Press Release

July 2013

Waterfowl Season Open House Slated in Lewiston

Waterfowl hunters in Idaho have a chance to comment on proposed 2013-2014 duck and goose seasons during an upcoming public open house.

The meeting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 6 at the Clearwater Region office, 3316 16th St., Lewiston.

The open house format allows visitors to attend anytime during the session and visit with Fish and Game personnel about the proposals. Those unable to attend the open house can submit their comments by mail to: 2013-14 Waterfowl Seasons, P.O. Box 25, Boise, Idaho 83707.

The deadline for public comment is August 16.

Fish and Game received a tentative waterfowl season framework from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees waterfowl management at the national level.

Proposed season dates for hunting waterfowl in the Clearwater Region are:

  • Youth Waterfowl: September 28-29.
  • Ducks: Area 2: October 12 - January 24; Scaup: November 2 - January 24
  • Canada and White-fronted Geese: Area 2: October 12 - January 24
  • Blue, Ross's and Snow Geese: Area 4: October 12 - January 24

For the duck and Canada goose zones, please see the 2012-2013 waterfowl rules brochure.

Information collected from across the state will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, which will set the final waterfowl seasons at its meeting on August 19.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting Chasity Newman at the Fish and Game Clearwater office, 208-799-5010 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529 (TDD).

Surprise Bear Encounter Leaves Technician with Minor Injuries

Late in the morning Monday, July 29, while collecting habitat data as part of a grizzly bear habitat research project, Brett Panting, a wildlife technician working for the Wildlife Conservation Society was bitten by a grizzly bear.

The incident occurred on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest near the Davis Lake Area of Big Bend Ridge, part of Island Park. After biting Panting the bear ran off, and other volunteers were able to transport him to Eastern Idaho Medical Center. He was treated for puncture wounds and lacerations and was being held for minor surgery and observation.

Caribou-Targhee National Forest staff members are working with Idaho Fish and Game to determine on how to proceed with the situation and affected livestock permitees are being contacted.

All of Island Park is habitat for black and grizzly bears, and anyone using the forest is encouraged to carry bear spray and to make noise while moving through dense vegetation.

To learn more about all facets of grizzly bears visit

Deadline to Buy Controlled Hunt Tags

Big game hunters who were drawn in controlled hunt drawings have until midnight Mountain Daylight Time, Thursday, August 1, to buy their tags.

Any tags not purchased by that time will be forfeited. After a second drawing, any leftover tags are sold over the counter. The application period for the second drawing runs from August 5 to 15. The drawing will be August 20. Any left over tags will go on sale August 25.

Results of deer, elk, pronghorn and fall black bear controlled hunt drawings are available on the Fish and Game website at:

Hunters can buy their tags at any Fish and Game office, license vendor, by telephone at 800-554-8685, or online at For information on rules and dates for specific hunts, consult the regulations brochure or the Fish and Game Website.

And those lucky enough to draw can use Fish and Game's Hunt Planner at: to plan those fall hunts.

It is the responsibility of hunters to determine whether they were drawn for a controlled hunt.

For hunters who weren't drawn, big game over-the-counter tags also are available in many big game units. For details contact license vendors or local Fish and Game offices.

Reminder to hunters: unsold nonresident deer and elk tags go on sale to residents and nonresidents for use as second tags beginning August 1.

North Fork Clearwater Steelhead Catch & Release Closed

The catch-and-release fishery for steelhead in the North Fork Clearwater River downstream from the Dworshak Dam closed July 26 and will remain closed through midnight August 31.

Dworshak Hatchery is behind schedule in acquiring Chinook salmon brood stock, and managers anticipate that closing the steelhead catch-and-release fishery will increase the number of adult Chinook that can be captured as brood stock.

The trapping period for spring Chinook at Dworshak will continue until the end of August.

The fall catch-and-release steelhead season on the North Fork Clearwater River will resume September 1 and remain open through October 14.

Meanwhile, the fall steelhead harvest season opens Thursday, August 1, on the Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston. The limit is two steelhead per day, six in possession and 20 for the fall season through the end of December.

Elsewhere on the Clearwater, the fall catch-and-release season remains open through October 14 on:

  • Clearwater River main stem and Middle Fork from the Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston upstream to Clear Creek.
  • South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.

The fall steelhead catch-and-release season opens August 1 on the Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers.

For details on steelhead fishing seasons and rules see:

Time to Enter Second Super Hunt Drawing

There's still time to enter the drawing for the hunt of a lifetime.

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 costs $6. Each additional entry for the same species purchased at the same time costs $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, and on the phone at 1-800-554-8685.

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: Duck Stamps

Q. Where can I get a federal duck stamp for this fall?

A. Duck stamps - officially Federal Migratory Bird Stamp - are available for $15 at U.S. post offices, and they can be ordered by buying a receipt good for 45 days for $17.75 at Fish and Game offices, license vendors or on the Internet at: Internet and telephone orders will add a convenience fee. The stamp will be mailed directly to the hunter, and the hunter should make sure the vendor has their correct mailing address. Anyone 16 or older who hunts migratory waterfowl must have a valid duck stamp in their possession and signed in ink by the holder. A stamp purchased this summer is in effect from July 1 through June 30, 2014.

Youth Clearwater Salmon Camp Scheduled for August 12-14

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is calling for youth ages 9 to 17 to participate in a three-day workshop/camp, August 12-14, to learn about Chinook salmon life history and issues affecting their survival in the Clearwater River drainage.

