Two weeks ago, an Idaho Fish and Game officer was quoted in an Idaho newspaper story comparing the impacts of poachers and wolves on other big game species. The officer suggested that poachers kill as many or more big game animals as wolves. We do not know whether or not that is true. We do know that poaching occurs throughout our state and that illegal harvest does impact big game populations. We also know that wolf predation also impact other species; in some areas those impacts are greater than in others. Idaho Fish and Game does not have empirical data to back up the officer's comparison.
Fisheries managers are expressing confidence about a strong Chinook salmon season in Idaho after recent increases in the number of fish being counted in the Columbia River, including more than 17,000 counted passing Bonneville Dam in one day.
Although current counts of the upriver 2014 spring Chinook run at Bonneville are only reflective of the front half of the run, those numbers have been robust and Idaho's fishery managers are now fairly certain the run will come in at, or above the pre-season forecast. That is good news on top of good news for Idaho salmon anglers because the forecast already predicted the 6th highest return in the last 20 years. Thousands of salmon are passing Bonneville Dam each day, including Wednesday, April 30, when workers counted 17,409 Chinook (the 17th highest single-day count on record).
Most of the Idaho bound salmon counted in the front half of the run are headed to the Clearwater River basin, the Hells Canyon reach of the Snake River and the Rapid River Hatchery in the Salmon River basin near Riggins. There are already enough spring Chinook over Bonneville Dam to support good fisheries in the Clearwater and Lower Salmon rivers and more are on the way. It is still too early to pin down how many fish will be available for harvest but it's safe to say it will be significantly more than were available in 2013 - especially in the Clearwater River. Through April 30th an estimated 10,000 hatchery Chinook salmon destined for the Clearwater basin have already crossed Bonneville Dam. Last year only 6,700 Clearwater River hatchery Chinook crossed during the entire run.
Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing
more than 128,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during May.
Location --- Week Stocked --- Number of Trout
- Boise River --- above Glenwood Bridge --- Water level dependent --- 3,000
- Boise River --- below Glenwood Bridge --- Water level dependent --- 1,500
- Browns Pond (McCall) --- May 12, 19 --- 500/1,200
- Caldwell Pond #2 --- May 12 --- 600
- Cascade Reservoir --- May 19 --- 35,000
- Corral Creek Reservoir (Cascade) --- May 19 --- 4,000
- Crooked River (Idaho City) --- Water level dependent --- 1,000
- Duff Lane Pond (Middleton) --- May 12 --- 250
- East Mountain Reservoir (Cascade) --- May 19 --- 500
- Eagle Island Park Pond --- May 19 --- 500
- Eds Pond (Emmett) --- May 5 --- 200
- Fischer Pond (Cascade) --- May 19 --- 500
- Fish Lake (McCall) --- May 19 --- 2,000
- Grimes Creek (Idaho City) --- Water level dependent --- 1,000
- Heros Pond (Meridian) --- May 26 --- 100
- Herrick Reservoir (Cascade) --- May 19 --- 3,500
- Horsethief Reservoir (Cascade) --- May 12 --- 20,000
- Indian Creek (Caldwell) --- May 12 --- 200
- Indian Creek (Kuna) --- May 12 --- 300
- Kimberland Meadows Pond (New Meadows) --- May 12, 19 --- 500/1,000
- Kleiner Pond (Meridian) --- May 5, 12 --- 500/500
- Lowman Nature Ponds --- May 26 --- 750
- Mann Creek Reservoir --- May 12 --- 4,000
- Marsing Pond --- April 28 --- 500
- Mill Pond (Horseshoe Bend) --- May 5 --- 1,000
- McDevitt Pond (Boise) --- May 12, 26 --- 500/500
- Merrill Pond (Eagle) --- May 12 --- 300
- Mores Creek (Idaho City) --- Water level dependent --- 1,000
- Northwest Passage Pond (McCall) --- May 19 --- 500
- Ol' McDonald Pond (Council) --- May 12, 19 --- 500/500
May will be a busy month for Fish and Game's fishing trailer, with more than a dozen fishing events scheduled around the Treasure Valley and beyond.
