Press Release

October 2012

Fall Chinook Harvest Season Ends This Week

Salmon fishing in Idaho will be over for the year when the fall Chinook harvest season on the Snake and Clearwater rivers ends Wednesday, October 31.

The season opened September 1, on the Snake River between Lewiston and Hells Canyon Dam and, this year, in the lower Clearwater River downstream of the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge in Lewiston.

As of October 29, anglers in the lower Clearwater River had caught 62 marked adults and 60 jacks fall Chinook and caught and released 261 unmarked fish.

Anglers caught and kept 382 adults and 486 jacks in the Snake River, for a total of 868 fish. They released more than 3,355 unclipped fish.

Hatchery-origin fish are marked with a clipped adipose fin.

Anglers in both rivers fished a total of about 64,000 hours.

This year, almost 34,000 adult fall Chinook and almost 21,700 jacks have crossed Lower Granite Dam, and many of them returned to the Snake River above Lewiston.

F&G to Stock Steelhead in the Boise River

Idaho Fish and Game plans to stock more than 250 steelhead in the Boise River Thursday, November 1 - the first of two planned releases during the next few weeks.

Because of their size - six to 12 pounds - the actual number of steelhead stocked will depend on the capacity of the tanker truck hauling the fish from Oxbow Hatchery on the Snake River. Fish and Game will release the fish in the Boise River between the Glenwood Bridge and Barber Park. Officials plan one additional release later in the month, weather permitting.

Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit, good for 20 fish. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.

All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin -- the small fin normally found on the back just in front of the tail. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. An angler without a steelhead permit who catches a steelhead must immediately return the fish to the water. Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession and 20 for the fall season.

The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Idaho Power Co.-owned and funded Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River.

Many of the returning steelhead will become part of the ongoing steelhead hatchery program at Oxbow Hatchery as part of Idaho Power Company's mitigation.

"We're hopeful that this year's hatchery steelhead run will allow Oxbow Hatchery personnel to fill their fish quota," Fish and Game anadromous fish coordinator Sam Sharr said. "Any additional hatchery fish collected at the fish trap will be divided among Idaho Fish and Game, the Nez Perce Indian Tribe and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife."

Greenbelt Mountain Lion Search Comes Up Empty

An extensive search for a mountain lion apparently taking up residence along the Boise River Greenbelt was unsuccessful as officials using scent dogs were unable to locate the cat.

Idaho Fish and Game employees and two teams of volunteer houndsmen with trained scent dogs, searched the Boise River from Les Bois Park to Eagle Road between 4 and 8 a.m. Friday morning. The Ada County Sheriff's Office and Garden City Police provided support.

"We had two teams of officers and houndsmen with dogs working both sides of the river," Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said. "Apparently, the cat was not in the area being searched; the dogs were unable to detect any scent."

While mountain lions routinely pass through the Treasure Valley, a lion choosing to live in close proximity to people and pets poses a significant threat to both.

To eliminate that threat, the next step involves setting traps along the stretch of river where the cat has been seen several times in the last few weeks.

"We are working with personnel from USDA Wildlife Services, who will be setting fewer than 10 traps in a localized area," Oneale said. "These traps will be on private land along the river and checked at least twice daily."

Greenbelt areas adjacent to the trapping location will be clearly marked with signs, but it will be important for pet owners to keep their pets leashed while walking the greenbelt as is already required by law.

The trapping effort does not mean the search for the lion is over. Fish and Game personnel and law enforcement officials will continue to search for the lion and are asking for the public's help.

"Please report any mountain lion sightings immediately to Fish and Game or local law enforcement," Oneale said. "Chances of catching up to this lion are much improved if the sighting is reported promptly."

Hazard Creek Poachers Sentenced

By Evin Oneale - Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Six out of state men pleaded guilty to poaching charges in Adams County on October 22.

After several days of intense investigation, Fish and Game conservation officers descended on a "hunting" camp in Hazard Creek, between New Meadows and Riggins in central Idaho, to interview suspects and issue citations.

