Press Release

April 2013

Chinook Salmon Season to Open Saturday, May 4

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Tuesday, April 30, approved a spring Chinook salmon fishing season to start Saturday, May 4, on parts of the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers.

Fish counts from Bonneville Dam suggest that the 2013 return of Chinook salmon to Idaho may be significantly lower than forecast but large enough to support fisheries. Projected returns for the Clearwater River are farther below forecast levels than returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers.

Fish and Game tailored the 2013 fisheries proposals to meet hatchery broodstock needs, focus fishing efforts in areas where hatchery fish are most abundant, and still allow fishing in river reaches that anglers have grown accustomed to fishing in recent years.

The proposal for the Clearwater River approved by the commission achieves these goals by limiting fishing to four days per week and reducing the length of river open to fishing in each of the recently fished sections.

Only the Lochsa River is closed entirely to fishing.

Salmon returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers do not appear to be as far below forecast levels as those to the Clearwater. Fisheries in the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers are similar to fisheries in recent years. These areas will be open seven days a week, and river sections recently fished will not be shortened - except the Shorts Bar to Vinegar Creek stretch of the lower Salmon River, which is closed.

River sections open to fishing are:

Clearwater River drainage: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday only.

Dutch Oven Rendezvous Will Raise Money for Trout in the Classroom Program

It's that time again for the annual Dutch Oven Rendezvous sponsored by Ace Hardware and Element Outfitters at 222 South 5th Ave., Pocatello.

This event will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and is a fundraiser for the Trout in the Classroom program here in southeast Idaho.

Donations generated at the event will go toward equipment, educational materials, and even field trips for classrooms in southeast Idaho that are participating in the Trout in the Classroom program.

There will be numerous Dutch oven cooking stations at the Dutch Oven Rendezvous with lots of delicious dishes to sample and tips for making Dutch oven recipes turn out better than ever.

There will also be raffles for some wonderful outdoor gear and equipment perfect for the outdoors enthusiast.

Anyone who would like to sample some of the West's best cast iron cookery while doing something for southeast Idaho's Trout in the Classroom program, stop by the Dutch Oven Rendezvous on May 4.

Trout in the Classroom is an Idaho Fish and Game program that provides students in Idaho's classrooms a nose-to-nose experience with rainbow and cutthroat trout. There are 22 Trout in the Classroom classrooms in southeast Idaho, 12 of which are in Pocatello.

Classrooms are equipped with fish tanks, chillers, and an educational curriculum geared toward fish biology, ecology, habitat needs, and even chemistry and genetics. The Trout in the Classroom curriculum prepared by Fish and Game focuses on science while incorporating reading, writing, math and art skills.

During the school year, many Trout in the Classroom teachers schedule field trips to nearby hatcheries, and coordinate with Fish and Game to use the Take Me Fishing Trailer to teach their students how to fish. The fish are reared in the classroom tanks during the school year, and then released to the wild in the spring before school lets out.

Commission Teleconference Rescheduled

An Idaho Fish and Game Commission teleconference to set 2013 salmon fishing seasons has been rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 30.

The teleconference had been set for Monday, April 22.

Based on low counts of spring Chinook salmon at Bonneville Dam, Fish and Game biologists lacked sufficient information to project the size of the salmon run to Idaho on April 22. The meeting was rescheduled to a time when managers should have more information about his year's run size.

If fish counts at Bonneville improve, and it appears that the run is returning late, Fish and Game biologists say that salmon returns to Idaho may be enough to allow at least a limited fishing season.

The teleconference will be in the Fish and Game headquarters at 600 S. Walnut, Boise

Application Period for Controlled Hunts Opens Wednesday

The application period for this fall's deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts starts Wednesday, May 1, and runs through June 5.

Hunters may apply for controlled hunts at any hunting and fishing license vendor, Fish and Game office; with a credit card by calling 1-800-55HUNT5; or online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. An additional fee is charged for telephone and Internet applications. Hunters must have a 2013 Idaho hunting license to apply.

The 2012 harvest drawing odds for controlled hunts are posted on the Idaho Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/lookupOdds.cfm, and in the Idaho Hunt Planner http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntPlanner/.

Hunters can use harvest statistics and drawing odds from the past 10 years to search for similar controlled hunts for this year.

Note to hunters buying licenses, tags or permits online: Some - but not all - licenses and tags can now be printed on a home printer.

