptu check stations are another tool officers use to detect wildlife crimes.

Hells Canyon Dam Road Closures Begin October 8

Idaho Power Co. reports that the road across Hells Canyon Dam will be closed for extended periods this fall to allow repairs to the switchyard below the dam.

The road across the dam will be closed between 8 a.m. (Mountain Time) and noon and from 1 p.m. until dark on:

    October 8-17.
  • November 10-21.
  • November 24-December 13.

The closure dates are based on the currently available repair schedule. They are subject to change depending on weather delays and other potential issues.

Last Wolf Trapper Class for the Year in Salmon

The last wolf trapper class in Salmon this year will be Saturday, October 6.

Trappers may register online at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/education/?getPage=30.

A person must have a trapping license and attend a wolf trapper class before purchasing wolf trapping tags. Classes are offered in all regions of the state. But trappers must register to take the wolf trapper class.

The eight-hour class provides students with interactive, hands-on training from experienced, certified, volunteer trapper instructors. The curriculum includes wolf management; wolf trapping regulations and ethics; wolf habits and behavior; making, rigging and setting traps and snares; proper care for a wolf; reporting requirements.

The cost is $8 per student. Online registration includes an additional convenience fee of $1.24.

Register online or contact the regional office at 99 Highway 93 North, Salmon or call 208-756-2271.

Ask Fish and Game: Legal Shot

Q. What kinds of shot are legal for waterfowl hunting? Is lead shot still legal for any kind of waterfowl?

A. Lead shot is illegal for all waterfowl hunting, including ducks, mergansers, geese and coots. Hunters may not hunt waterfowl while in possession of shot other than nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The shot must be 0.2 inches - T size - or smaller. Only steel shot or shot made from bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron, tungsten-iron-nickel-tin, tungsten-tin-bismuth, tungsten-tin-iron, tungsten-iron-copper-nickel, or tungsten-bronze, are on the list of approved nontoxic shot.

Ask Fish and Game: Make the Call

Q. What should I do if I think I see a hunter doing something illegal while I'm out hunting?

A. Get as much information as possible, such as a description of the person or persons, a description and especially the license number of any vehicles, and note the location. Then "Make the Call" to the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or fill out a report on Fish and Game's website at: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/feedback/getForm.cfm?getForm=3. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward if the information they provide leads to a citation. Or folks can contact a local Fish and Game conservation officer, the Idaho State Police or local law enforcement.

Lost Valley Reservoir to Open for Fish Salvage

Lost Valley Reservoir, just west of Tamarack will open to public fish salvage beginning Friday, September 21 and continuing through Sunday, November 4.

The salvage order, which suspends fish bag, possession and size limits, is the first step in rehabilitating the reservoir following an illegal yellow perch introduction some years ago.

Questions, comments or concerns about the treatment should be routed to Dale Allen at the Fish and Game McCall office - 208-634-8137.

In late October, Fish and Game fisheries staff will conduct a rotenone treatment on the Reservoir to kill all remaining fish.

"Unfortunately, there is no way to target only the yellow perch for removal from the Reservoir, fisheries manager Dale Allen said. "When applied to water, rotenone is lethal to fish but harmless to livestock, wildlife, pets and humans."

All permits have been applied for and required notice has been given to appropriate public agencies.

Because of their robust reproductive capability, yellow perch can quickly overpopulate a small reservoir like Lost Valley, stunting their own growth, while also prohibiting the growth of other fish, in this case, rainbow trout.

"Trout fishing success at Lost Valley has drastically declined due to the dramatic increase in perch, following their illegal introduction," Allen said. "The end result of this action is a stunted yellow perch population where both yellow perch and rainbow trout cease to grow."

Coinciding with the end of irrigation season, the treatment will be conducted in late October, when water levels in the reservoir are at their lowest. Rotenone will be applied to the streams entering the reservoir, in the reservoir pool itself by aerial application and in the pool below the reservoir. The reservoir outlet gate will be closed the day of treatment, and the rotenone will naturally dissipate in the weeks following treatment.

Waterfowl Youth Hunts Coming, Hunt Areas Changed

Young hunters who want an early shot at a duck or goose may participate in the youth waterfowl hunt on September 29 and 30.

The youth waterfowl hunt is open to youths 15 and younger. The waterfowl youth hunt includes goose, duck, coot and snipe.

The regular waterfowl season opens the following weekend. But the opening and areas have changed. Area 2 was Area 1 in the past.

The season opens on October 6 in what is now called Area 1.

Area 1 includes all of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, including private in-holdings; Bannock County; Bingham County, except that portion within the Blackfoot Reservoir drainage; Caribou County within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation; and Power County east of State Highway 37 and State Highway 39.

The season opens October 13 in the rest of the state - now known as Area 2.

Hunters are encouraged to check the new rules brochure available online http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=66, and at license vendors and Fish and Game offices.

Youth hunt bag limits for ducks and geese are the same as for the general season. The daily limit is seven ducks, which may include no more than one canvasback, two pintails, two redheads or two mallard hens. Youths may also harvest four dark geese.

Hunters must have a 2012 Idaho hunting license and a federal migratory game bird harvest information program validation. But a federal duck stamp is not required for hunters 15 and under.

At least one adult 18 years old or older having a valid hunting license, must accompany each youth hunting party into the field at all times. Adults are not allowed to hunt.

This Fall, Be "Bear Aware"

In preparation for denning, Idaho's black bears are on the move, looking for any and all food sources that might help them gain weight.

High calorie human foods are a major attractant, particularly if they are easy to obtain. With that in mind, Fish and Game officials are urging hunters and other outdoor recreationists, together with homeowners who live in more rural settings, to use common sense and be "bear aware."

"Statewide drought and another prolonged fire season have resulted in the loss of natural bear foods in many areas," Fish and Game conservation officer Matt O'Connell said. "As such, we've seen an uptick in the number of bear sightings in and around rural residential areas and other places where human foods are present, such as campgrounds."

A cooler full of groceries left on a picnic table, unsecured garbage at a residence, dog food outside, low-hanging bird feeders, or food stored in a hunting camp wall tent are attractive, easy marks for a hungry bear.

"All bears are opportunists; their whole life revolves around food," Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said. "They remember every single location where they receive a food reward, and if they get one from your camp or residence, they will be back for more."

That spells trouble for everyone, particularly the bear.

"The pattern is always the same," O'Connell said. "A food reward only encourages the bear to return, where it becomes more bold and aggressive as it searches out additional food. The situation can quickly deteriorate into an issue of human safety."

Oneale agreed.

"The old adage, ÔA fed bear is a dead bear,' isn't just a catchy slogan, it's reality," he said. "You can't relocate a bear that has learned bad habits; it will only cause the same trouble in its new location. So too often, because of irresponsible human behavior, it is the bear that pays the price with its life."