Press Release

June 2013

Idaho Fish and Game Employee Dies at Agency Fish Trap

A seasonal employee of Idaho Fish and Game died Friday afternoon at the Crooked River fish trap near Elk City while trapping Chinook salmon for the Clearwater Hatchery.

Joshua Todd Huju (pronounced who-you) - 26, of Sioux City, Iowa was found in the water at the fish trap by another Fish and Game employee. The employee pulled Huju from the water, called 911 and immediately began CPR. Paramedics arrived at the remote location and continued to try to revive Huju.

"This is a heart breaking tragedy and the thoughts and prayers of everyone at Fish and Game are with Josh's family," Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said. "Josh was helping us perpetuate the next generation of Idaho's Chinook salmon for anglers and all Idahoans. All of us at Fish and Game are mourning him."

Huju worked as a seasonal biologist-aide at the Clearwater Hatchery.

The investigation into the cause of death is being conducted by the Idaho County Sheriff's Office.

6-29-13

Chinook Jacks Coming to the Boise River

Idaho Fish and Game will be stocking 300 to 400 Chinook jacks in the Boise River Monday, July 1.

The jack salmon will be released from the Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park at the sites commonly used to release steelhead.

The salmon fishery has closed in the Little Salmon and the lower Salmon rivers.

Jacks not caught in those fisheries and not required for broodstock at Rapid River Hatchery will be transported to the Boise River.

Anglers will not need a salmon permit to fish for Chinook salmon in the Boise River this year because only jacks are being released. Once released in the Boise River, they will be considered landlocked and are included under the regional general rule for trout.

The general trout bag limit in the Boise River is six. But special rules apply in one river segment. From the East Boise River footbridge upstream to where Loggers Creek is diverted from the Boise River, the trout limit is two, and none may be under 14 inches. (Please see Page 23 in the 2013-2015 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure).

Salvage Order Issued for Big Wood, Richfield Canal

Idaho Fish and Game has issued a salvage order for the Richfield Canal and the Big Wood River downstream from the Richfield Canal headgate.

The Magic Reservoir Dam was shut off June 27. Because of drought and poor runoff, demand for irrigation water has exceeded the reservoir capacity.

Officials anticipate the fish in the Big Wood River below the Richfield Canal headgate and within the Richfield Canal will be killed as the water level drops.

Therefore, effective July 1, bag, possession and size limits will be removed on Big Wood River downstream from the Richfield Canal Diversion, the Richfield Canal downstream to the Gooding County line and in the Richfield and Lincoln Canal systems.

Fish may be taken by any method except firearms, explosives, chemicals or electric current from July 1 through November 1.

A valid Idaho fishing license is required to salvage fish.

Salmon Fishing Closed on Little Salmon River

Fishing for Chinook salmon is closed in the Little Salmon River.

But the existing seven day per week fishery for adult and jack Chinook salmon in the Snake River from Dug Bar upstream to the Hells Canyon Dam will continue until further notice.

The daily limit in the Snake River is four salmon per day, only one of which may be an adult, and the possession limit is 12 salmon in possession, no more than thee of which may be adults.

The statewide season limit is 10 adult Chinook salmon during any salmon seasons occurring before September 1, 2013. The statewide limit does not apply to jacks.

For details about open areas and limits in these fisheries see the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=110.

Controlled Hunt Drawing Results Online

Hunters who applied for elk, deer, pronghorn, fall turkey and black bear controlled hunts can check online to see whether they were successful in the recent computerized drawing.

Controlled hunt drawing results are now available for deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey hunts at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/?getPage=81.

Drawing odds are available at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/lookupOdds.cfm

For additional information about controlled hunts go to:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/

Applicants can enter their hunting license number to find out instantly how they did in the drawing. But traffic on the website may be heavy at times, so please be patient.

Postcards will be mailed to successful applicants around July 10. Winners must buy controlled hunt tags by August 1. Unclaimed and leftover tags from the first drawing will be available in a second application period from August 5 through August 15.