Items such as hunting or fishing licenses and controlled hunt applications can be printed on a home printer. But buyers will only have one chance to print the license. Make sure the printer is on and working properly before clicking on the print button.

When making a purchase, the buyer will get a confirmation number, which can be used to participate in hunting or fishing activities that do not require a permit or tag to be notched or validated or attached to harvested wildlife.

Buyers who provide an e-mail address will receive an e-mail notification of the purchase with the confirmation number included.

Remaining Egin-Hamer Closure Opens At Sunrise May 1

Though the winter was relatively mild, the efforts of county, state and federal agencies to protect wintering big game herds outside St. Anthony have paid off once again.

As of sunrise on May 1, the northern part of the closure will open, but public land managers want to remind users that certain rules still remain in effect on BLM lands.

The portion of the closure area south of the Egin-Hamer Road opened at sunrise April 1.

Sixteen years ago, the arrangement for the closure was agreed upon when county commissioners approached the BLM with the idea of the area closure in return for the re-opening of the Egin-Hamer Road for winter travel. Individual landowners going to their private lands have always been exempt from the closure.

Last weekend, BLM enforcement officers issued more than a dozen citations to groups of individuals who had violated the closure. To ensure that recreational users understand what they need to keep in mind, a special flier was created and is available online from the BLM and Idaho Fish and Game. Of key concern to agency staff is that users remain on designated routes to protect the habitat and that everything possible is done to reduce the spread of noxious weeds.

Seeking Comments on Elk Plan Revision

Idaho Fish and Game plans a series of open house and public meetings to talk about the ongoing elk management plan revision.

Anyone interested can learn about the process, ask questions of Fish and Game's wildlife managers, and share their thoughts about statewide management direction.

Regional meetings will be:

Panhandle Region: 3 to 7 p.m. (PDT)

  • May 2: Panhandle regional office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., Coeur d'Alene.

Clearwater Region: 4 to 7 p.m. (PDT)

  • May 16: Hereth Park, 1534 Powers Ave., Lewiston.
  • May 23: Riverside Park, Highway 12, Kamiah.

Southeast Region: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (MDT)

  • May 13: Larsen-Sant Library, 109 South 1st East, Preston.
  • May 14: Senior Center, 60 South Main St., Soda Springs.
  • May 16: Southeast regional office, 1345 Barton Road, Pocatello.

Southwest Region (McCall): 4 to 7 p.m. (MDT)

  • May 16: Weiser High School Library, 690 W. Indianhead Road, Weiser.
  • May 21: Southwest regional office, 555 Dienhard Lane, McCall.

Magic Valley Region: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (MDT)

  • May 15: Magic Valley regional office, 324 S. 417 E., Suite #1, Jerome.

Upper Snake Region: 7 to 9 p.m. (MDT)

  • May 14: Butte Middle School, 250 South Water St., Arco.
  • May 16: Madison Middle School, 575 West 7th South, Rexburg.
  • May 22: Upper Snake regional office, 4279 Commerce Circle, Idaho Falls.

Salmon Region: 4 to 7 p.m. (MDT)

Nature Center Mural to be Unveiled May 2

The Alpine Lake mural will be unveiled at the MK Nature Center Thursday, May 2; a social event begins at 5 p.m., and the unveiling starts at 6 p.m.

Join the MK Nature Center in celebrating the newest addition to the public art displays. The Alpine Lake mural was completed recently by local artist Marcus Pierce.

The mural adorns, and hides, the concrete infrastructure that supports the largest and most popular of the Nature Center's underwater viewing windows.

Also showcased will be additional public art already in place along the path as well as in the Visitor Center.

Refreshments will be available. The event is free and open to the public.

The unveiling coincides with the Idaho Gives event also on May 2. Idaho Gives is an online donation event, during which donors can give money to their favorite nonprofits and have their donation dollars matched with funds from the Idaho Gives awards pool.

Anyone may donate online at http://www.idahogives.org, or http://tinyurl.com/IdahoGives-MKNC to go directly to our donation page, on or before May 2. The MK Nature Center is listed as a project on the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation's page.

Please contact Jessica Gordon at 208-287-2901 or jessica.gordon@idfg.idaho.gov with any questions on either event.

Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation Part of ÔIdaho Gives'

The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation is participating in a statewide day of charitable giving Thursday, May 2.

The event, called Idaho Gives, takes place online where donors can learn about and designate funds to their favorite causes.