When the dust settled, 16 citations and five warnings were issued to seven poachers from Nevada, Minnesota and the Idaho community of Harrison. Two elk and two deer were also seized in the largest poaching operation taken down so far this season.

Despite the violations occurring in Idaho County, arrangements were made for the nonresidents to appear in Adams County court on Monday, October 22 while on their way home. The resident suspect will appear in Idaho County court at Grangeville on November 6.

Each of the poachers pleaded guilty to the following charges and was sentenced as noted.

Scott Seidenstricker, 55, of Reno, Nevada, pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of two or more elk in a 12-month period, transfer of a deer tag to another and two counts of use of an elk tag of another. Fines, court costs, civil restitution and other penalties totaled $6,160. Seidenstricker's hunting privileges also were revoked for 10 years.

Andrew Havens, 32, also of Reno, pleaded guilty to transferring an elk tag to another, use of a deer tag of another, and possession of an unlawfully taken deer. Fines, court costs, civil restitution and other penalties totaled $3,350. Havens's hunting privileges also were revoked for two years.

Paul Seidenstricker, 52, of East Gull Lake, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to possession of an unlawfully taken elk, transfer of an elk tag to another, wasteful destruction of an elk and littering. Fines totaled $2,300, and his hunting privileges also were revoked for two years.

Wolf Trapper Education Classes Open in Jerome, Nampa

The last wolf trapper class in the Magic Valley Region for this year will be Saturday, November 3, in Jerome.

There are still some seats available in this class.

The last wolf trapper class in Nampa for this year will be November 17, and there are still seats available for this class. Trappers may register online at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/education/?getPage=30, or call the local Idaho Fish and Game office.

A person must have a trapping license and attend a wolf trapper class before purchasing wolf trapping tags. Trappers must register to take the wolf trapper class.

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; reporting requirements.

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

Ask Fish and Game: Second Deer Tags

Q. I am an Idaho resident hunter; can I get more than one deer tag?

A. In general, the answer is one deer per hunter per year. But a few controlled hunts and depredation hunts offer the opportunity for hunters to harvest additional deer. Deer hunters also may buy one unsold nonresident general season deer and elk tag at the nonresident price starting August 1 to be used as a second tag. And if the hunter is lucky, he or she may win a Super Hunt tag for a deer. That all adds to the possibility of buying five deer tags. A hunter may take only one deer per valid legal tag in his or her possession.

Martin Access Road to Remain Closed

The main road into the Idaho Fish and Game's Martin Access Area will remain closed through at least the middle of November.

Renovation work at the site was scheduled for completion in late October, but the contractor will need additional time to complete the project.

The access area remains open to all users as it has since the project began. Guests can simply park on the main road adjacent to the access area and walk in from there.

The renovation project includes construction of a new gravel access road, development of 11 designated RV camping sites and a camp host site, two vault toilets, overhead security lighting, an improved parking area with overflow camping, three primitive tent camping areas near the confluence of the Snake and Boise Rivers and a gravel foot trail leading to the river confluence.

The finished project will offer better access to fishing and camping along the Snake and Boise Rivers, with the camping area managed cooperatively by Canyon County Parks and Recreation and Idaho Fish and Game. At a total cost of $210,000, 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 both federal and Idaho State Parks RV grants.

For additional information regarding the Martin Access renovation project, please contact Fish and Game's Nampa office at 208-465-8465.

Domestic Dog Attacked by Mountain Lion

A domestic dog was injured during an apparent altercation with a mountain lion at a residence in Garden City's Meadowcreek subdivision Thursday evening, October 18.

Urban wildlife specialist Eric Hansen, with USDA Wildlife Services, responded to the dog attack report on Friday and confirmed the dog's wounds were caused by a mountain lion.

No one was home at the time of the attack. The lion entered the backyard by jumping a six-foot fence. Two other dogs in the yard were uninjured.

A number of mountain lion sightings have been reported during the past few weeks, all of them near the Boise River. As such, greenbelt users are advised to be aware of their surroundings and keep small children and pets close.