Any tags not purchased by August 1 will be forfeited. After the second drawing, any left over tags are sold over the counter. Tags are sold at any license vendor, through the Internet at https://id.outdoorcentral.us/, or by telephone at 800-554-8685, starting August 25 at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

2013 Super Hunt Winners Announced

After the first Super Hunt drawing of 2013, 26 lucky hunters won the hunt of their dreams.

Winners of Super Hunt tags for a deer, elk, pronghorn or moose can participate in any open hunt in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold. All other rules of individual hunts apply.

The results are in from the June drawing:

  • Deer tags went to two hunters from Idaho, two from Washington, and one each from Wyoming, Wisconsin, Texas and Nevada.
  • Elk tags went to five hunters from Idaho, two from Washington and one from Minnesota.
  • Pronghorn tags went to four hunters from Idaho, two from California and one each from Washington and Minnesota.
  • A moose tag went to a hunter from California.
  • And the Super Combo went to an Idaho hunter.

The number of entries increased by about 17.5 percent over 2012. This year Fish and Game received 41,722 entries for the June drawing. In 2012, there were 35,499 entries.

The special drawings began in 2004 as a way to raise money for the Access Yes! program, which helps assure hunter and angler access to and across private lands by compensating willing landowners.

For information about this program contact local Fish and Game officials or visit the website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/accessyesguide.aspx.

Time to Enter Second Super Hunt Drawing

The deadline to enter the second Super Hunt drawing is August 11.

Entries for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn, and a "Super Hunt Combo" will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, pronghorn and moose.

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.

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/cms/hunt/superhunt/, 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.

Check out the Super Hunt Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/SuperHunt-Idaho/171792339534643.

Wolf Season Opens on Panhandle Private Lands

The 2013-2014 wolf hunting season opens July 1 on private land only in the Panhandle Zone.

The wolf hunting season opens throughout the rest of the state on August 30.

The wolf trapping season opens November 15 in eight wolf zones and February 1, 2014 in one additional zone. Wolf hunters may use five tags, with no overall harvest limit.

New wolf hunting and trapping seasons and rules are posted on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/bgWolf.pdf, and they are available on pages 78 through 82 in the 2013-2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure.

Wolf tags are available for $11.50 for Idaho residents and $31.75 for nonresidents. Wolf hunting tags are valid for a calendar year; trapping tags are valid July 1 through June 30.

The 2012-2013 wolf hunting season closes June 30. As of June 24, hunters had taken 200 wolves, and trappers 120, for a total of 320 wolves.

Ask Fish and Game: Controlled Hunt Process

Q. How does Fish and Game's controlled draw hunt system work?

A. Glad you asked. Here is a simplified version of how the controlled hunt drawing system works: The procedure has been computerized since 1973 and was certified random by Boise State University professors in 1977.

Every applicant has the same chance of drawing. Officials verify that applicants meet all of the eligibility requirements to draw a tag. Each application is then assigned a randomly generated number, which is then scrambled and coded before being drawn by the computer system.

The computer, located in the state controller's office, selects the successful applicants from the entire application file of eligible applicants.

When a group of people enter on the same application, the group is assigned a single application number, and the whole group is entered as one combined entry. In the first round, the system randomly draws from the first choice listed by each hunter. The system then does a second drawing to fill any hunts that still have openings with second choice hunts.

When residents and nonresidents enter on the same application, the entire group is treated as nonresidents. Nonresidents are limited to up to 10 percent of the tags available in any individual controlled hunt. When the computer draws an application that includes a nonresident, it checks to see whether a tag is still available for a nonresident. If 10 nonresidents already have drawn tags for a hunt with 100 tags, the computer simply goes to the next application.

Hunters can improve their odds by doing a little homework.

Fish and Game Looking for Deer with Lice

Blue No. 60 may be lice-free, but others of her kind, living in south Boise, may remain infested.

Fish and Game is asking for the public's help to determine if such is the case.

In March, several south Boise residents reported seeing a mule deer doe with serious hair loss and open sores. The nearly tame deer was examined by Fish and Game's wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Mark Drew on April 3, and found to be infested with lice. Not just any louse species, but an exotic deer louse, Bovicola tibialis. This louse has been found in other parts of the state, but this was the first confirmed occurrence of B. tibialis in the Treasure Valley.

