Press Release

May 2013

Salmon Fishing to Close on the Lower and Little Salmon River

Fishing for Chinook salmon in the lower Salmon River from the Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the mouth of Shorts Creek and in the Little Salmon River will close at the end of fishing Sunday, June 2.

Angler surveys show that the sport fishery in the Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers will harvest the nontribal fishery share of adult Chinook salmon returning to the Rapid River Hatchery by June 2.

Chat Live with F&G about Fishing in the Gem State

Anglers are invited to join an online chat with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about fishing in the Gem State.

Anglers can chat live with fisheries and hatchery staff, along with enforcement officers, from 6 to 8 p.m. (MST) Wednesday, June 12.

Fish and Game will answer question about the status of the salmon fisheries, family fishing opportunities, outlooks for steelhead, kokanee, stream, reservoir, and mountain lake fishing, as well as other related topics during the live, two hour chat.

Participants may also respond to fisheries-related polls and surveys, and see the results in real time.

"The summer fishing season is here, and we hope this chat helps anglers with their questions in a new and interactive way," Dave Parrish, Sport Fishing Program Coordinator, says.

Participants can join the chat by visiting Fish and Game's home page at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov and look for the chat link.

Idaho Conservation Officers to Host Youth Conservation Camp

Summer in Idaho means camps for kids.

If you are 10 to 12 years old and want to learn outdoor skills, become certified in hunter education and experience a wide variety of other fun, outdoor activities, consider attending the Youth Conservation Camp, August 12 -16, at Trinity Pines Camp and Conference Center in Cascade.

Campers participate in hands-on learning activities in firearm safety and shooting, wildlife conservation and identification, orienteering and challenge courses, fishing techniques, archery fundamentals, introduction to trapping, float the Payette River, and much more in an attractive outdoor setting.

Registration is first come first serve to the first 30 youth. Cost per camper is $255.00, which includes food, lodging and equipment for the week.

To learn more or to register, visit the Idaho Conservation Officer Association website at http://www.icoaonline.org, or contact your nearest Idaho Fish and Game office.

Idaho's Youth Conservation Camp is unique because it is sponsored and directed by the Idaho Conservation Officer's Association and Idaho Department of Fish and Game - the same people who manage Idaho's fish and wildlife. Conservation officers and biologists direct the camp and lead the classroom and field learning activities.

The overall goal is to help young people learn about and cultivate a respect for Idaho's natural resources and the people who work to protect, preserve, and perpetuate those resources.

Application Period for Controlled Hunts Ends June 5

The application period for this fall's deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts 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 statistics and drawing odds for controlled hunts are available at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/ and in the Idaho Hunt Planner. 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.

All permits and tags that have to be notched or validated or attached to a harvested animal will be printed and mailed to the buyer. This applies to items such as big game tags, salmon and steelhead permits.

Please Do Not Pick Up Newborn Fawns

By Phil Cooper, Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game

A population explosion takes place in the wild around this time every year.

Some newborns are already present and visible. Goslings have been out and about growing rapidly for a month now. Other species of birds have hatched young or are incubating eggs. Some bird species have yet to begin nesting. Regardless of the exact timing, most bird and mammal species will produce young in the spring and early summer. This gives the young the needed time to gain strength and size to be able to survive the challenges of winter or fall migration.

Very soon, deer, elk and moose will give birth. Some of these newborns will make it through the perilous first few days and weeksÉand others will not.

Fortunately, reproductive potential is high for most wild animal species and despite losses of individuals, populations carry on.

The first few days of life are the most crucial to long term survival. Wild animal newborns are vulnerable to predators until they are able to run or fly well enough to escape predation.

Predators in the first few weeks can include other wild animals such as wolves, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, eagles and others. Domesticated animals such as dogs and cats allowed to run loose can also cause mortality of young wildlife. Pet owners can reduce wildlife injury or death by keeping pets confined.