Anyone seeing a mountain lion anywhere in Boise is asked to report the information immediately to the Boise Police Department or the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. A detailed description regarding when and where the cat or cat sign was seen remains very helpful.

Wildlife Summit Report Available Online

A report summarizing the three-day Idaho Wildlife Summit in late August is now available on the Idaho Fish and Game website http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/.

The report summarizes the input provided by more 500 Summit participants. The Summit convened this summer and facilitated a conversation among Idaho hunters, anglers, trappers and other wildlife conservationists. Discussions and presentations covered the current status and direction of wildlife management in Idaho, the need to keep it relevant to the changing values, needs, and interests of Idahoans, and to hear and understand what they expect from their state wildlife management agency.

Participants heard and responded to presentations and videos presented throughout the program. They had opportunities to provide input throughout the Summit in several ways at the seven Idaho venues, and by participating in live "chat" discussions via the Internet throughout the event.

The report also includes an executive summary of a telephone survey of 1,059 randomly selected Idaho residents conducted earlier this year for the Idaho Fish and Game.

Because of technical issues, some online input needs additional analysis, and an accounting of costs will be completed when all the bills come in. Both will be posted on the website when they become available.

Additional online content includes videos of the speakers and the panel discussion.

Light Goose Season Opens in Part of Southeast Idaho

The light goose season opens in Area 2 on Monday October 29.

In Area 2 the season on blue Ross's and snow geese runs through January 18, 2013 and opens again from February 16, 2013 - March 10, 2013. The bag limit is 10 per day and 20 in possession.

Area 2 includes Bingham County west of the west bank of the Snake River and the American Falls Reservoir bluff; Power County north of Interstate 86 and west of the west bank of the Snake River and the American Falls Reservoir bluff. (See map on Page 11 of the Waterfowl Seasons and Rules brochure).

In Area 3, the light goose season opens on November 5 and runs through January 25, 2013. It opens again February 16 through March 10.

Area 3 includes Ada, Boise, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls and Washington counties.

Hunters are reminded that Fort Boise and Payette River wildlife management areas and the part of Roswell Marsh Wildlife Habitat Area south of State Highway 18, and the Snake River Islands Unit of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge are closed during the spring light goose season from February 16 through March 10.

In addition, the restriction on hunting waterfowl with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, does not apply during the light goose seasons in Idaho that occur in areas 2 and 3 from February 16 through March 10.

The light goose season is open in Area 1 through January 18 and in Area 4 through January 25, 2013. Except Fremont and Teton counties in Area 4 are closed during the fall light goose season through January 25, 2013.

Only nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may be used while hunting waterfowl.

Fall Chinook Harvest Season Closing Soon

Salmon fishing in Idaho will be over for the year when the fall Chinook harvest season on the Snake and Clearwater rivers ends Wednesday, October 31.

The season opened September 1, on the Snake River between Lewiston and Hells Canyon Dam and, this year, in the lower Clearwater River downstream of the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge in Lewiston.

As of October 22, anglers had caught 62 marked adults and 60 jacks fall Chinook and caught and released 235 unmarked fish in the lower Clearwater River. They caught and kept 382 adults and 486 jacks in the Snake River, for a total of 868 fish. Hatchery-origin fish are marked with a clipped adipose fin.

This year, almost 41,000 adult fall hatchery-origin Chinook and more than 12,600 jacks crossed Lower Granite Dam, many of them returned to the Snake River above Lewiston.

The fall Chinook run in the Snake River was protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1992.

Elk Poached Near Tuana Gulch

Idaho Fish and Game officers are seeking information on an elk that was poached on or around October 10, near Tuana Gulch and Shoestring Road near Bliss.

The elk likely was poached around October 10, before any elk hunts in the area were open. People with information are encouraged to call the regional Fish and Game office in Jerome at 208-324-4359.

Citizens Against Poaching is offering a reward for information in the case and callers may remain anonymous. Call 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day.