The deer was treated on April 3 and again on May 7, when she was found to be louse free. The deer's hair had begun growing back and the open sores were completely healed. She was given an ear tag, "Blue No. 60," and released.

Her untreated companions in the target area might not be so lucky. Fish and Game staff members hope to determine the number of deer living in a four-square-mile area contained by South Cloverdale and S. Maple Grove Roads and West Victory and Lake Hazel Roads. They also hope to determine whether the louse poses a health risk to these local deer.

Residents in the target area can help in this effort.

"We're asking folks living in this area to let us know if and where they see Blue No. 60 and whether she is traveling with other deer," Fish and Game conservation officer Joey Ishida said. "The number of deer, their location and noting any hair loss would be great information to receive."

Reports of Blue No. 60's location, any traveling companions and their physical condition may be sent directly to Ishida at joey.ishida@idfg.idaho.gov.

Sandhill Crane Decline Means Fewer Tags This Year

The Pacific Flyway Council has allocated Idaho a harvest of 137 cranes for the 2013 season.

The allocation is a significant reduction from 2012, and is the lowest since 1996.

Idaho Fish and Game will be soliciting public comments from June 24 through July 3 on a proposed season that would run September 1 - 15 with a daily bag limit of two birds.

The Upper Snake Region plans a public open house from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, June 24. The Southeast Region plans an open house from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 26, at the Southeast Region office, 1345 Barton Rd., Pocatello.

Details of the proposal and a short survey will be available online beginning June 24.

A summary of public comments will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the July 11 meeting in Pocatello, when the commission will consider the proposed 2013 season.

Annual harvest allocations for cranes are set by the Pacific Flyway Council.

They are based on the most recent three-year average number of cranes in the Rocky Mountain sandhill population, counted just before the fall migration starts. In the Pacific Flyway, 15,417 cranes were counted in September 2012, and the most recent three-year average was 17,992 cranes. The population objective is a range of 17,000 to 21,000 cranes.

As a result, the council reduced Idaho's harvest allocation to 137 cranes.

To meet that allocation, Fish and Game proposes to reduce the number of tags available in each of the six hunt areas, set the season in all six hunt areas at 15 days, and reduce the daily limit to two birds and the season limit to four.

Since 2009, when sandhill crane tags were made available on a first-come first-served basis, the harvest per tag purchased has averaged 48 percent. To stay at or below the Pacific Flyway harvest allocation of 137 cranes, Fish and Game proposes to reduce tags to a maximum of 275.

Hayden Lake Kokanee Fishing, Surprise to Local Anglers

By Phil Cooper -- Idaho Fish and Game

There has been quite a buzz in the area lately about some great kokanee fishing on Hayden Lake.

Anglers have reported consistently catching kokanee this spring ranging from 14-16 inches, a meaty size for eatingÉnot to mention large enough to be a thrill to catch. Anglers have been asking why the Hayden kokanee fishery has become so good of late.

Idaho Fish and Game stocked 100,000 kokanee fry into Hayden Lake for the first time in 2011. The intent? To enhance fishing opportunity at the 4,500-acre lake just north of Coeur d'Alene. So far the results have been outstanding.

Though the planted fish are only two years old, their growth has been impressive. The growth has resulted in those frequent reports of kokanee up to 16 inches (and still growing) this spring.

Fish and Game stocked another 100,000 in 2012, and a few of the one-year-old kokanee are showing up at 9 to 11 inches, so anglers can expect those to be providing the fishery next spring and summer.

The purpose of the stocking was simply to make fishing better on Hayden Lake. And has it ever! Everywhere I go anglers are talking with great excitement about the Hayden kokanee!

Hayden Lake has supported a very popular fishery for many years.

"The majority of the angling effort has shifted from open water trolling to shoreline-oriented bass, northern pike, and crappie fishing over the past 20 years," fisheries manager Jim Fredericks said.

He attributes that change to an inconsistent trout fishery over the past 20 years.

"We haven't given up on trout and we're making some progress on refining our trout stocking program to improve the fishery," Fredericks said. "But even with improvements, there was no question that the open-water troll fishery on Hayden Lake left a lot to be desired."