In the next few weeks, Idaho Fish and Game will begin taking 4-5 calls a day about deer fawns that have been observed in the wild with no doe visible anywhere in the area. The concern expressed by the caller is usually that the fawn has been "injured," "abandoned" or "orphaned."

While fawns are occasionally injured or orphaned, they are never abandoned. An adult doe has extremely strong parenting instincts and will never abandon a fawn.

June 8 is Free Fishing Day

Saturday, June 8, is Free Fishing Day, and Idaho Fish and Game invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, to celebrate the day by fishing anywhere in Idaho without a license.

Though fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules, such as limits or tackle restrictions, remain in effect. Free fishing day includes salmon; anglers don't need a license or salmon permit, but they are still subject to all bag and possession limits.

"Free fishing day provides a great opportunity for novices to give fishing a try and perhaps develop it into a life-long pursuit," Fish and Game Southwest regional fish manager Joe Kozfkay said. "Parents are encouraged to bring their children out for a day of fun fishing excitement."

Lack of fishing experience is no excuse. At special locations around the state, equipment will be available for use and fishing experts will be on hand to help novice anglers learn the ins and outs of fishing. In addition, all these locations will be stocked with hatchery rainbow trout prior to the special day.

Look for the nearest event and "Take a Kid Fishing."

Stay tuned for a list of these events as the date draws near. For more information regarding Free Fishing Day, contact your local Fish and Game office.

Super Hunt Drawing Deadline This Week

The deadline to enter this year's first Super Hunt drawing is Friday, May 31.

With every entry in Fish and Game's Super Hunt drawings, hunters get a chance at winning the hunt of a lifetime, and their entry fee helps support hunter and angler access to and across private lands.

The first drawing in June will pick 26 lucky hunters, each of whom will win one of 25 tags - eight elk, eight deer, and eight antelope hunts as well as one moose hunt; and one "Super Hunt Combo" entry also will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, antelope and moose.

A second drawing will be in August when another "Super Hunt Combo" and entries for two elk, two deer, and two antelope hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn. The entry period for the second drawing is June 2 through August 11.

Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose, including general hunts and controlled hunts, in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold.

Hunters who win any Super Hunt tag may still enter controlled hunts, except where other restrictions apply. All other rules of individual hunts apply.

The first Super Hunt entry will cost $6. Each additional entry purchased at the same time will cost $4 each. The Super Hunt Combo entries work the same way. The first one costs $20, and each additional entry purchased at the same time will cost $16.

Entries are available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices, or they can be ordered on the Internet at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=22, and on the phone at 800-554-8685.

There is no limit to the number of entries. Fill out the entry order forms and mail them to: Idaho Fish and Game License Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Ask Fish and Game: Revocation Means No Free Fishing

Q. If I don't need a fishing license on Free Fishing Day, does that mean I can fish if my license has been revoked?

A. No. When the court revokes someone's hunting, fishing or trapping privileges for a period of time, it means just that, the privileges are revoked, whether they need a license or not. It is illegal for anyone to hunt, fish, or trap or purchase a license to do so during the time the privilege is revoked.

Fish & Game Closes Part of Clearwater River to Salmon Fishing

On Tuesday, May 21, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game closed the lower Clearwater River from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge in Lewiston to the Cherrylane Bridge to all salmon fishing. The other sections of the Clearwater previously open to salmon fishing will remain open for harvest of jack salmon four days per week, Friday through Monday.

Sections of the Clearwater River basin that remain open to jacks-only harvest include:

  • The mainstem Clearwater: From Lenore Bridge to Greer Bridge
  • The North Fork Clearwater River: From the mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam excluding the perimeter of the Dworshak National Hatchery at Ahsahka. Fishing from any watercraft is prohibited.
  • The Middle Fork Clearwater: From the mouth of the South Fork Clearwater River upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers.
  • The South Fork Clearwater: From its mouth upstream to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.

Anglers are not allowed to retain adult Chinook salmon anywhere in the Clearwater basin, but can continue to retain four adipose fin-clipped salmon less than 24 inches total length (jacks), per day. Jack salmon count against the daily limit but need not be recorded on the salmon permit. There is no season limit for jacks.

