Press Release

November 2012

Idaho Steelhead Season Still Open

The steelhead harvest season is open on the Boise, Clearwater, Salmon, Little Salmon and lower Snake rivers.

The steelhead limit on the Boise, Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers is three per day and nine in possession. The limit on the Clearwater is two fish per day and six in possession. Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the season. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch-and-release.

Waters open for steelhead harvest are:

  • Boise River from its mouth upstream to Barber Dam.
  • Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the posted boundary 100 yards downstream from the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir, near the town of Stanley.
  • Little Salmon River from its mouth upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.
  • Snake River from the Washington state line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.
  • Clearwater River mainstem and Middle Fork from its mouth upstream to Clear Creek.
  • North Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam.
  • South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red Rivers.

The fall steelhead season ends December 31.

Anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit. They must stop fishing when the possession limit is reached - even catch-and-release. Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, except in the Boise River, and may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released unharmed.

This Year How About a Gift License

It's getting close to that time of year again, and here's an idea for anyone who's looking for a gift that's always in style, never the wrong size or color, and useable every day of the year.

Go to any Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional office around the state and buy them a gift certificate for a 2013 hunting and fishing license. They make good stocking stuffers.

A gift certificate is the best way to get them their hunting and fishing license for Christmas. Adult residents age 18 and over have to buy their own license because they need to show proof of residency.

Idaho Fish and Game gift certificates can be redeemed only at Fish and Game regional offices.

Several options and price ranges are available. Lifetime licenses cost from $276.75 to $1,113.00, depending on the age of the recipient. Seasonal licenses sell from $7.25 for junior hunting to $124.25 for the Sportsman's Package. A hunting license costs $12.75, a fishing license costs $25.75, and a combination license costs $33.50.

The Sportsman's Package includes hunting and fishing licenses, tags for deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, gray wolf, turkey, salmon and steelhead as well as archery and muzzleloader permits. That is a savings of more than $70 compared to buying the items separately.

Looking for the hunt of a lifetime? Idaho Fish and Game also offers entries for Super Hunt drawings for individual deer, elk, antelope or moose hunts, and Super Hunt Combos for deer, elk, antelope and moose. The money raised from the purchase of these tickets goes to the Access Yes! program. The tickets can be purchased at any license vendor.

Super Hunt entries cost $6 for the first one, and $4 for each additional entry purchased during the same transaction. Super Hunt Combo tickets cost $20 for the first one, and $16 for each additional entry purchased during the same transaction.

The drawings for the all Super Hunts will be in June and August 2013

Ask Fish and Game: Fish and Game Budget

Q. Do my taxes help pay for Idaho Fish and Game?

A. No Idaho state tax revenue goes into the Fish and Game budget. The agency's revenue comes from license and tag sales, federal funds from taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, from mitigation agreements for hydroelectric projects, and from federal and private grants and donations.

Nature Center Plans Holiday Bird Seed Sale

Don't forget our feathered friends this winter and holiday season.

The MK Nature Center's sixth annual Holiday Bird Seed Sale will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 1.

Stock up on winter bird seed and find that special gift for the outdoor person on your list. Purchase premium bird seed in 5-, 20- or 40-pound bags. Other items for sale include quality bird feeders, nature books, apparel, jewelry and children's gifts. Many of the items are made in Boise.

This year bring your children to visit Santa Claus and to make a free wildlife-related craft the whole family can enjoy. Time for the craft making and visiting Santa will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Nature Center will charge $5 to visit Santa and sit on his lap while parents take their child's picture, with an additional $3 if the Nature Center staff takes the picture.

All proceeds from the sale benefit Nature Center educational programs. The sale is presented by Idaho Fish and Game's MK Nature Center and Wild Birds Unlimited. The MK Nature Center is behind Fish and Game headquarters at 600 South Walnut, Boise.

For questions please call Sue Dudley at 208-287-2900 or email sue.dudley@idfg.idaho.gov

Ask Fish and Game: Archery for Felons?

Q. Can a felon hunt with a bow in Idaho?

A. It depends on the felony. Under Idaho law, anyone convicted of any of 36 felonies may not own, use or carry a firearm, which the law defines as "any weapon from which a shot, projectile or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable." That would include a bow (and muzzleloader equipment). The right can under some circumstances be restored, unless the crime was murder in the first or second degree, or if conviction included the use of a firearm in the commission of any the listed felonies. (For a list of felonies see Idaho Code Title 18, Chapter 3, section 18-310.)

Supreme Court Allows F&G Shooting Range to Open

The Idaho Supreme Court Thursday, November 15, lifted an Idaho First District Court injunction that had blocked the opening of Idaho Fish and Game's upgraded Farragut shooting range.

"We're pleased with the Idaho Supreme Court's ruling," Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said. "This decision will once again allow public access to the Farragut range as a safe place to practice shooting sports, sighting-in activities for hunting season, and firearms education through hunter education and other programs."

Fish and Game has invested considerable resources to renovate shooting areas at the historic Farragut shooting range to improve safety and reduce noise. The Supreme Court concluded that Fish and Game complied with safety requirements to open a renovated part of the range for up to 500 shooters per year.

The District Court's original ruling did not allow Fish and Game to present safety evidence to reopen the range for more than 500 shooters. As a result, the Supreme Court also sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings to consider the range's compliance with requirements for reopening the range for more than 500 shooters per year.

The Supreme Court also found noise and other standards adopted by the Idaho Legislature in 2008 for Farragut and other state outdoor sport shooting ranges to be constitutional, reversing the District Court's ruling.