Participants will tour fish passage facilities at Lower Granite Dam, Clearwater Anadromous Fish Hatchery and Chinook salmon spawning grounds in upper Red River.

An overnight session the second night will be at Fish and Game's Ponderosa Ranch facility on Red River near the community of Elk City. Students will be involved in activities such as measuring available fish habitat and fish handling data collection exercises. Instructors for the camp will be professional fishery workers from a variety of resource agencies.

At the close of the camp, students should have a good understanding of Chinook salmon life history, detrimental impacts to survival and ongoing management activities to alleviate those impacts.

The cost is free, but space is limited to 15 participants. Call the Idaho Fish and Game regional office today at 208-799-5010 for more information or to request an application.

Clinic Scheduled to Teach Women the Basics of Fly Fishing

Kelly Creek Fly Casters, Temple Creek Outfitters and Idaho Fish and Game are teaming up to offer an annual women's fly fishing clinic.

In this clinic, August 28 to September 8, women will enjoy an introduction to fly fishing in a comfortable environment. The clinic will provide hands-on instruction in fly casting, basic education about fly fishing rods, reels and lines, stream entomology, fish habitat; reading the water and most importantly, how to catch fish!

Also included in this clinic are; classroom sessions held at the Idaho Fish and Game office, fly casting lessons at the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds, and a weekend overnight campout at Kelly Creek. The course will offer a 2:1 student to instructor ratio. Each student will have guided fishing time with an instructor. Breakfast on Saturday, a Saturday snack and a dinner Saturday night are all provided on the campout.

Contact the Clearwater regional office for more information 208-799-5010.

Salvage Order Signed for Jensen Grove Pond

Idaho Fish and Game has issued a salvage order for Jensen Grove Pond in Blackfoot.

The city of Blackfoot has shut off the water filling Jensen Grove Pond, and fish in the pond will die as the water level drops. Therefore the size, bag and possession limits on Jensen Grove Pond will be removed Wednesday July 24 until January 1, 2014.

Fish may be taken by any method, except firearms, explosives, chemical or electric current.

Anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license.

Fire Threatens Sawtooth Hatchery

Idaho Fish and Game employees and local firefighters fended off a wildfire in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Monday evening.

The fire started Monday afternoon about a mile north of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery near Stanley.

As the fire approached the staff dormitory, hatchery crews and firefighters mobilized to protect the dormitory, using a trash pump to water down the area. The fire moved past the dormitory, burning a stand of trees between the dorm and the nearest residences.

Firefighting helicopters equipped with water buckets dipped water out of the Salmon River near the hatchery weir making several drops near one of the residences. The water drops stopped the fire within about 50 feet of the residence.

Brent Snider, hatchery manager, said the fire burned some informational signs and about 400 feet of fence, but no hatchery structures were damaged.

As the fire advanced, dormitory residents were evacuated and hatchery crews prepared for an immediate evacuation of surrounding residences. Containment efforts were successful, and the evacuation orders were lifted by early evening; residents have been allowed back into dormitory housing.

There were no retardant drops around the Salmon river water supply and no problems with the fish aside from some ash on the water. There were no immediate adverse effects on production fish or the adult brood fish.

The hatchery raises Chinook and sockeye salmon.

The power was still out early Tuesday, and a U.S. Forest Service Hot Shot crew on site was putting out hot spots. The fire was still active but burning away from the facility, which was not in immediate danger Tuesday.

The Stanley Fire Department was on the hatchery site Monday night for support and structure protection. Roads were blocked Monday, but Highway 75 re-opened to traffic Monday night.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Idaho's State Fruit Starting to Ripen

By Phil Cooper, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

In case you didn't know, Idaho has a state fruit. So designated by the Idaho Legislature in 2000; it is the huckleberry.

At this time of year, it is not too surprising that the huckleberry is the state fruit because it seems that just about everybody in northern Idaho looks forward to huckleberry picking - and eating season.

There are several species of huckleberries native to Idaho. The most common and most popular is the "black," or "thin-leaved" huckleberry. Some plant guides, including "Common Plants of the Inland Pacific Northwest" by highly respected and widely recognized plant ecologist and author Charles Johnson, call the same species "Big Huckleberry."

This species grows in moist, cool forested environments at mid-to-upper elevations. Berries are purple to purplish red and are a quarter to a half inch broad, depending upon the year and the site. The plants grow up to three feet tall and take up to 15 years to reach full maturity. The single, dark purple berries grow on the shoots the plant produced that year.

Grouse huckleberry is another species found in Idaho. This plant tends to grow at higher elevations than big huckleberry, but the two can be found growing in the same sites. The grouse huckleberry plants are smaller, growing only about 10 inches tall. The berries are smaller - about one fifth inch broad - and more red in color.

An Internet search says that huckleberries grow at elevations between 2,000 feet and 11,000 feet. However, I don't know of anywhere in northern Idaho that they grow and produce berries under 2,500 feet in elevation. Snow cover is needed to insulate the plants to survive during the winter, so perhaps plants below 3,000 feet die in those winters when there are low temperatures but little snow.

Ask Fish and Game: Handguns in Archery Hunts

Q. Is it legal to carry a handgun during an archery hunt?

A. Yes. But it is not legal to use it to kill any animal for which the archery-only hunt is open.