Visit: http://www.idahogives.razoo.com/story/Idaho-Fish-And-Wildlife-Foundation.

"This is a unique event for Idahoans to support Idaho's wildlife heritage and the dedicated work to preserve and sustain our fish and wildlife resources for all to enjoy," said Ann Dehner, executive director of the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

The Foundation was founded in 1990 and is governed by a volunteer board of directors, representing all regions of Idaho. It works to preserve wildlife habitat and public access and provides funding for restoration and conservation education programs. The Foundation also sponsors the wildlife specialty license plates which provide essential funding for wildlife diversity programs throughout the state.

For more information, visit the Foundation's website at http://www.IFWF.org or call the Foundation's office at 208-334-2648.

Saturday, May 11, is International Migratory Bird Day

Enjoy a fun family day out as the MK Nature Center hosts its International Migratory Bird Day Event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Nature Center is behind the Fish and Game headquarters building at 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

This year's theme is "Life Cycles of Migratory Birds," which details all aspects of migratory birds' lives, from nesting and migration to breeding and raising young. Most importantly, it addresses the need for conservation throughout the life cycle.

Families can participate in bird watching, live bird presentations, owl pellet investigations, face painting, feather printing and watch live bird banding.

The Nature Center will also have native Idaho plants for sale, and the Burgerlicious food truck will be available for participants to purchase lunch.

Admission for this event will be $3 per person over the age of three. No free admission to the MK Nature Center will be available during this event between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on May 11.

Scheduled events:

  • Game and Activity Stations: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Guided Bird Walks: begin at 9:30 a.m. and 11a.m.
  • Live Bird Banding: 9 a.m. to noon (depending on the weather).
  • Live Bird Presentations: begin at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1p.m., and 2p.m.
  • Burgerlicious Food Truck: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

While ongoing threats continue to endanger many of the nearly 350 species of birds that migrate annually between summer and winter habitats, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and individuals have shown that they can make a real difference.

Launched in 1993 by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, International Migratory Bird Day is now coordinated by Environment for the Americas, based in Boulder, Colo. Migratory Bird Day is the largest-known bird conservation and education event of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Ask Fish and Game: Family Fishing Waters

Q. Where's a good place to take the grandkids fishing?

A. Family Fishing Waters are great places to take the family fishing. They are easy to get to and have plenty of fish to catch. Each of Idaho Fish and Game's seven regions across the state can answer your questions and get you and your family started on the road to fishing. Or find local Family Fishing Waters in the current fishing rules brochure or online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=252.

Panhandle Hearing on Elk Management Plan

As the agency responsible for managing wildlife in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game develops long term management plans for fish and wildlife species found in the state.

Not to be confused with annual hunting regulations, species management plans provide direction for management of a particular species for the next ten years or more. Plans are completed for species that are hunted, fished and trapped, as well as those that are not harvested. Species management plans are somewhat rigid, guiding documents that are closely followed with the intent to achieve long term goals for a particular species.

Using many sources of input and data, Fish and Game develops plans to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage the fish and wildlife species that inhabit Idaho. For game animals, Fish and Game's mission is to provide continued supplies of wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.

Fish and Game is in the process of drafting a new Idaho elk management plan, a plan that was last revised in 1999. Because many hunters consider elk to be Idaho's premier big game animal, hunters will be very involved in shaping the new plan.

The previous elk management plan primarily addressed the need to manage hunter density and distribution while incorporating changes in elk populations. With this new revision, Fish and Game is addressing hunter preferences and current elk numbers.

The goal is to create a plan that is responsive, that incorporates biological and resource realities, and considers hunter input and desires. The plan will need final approval from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission before being adopted as the state plan.

Moose, Sheep and Goat Hunt Applications Due

The deadline for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat controlled hunt applications is fast approaching.

Hunters have until April 30 to apply for these hunts.

In response to moose population changes, primarily in the Clearwater and Panhandle regions, the 2013 seasons include 46 fewer bull tags but 11 more antlerless tags.

For bighorn sheep in the Salmon Regions, Hunt Area 27-4 was split into two separate hunt areas; the portion of hunt area 27-4 within unit 27 will be Hunt Area 27-5 with two tags, and the portion of 27-4 that falls in the Yankee Fork Drainage in unit 36 will be Hunt Area 36 with one tag.

The only change for mountain goats is in the Upper Snake Region where hunt area 51 is closed, eliminating three tags.

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

Each applicant must possess a valid 2013 Idaho hunting or combination 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.