Though the Supreme Court has lifted the court injunction to allow up to 500 shooters on the range per year, the range will not open immediately to public use. The range traditionally has been closed in the winter.

Idaho Fish and Game will keep the public apprised of the opening date, as well as use limits for the range. Fish and Game is coordinating with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, which controls range access through the adjacent Farragut State Park, on range operating plans.

Nonresident Tag Sales Start December 1

The 2013 licenses, tags and permits go on sale at 12:01 a.m. MST, Saturday, December 1, except for the nonresident Selway B elk tags which go on sale at 10 a.m. MST.

The sale of these popular tags is being delayed because many license vendors will not be open at midnight. By delaying the sale timing, hunters will have an equal opportunity to buy the tags.

Nonresident hunters can buy their licenses and tags at Fish and Game offices, any license vendor, or by credit card by calling 1-800-554-8685. They can also buy them online at the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Big game hunters can find more information on the sale and purchase of tags for residents and nonresidents on pages 100-104 of the Idaho 2012 Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.

Nonresidents can buy licenses, deer and elk tags beginning Saturday, December 1. Residents also can buy 2013 hunting licenses starting that day, and they can buy a receipt for deer and elk tags, which don't go on sale until after deer, elk and pronghorn controlled hunt drawings.

Resident hunters can redeem the receipt for a deer or elk tag after the controlled hunt drawings in July so those whose names were drawn don't have to exchange their general season tags for controlled hunt tags at a Fish and Game office. Instead the controlled winners are simply issued a controlled hunt tag at any license vendor. The rest are issued general season tags.

F&G Seeks Information on Elk Poaching Incidents

Though legal elk hunting opportunities are still available in the Upper Snake Region, Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers are seeking help to solve two cases of elk poaching and leaving animals to waste.

The first incident involved a bull elk being shot and left to waste on the night of October 25 outside of St. Anthony in unit 60A. The second incident occurred in unit 66 near Swan Valley the night of November 9 when two elk were shot. One elk was taken, the other left to waste.

Any information pertaining to either of the incidents would be very helpful to officers working the cases. "The elk was shot alongside the Taylor Well Road east of Hamer," Senior Conservation Officer Lew Huddleston said. "The elk stumbled after 60 yards, having been shot through both lungs."

The second incident occurred on private property, about two miles west of Swan Valley near the Papoose Creek drainage in unit 66.

"The suspects drove through a closed ranch entrance gate onto private property after legal shooting hours," Senior Conservation Officer Shane Liss said. "Two elk were shot; only one was taken. Both elk were killed in grain stubble field that had been disked under."

Evidence at the scene of the Swan Valley incident indicates that several individuals were involved and that an intentional decision was made to leave one animal behind. Because of the time frame involved, the elk could not be salvaged and distributed.

Anyone with information concerning these incidents should call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

Bird Feeding Brings Many Benefits

With winter on its way, now is the perfect time to fill backyard bird feeders.

Fall and winter are great seasons to watch the birds at feeders. Many of the birds are year-round residents seeking milder low-elevation locations for the winter. Others are migrants from Canada and Alaska. Unlike other animals, birds do not become dependent upon feeders. Instead, they incorporate feeders into their daily search for food, moving on to other food sources if feeders are empty. But in subzero temperatures feeders can become vital food sources, helping birds survive extreme cold snaps.

Birds are also attracted to water, even in the winter. While maintaining a bird bath during the winter may seem odd, ice-free water will attract birds.

Not only will birds drink, they will also bathe to keep feathers clean, boosting their insulating power. Bird bath heating units can prevent bird baths from freezing.

Offer food at different levels. A ground feeder will attract ground-feeding birds, such as quail, dove, song sparrow, white-crowned sparrow and dark-eyed junco. Hanging tube feeders or hopper feeders will attract songbirds, such as house finch, chickadee, jays, nuthatches and others. Thistle feeders will bring goldfinches, siskins and house finches.

Many kinds of bird seed are available. Black-oil sunflower seed is a favorite of many species. Its oil content is higher than striped sunflower seed, making it a better source of energy for hungry birds. Millet and cracked corn are favorites with many ground-feeding birds. Finches and siskins love nyjer thistle. Suet can be offered to attract woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches.

Buying bird seed from a reputable source ensures the seed is free of dust, insects and weed seeds.

Elk Poached Near Morrow Reservoir

Idaho Fish and Game officers are seeking information on a spike bull elk that was poached the first week of November near Bennett Road north of Morrow Reservoir.

The bull elk was shot with the .22-caliber rifle. The front shoulders and hind quarters were taken, the rest being left to waste. People with information are encouraged to call the Jerome regional Fish and Game office, at 208-324-4359.

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

Public's Help Sought in Elk Wasting Case

Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding the waste of a mature bull elk dumped on Shaw Road, south of the Grandview Highway in Elmore County on or about November 8.

Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) is offering a reward for information in the case; callers may remain anonymous. Contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999 24 hours a day, or contact the nearest Fish and Game office.

Responding to the initial report on November 9, Fish and Game conservation officer Robert Sellers found the poached bull with an orange and black rope tied around the head. Both antlers had been sawn off, with all the meat left to waste. The carcass had been skinned and cut in half.

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

"I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this elk," Sellers said.

F&G Bringing More Steelhead to Boise River

Idaho Fish and Game will stock more than 250 steelhead in the Boise River Thursday, November 15, the second and last steelhead stocking of the year.

The fish will be released in the river from the Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park. 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.

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 immediately behind the dorsal fin). Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead.

Any steelhead caught by an angler without a valid steelhead permit must immediately be returned to the water. Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession and 20 for the fall season.

For information about the Boise River steelhead release, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465 or check the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.