Press Release

October 2012

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.

Public's Help Sought in Moose Poaching Cases

Fish and Game is asking the public for information about the poaching of a young bull moose along the Gold Fork River north of Cascade and about a yearling poached in the Copper Basin.

The moose found along the Gold Fork was poached sometime during the first week of October. Responding to the initial report, Fish and Game conservation officer Chris Rowley found the poached bull moose just off the Gold Fork Road, along the North Fork of the Gold Fork River. The poachers took only one hind quarter, the back straps and the antlers. The remaining meat was left to waste.

While moose are found in suitable habitat across Idaho, only a small population exists in the Gold Fork area, making every individual moose valuable to the population as a whole. Declining populations have forced Fish and Game to close moose seasons in this and other areas.

Evidence was collected at the scene, but Rowley hopes to learn more about the case from an eyewitness or others who have knowledge of the poaching incident.

"I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this poached moose," Rowley said.

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

Fish and Game also is looking for help to track down who killed and left a yearling bull moose in Muldoon Canyon in the Copper Basin area of the Big Lost River.

The moose was found on October 16 and had been dead for about two to three days. It was mostly likely shot during the weekend of October 12 to 14.

Moose are considered a trophy species in Idaho, and it is difficult to draw a tag to hunt. In the Big Lost River area only five cow moose tags and five bull moose tags are issued each year.

If you have any information linked to this case please contact Fish and Game conservation officer Corey Taylor at 208-390-7326.

Don't Forget to Report on Deer, Elk, Pronghorn Tags

Hunters are required to file a report on their deer, elk and pronghorn hunts within 10 days after harvest or within 10 days after the end of the hunt if they did not harvest.

Hunters are required to file a report for each tag they bought whether they went hunting or not.

To make it easier to file a report, Fish and Game has a 24-hour, toll-free phone line to speak to a live operator when filing reports. Call 1-877-268-9365 to file reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Or go to the Fish and Game Website to file a report at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=106..

To file reports, hunters need to know their tag numbers or hunting license numbers, the number of days they hunted, the game management units they hunted in, the date they harvested, and the number of antler points on the animal they harvested, or the length of the horns for pronghorns in inches.

These harvest data are valuable to Idaho Fish and Game for managing big game populations.

Hunters who have not filed their reports will be sent a reminder postcard in mid-November. Some hunts are still open at that time, a few until the end of December. Reports should be filed when the hunt is over.

Harvest data for past years is available on the Fish and Game website at:

For questions or problems entering a hunter report please call the Fish and Game Wildlife Bureau at 208-334-2920.

F&G Gets Help to Fight Invasive Species

When it comes to invasive species, all of Idaho is bracing for attack, but certain spots in the Gem State are so precious that special attention is being taken to protect them.

To help prevent the invasion of exotic species, the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation funded a wader wash disinfection project in the Island Park area for the 2013 fishing season. The Foundation has provided $5,000 to Idaho Fish and Game to create new wader wash stations in the area and continue to fund the stations located at Harriman State Park and at the U.S. Forest Service parking area, Log Jam, in Last Chance.

The threat on Idaho's waters comes from a variety of foreign sources and takes many shapes. In addition to the exotic snails and mussels that have been in the news, threats from non-native plants are also very real and even foreign bacteria and viruses.

"The wader wash stations consist of an information panel with instructions, a 40 gallon tub with the disinfectant solution, and wader and boot scrubbers," regional fisheries biologist Jessica Buelow said. "The disinfectant's active ingredient will be Vircon aquatic, which has proven highly effective in killing invasive species, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds, mussels and Eurasian water milfoil."

Flat Ranch Preserve will have a disinfection station in their parking area for public use, and Henrys Lake Foundation funded wader wash disinfection stations around Henrys Lake for the 2013 fishing season. The Targhee National Forest Resource Advisory Committee team has also granted funding for this project.

The procedures for using the wash stations are fairly simple.

"By following these easy steps, we hope to continue to stop the spread of invasive species in the Island Park Area and especially Henrys Lake," Buelow said. "This program is purely voluntary, but we hope with everyone's cooperation it will be successful."

Steelhead Harvest Season Open on the Clearwater

Steelhead harvest fishing season opened Monday, October 15, on the Clearwater River upstream of the Memorial Bridge on U.S. Highway 12 near Lewiston.

The steelhead harvest season already is open on the Clearwater River downstream of the Memorial Bridge, and on the Salmon, the Little Salmon and the lower Snake rivers. The limit on the Clearwater River and the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork Clearwater rivers is two fish per day and six in possession.

The steelhead limit on the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon is three per day and nine in possession.

Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the season. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch-and-release.

Anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit.

Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, and may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released unharmed immediately.

In the boundary waters on the Snake River between Idaho and Oregon or Washington, an angler with a valid 2012 Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit may fish where the river forms the boundary between Idaho and Oregon or Washington, but may not fish from the shoreline, including wading, and may not fish in sloughs or tributaries on the Oregon or Washington side. An angler may have only the limit allowed by one license regardless of the number of licenses the angler holds.

See the 2011-2012 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure for more information on steelhead fishing or check the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=38.