Jacks are salmon that return after one year in the ocean. They are relatively abundant this year, are not necessary in the brood stock and are all available for harvest. Managers estimate that over 2000 jacks returning to hatcheries in the Clearwater River will be available for harvest by sport anglers.

Commission Adopts Grizzly Position Statement

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, May 16, adopted a position statement on grizzly bears in Idaho.

The statement supports the removal of grizzly bears in Idaho from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.

"Idaho can manage the bears better," Commission Tony McDermott of the Panhandle Region said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could save millions by simply delisting the bear throughout all of Idaho, he said. The state has the regulatory and enforcement mechanisms in place, and people would be more tolerant of bears if the state were managing them.

The commission would continue to act to ensure sustainable grizzly bear populations for the foreseeable future in the occupied core habitats USFWS has identified in Idaho, the statement says.

"Key to the success of this effort is effective and efficient management of bear-human conflict."

The commission supports the prompt federal delisting and transition to state management for grizzly bears throughout Idaho as both legally compliant with the Endangered Species Act as well as the best vehicle for achieving the act's objectives, the statement says.

Lands Council Grant Helps Students Learn About Outdoors

By Phil Cooper - Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game

The Lands Council is a Spokane-based non-profit organization whose mission is to "preserve and revitalize Inland Northwest forests, water, and wildlife through advocacy, education, effective action, and community engagement."

Recognizing the challenges that school districts face in funding field trips for science classes, the Council solicits sponsorship funding from business partners to help students get outside to learn about the environment. Once in the field, they become engaged in hands-on, science-based educational activities that enhance their classroom learning.

Business partner funding through the Council covers school field trip transportation costs, lesson plan materials, activities, and other associated expenses. Called "Project Sustain," the program gives kids a chance to apply what they learn in the classroom in an outdoor setting.

Schools apply for Lands Council grants of $1,200 per school to cover expenses associated with four to five field trips. They also receive up to 10 hours of Council-led classroom lessons during the school year as part of the grant.

The program closely aligns with existing school curricula. By participating in activities in the field, students increase their knowledge and field skills, and develop a heightened sense of environmental stewardship.

Idaho Fish and Game aquatic educator Jim Burkholder, Fish and Game fisheries biologist Pete Rust, and I recently had the opportunity to work with The Lands Council's Conservation Program Director Kat Hall on the Project Sustain program. We worked with high-school students and teachers from Lake City High School, Post Falls High School and St Maries High School.

Students to Release Rainbow Trout in Boise River

Washington Elementary fifth graders will release rainbow trout into the Boise River on a field trip to the Boise WaterShed Friday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m.

The students, led by teacher Libbie Hayden and Biologist Lauri Monnot, of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, are part of Idaho Fish and Game's Trout in the Classroom program where they have raised rainbow trout from eggs to fry since February.

"By observing and caring for trout, students gain a better understanding and appreciation of their life cycle and habitat requirements," Fish and Game State Trout in the Classroom Coordinator Brenda Beckley says.

The program raises awareness about Idaho's aquatic resources by providing an engaging, hands-on learning opportunity for Idaho students in grades 4-12.

Classrooms are equipped with fish tanks, chillers, and an educational curriculum geared toward fish biology, ecology, habitat needs, and even chemistry and genetics. The curriculum focuses on science while incorporating reading, writing, math and art skills. Many Trout in the Classroom teachers schedule field trips to nearby hatcheries, and coordinate with Fish and Game to teach their students the joys of fishing.

The program is operated by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and coordinated locally in partnership with Trout Unlimited.

"Strong partnerships with school districts, teachers and mentors from Idaho Fish & Game, U. S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and Trout Unlimited make this program possible," Trout Unlimited Southwest Trout in the Classroom coordinator Sabrina Beus says. "In the Treasure Valley, 44 schools participate in Trout in the Classroom."