Pheasant Hunt to Open in Southern and Eastern Idaho

The pheasant season opens statewide Saturday, October 20.

The season opened, October 13, in northern Idaho Area 1. It opens in southern and eastern Idaho's Areas 2 and 3 later this week.

Shooting hours start one-half hour before sunrise and end one-half hour after sunset in all three areas, except on Fort Boise, C.J. Strike, Montour and Payette River wildlife management areas, where shooting hours start at 10 a.m.

The daily bag limit is three cocks, and the possession limit is six after the first day, except on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked, in which case the daily limit is two cocks and four in possession.

Pheasants are stocked on the Fort Boise, C.J. Strike, Payette River, Montour, Sterling, Market Lake, Mud Lake, Cartier Slough and Niagara Springs wildlife management areas.

Hunters 17 years old or older need a wildlife management area upland game permit to hunt pheasants on the nine Idaho Fish and Game wildlife management areas where pheasants are released. The permit costs $23.75.

All pheasant hunters are required to wear hunter orange on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. And all hunters must have a valid 2012 Idaho hunting license.

For information see the upland game seasons and rules brochure, available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67.

Commission to Meet in Idaho Falls in November

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet November 7, 8 and 9 in Idaho Falls.

A public hearing begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, at the regional office at 4279 Commerce Circle, Idaho Falls.

Routine agenda items include approval of a 2013-2018 statewide fish management plan and approval of fishing rules for 2013-2014. A complete agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the director's office at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game directly at 208 525 7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1 800 377 2529 (TDD).

Fish and Game Runs Its First Online Chat

About 158 waterfowl hunters contributed 75 online questions during Idaho Fish and Game's first online chat on Friday, October 12.

Fish and Game's enforcement chief Jon Heggen and waterfowl biologist Jeff Knetter responded to questions covering a wide range of waterfowl-related topics, including Idaho's hunting rules, waterfowl biology and management during the live, two-hour chat.

"We anticipated there would be some interest," Heggen said. "Duck hunters brought a flurry of questions, and overall, this was a great event to visit with them."

In addition to receiving answers to their questions, participants responded to polls, completed quizzes on their waterfowl knowledge and were able to view the results in real time. They were also able to see how their answers compared with others.

Based on the amount of interaction and positive feedback received, Fish and Game will use what they learned to help plan future online chat events.

"We want to provide customer service in a new and interactive way," Knetter said before the event.

For a replay of the chat, visit Fish and Game's home page at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, and look for the waterfowl chat link.

Ask Fish and Game: Life Jackets

Q. Are waterfowl hunters required to wear life jackets in a boat?

A. Idaho law requires a life jacket on board for every passenger, and a throw-able personal floatation device is required in boats more than 16 feet long. Occupants 14 and under in a boat less than 20 feet long, are required to wear a life jacket if the boat is under way. But life jackets only work if they are worn. Overloaded boats and failure to wear life jackets are leading reasons Idaho typically loses a couple of waterfowl hunters every year. In 2011, 70 percent of all fatal boating accidents victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Eight of every 10 boaters who drowned were in vessels less than 21 feet long. Wearing a life vest is a must. It will help preserve body heat and keeps even an unconscious person afloat.

Corrections to the 2012 Light Goose Seasons

Hunting methods for light geese have changed, and two light goose season closures were left out of the 2012 Waterfowl Seasons and Rules Brochure.

An exception has been added to the rule that prohibits hunting waterfowl with any shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. This restriction does not apply to seasons on light geese - greater and lesser snow geese and Ross's geese - that occur when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, except falconry, are closed.

The exception applies to the light goose seasons in Areas 2 and 3 from February 16, 2013 through March 10, 2013.

In addition, two closures for light goose seasons were omitted from the 2012 Waterfowl Seasons and Rules brochure.

In Area 3, Fort Boise and Payette River wildlife management areas, the 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, 2013 through March 10, 2013.

In Area 4, Fremont and Teton counties are closed during the fall light goose season from October 13 through January 25, 2013.

See the Fish and Game website for information - http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Upper Snake Changes & Omissions In Waterfowl Rules

Hunter can become creatures of habit, just like their prey, and Idaho Fish and Game wants to make sure waterfowl hunters in the Upper Snake Region are aware of some changes and omissions in the latest edition of the waterfowl rules brochure.

Hunters are cautioned to make sure they understand the numbering system used to identify hunt areas. Some changes have been made that could affect their hunting areas. It is important to review hunt area descriptions and season dates (See map on Page 10 in rules brochure, http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=66.)

Hunters should also note that Fremont and Teton counties are closed in seasons for light - blue, snow and Ross's - geese.

In Area 4, the light goose season season runs from October 13 through January 25, 2013. Fremont and Teton counties are closed. Area 4 includes all parts of the state not included in Areas 1, 2 and 3.

Hunters must have a valid 2012 Idaho hunting license, and any person 16 or older who hunts migratory game birds, such as ducks or geese, must have in their possession a federal migratory bird stamp, which costs $15 and is valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. All waterfowl hunters also need a federal migratory game bird harvest information program validation.

Only approved nontoxic shot may be used to hunt waterfowl. For a list go to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website at: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/nontoxic.htm.