To learn more about the trailer, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465. A complete fishing trailer schedule is available at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
A fishing license is not needed by any participant that registers at the trailer for the duration of the event, regardless of age or residency. "Everyone is welcome at these events, but we want to make a point of inviting kids and their parents who have an interest in fishing but lack the equipment and perhaps the knowledge to get started," regional conservation educator Evin Oneale noted. "The only cost is a bit of time, and the idea is to help people gain enough fishing experience and confidence to strike out on their own and enjoy fishing as a fun, family activity."
Southwest Region Fishing Trailer Schedule for May
- Thursday, May 1 - Sego Prairie Pond (Kuna) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Wednesday, May 7 - Kleiner Pond (Meridian) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Thursday, May 8 - Wilson Ponds (Nampa - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Saturday, May 10 - Weiser Pond - 10:00am-2:00pm
- Wednesday, May 14 - McDevitt Pond (Boise) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Thursday, May 15 - Merrill Pond - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Saturday, May 17 - Williams Pond (Boise) - 10:00am-2:00pm
- Wednesday, May 21 - Wilson Ponds (Nampa) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Thursday, May 22 - Kleiner Pond (Meridian) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Saturday, May 24 - Eagle Island Pond (Eagle) - 10:00am-2:00pm (Cops & Bobbers Event)
- Wednesday, May 28 - Settlers Pond (Meridian) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Thursday, May 29 - McDevitt Pond (Boise) - 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Saturday, May 31 - Lake Lowell (Gotts Pt) - 10:00am-2:00pm
Fish and Game's fishing trailer will soon be making an appearance at local ponds across the region, promoting the sport of fishing as part of an active outdoor lifestyle. Staff will be available at the trailer to provide fishing instruction and to hand-out loaner rods, bait and other fishing gear.
To learn more about the trailer, contact the Fish and Game Lewiston office at 799-5010. More information regarding the fishing trailer is available on Fish and Game's website at
The trailer's 2014 schedule will kick off at Hordemann Pond in Moscow on Saturday, May 3rd followed by a stop at Kiwanis Park in Lewiston Saturday, May 10th. A fishing license is not needed by any participant that registers at the trailer for the duration of the event, regardless of age or residency.
2014 Clearwater Region Fishing Trailer Schedule
- Saturday, May 3 - Hordemann Pond (Moscow) - 8:00am-12:00pm
- Saturday, May 10 - Kiwanis Pond (Lewiston) - 10:00am-1:00pm
- Saturday, May 17 - Spring Valley Reservoir (Troy) - 10:00am-1:00pm
- Saturday, May 24 - Mann Lake (Lewiston) - 10:00am-1:00pm
- Saturday, May 31 - Deyo Reservoir (Weippe) - 10:00am-1:00pm
- Saturday, June 7 - Moose Creek Reservoir (Bovill) - 10:00am-1:00pm
- Saturday, June 21 - Elk Creek Reservoir (Elk River) - 10:00am-1:00pm
- Saturday, June 28 - Winchester State Park (Winchester) - 10:00am-1:00pm
Idaho's Hunter Education program is looking for new instructors to help meet course demand in the Treasure Valley area.
In Idaho's southwest region, hundreds of Hunter Education Instructors conduct dozens of courses annually, graduating more than 4,500 new hunters each year. Every program instructor is a volunteer. "These special people make the program a success," Fish and Game Hunter Education program representative Jaime Creson noted. "They also have the opportunity to pass along our proud hunting tradition to the next generation of hunters."
To learn more about Idaho's Hunter Education program and how to get involved, contact Creson at the Fish and Game Hunter Education Center office (327-7159) or via e-mail at Jaime.email@example.com.
A popular campground on the east side of Horsethief Reservoir will remain closed indefinitely, even while the west side of the reservoir opens to camping on May 1st.
Fishing opportunities at the popular reservoir remain unaffected by the campsite closure.
Finding a suitable volunteer camp host for the east side campground has been a challenge for Fish and Game site manager Dennis Hardy. "We were able to enlist a suitable camp host for the west side campground, but only after a nationwide search," Hardy noted. "Finding one for the east side campground has proven difficult."
The high risk of area abuse and property damage without an on-site camp host led to the decision to keep the east side campground shuttered indefinitely. "Once a suitable camp host is located, we will open the east campground for the remainder of the season," Hardy said.
To learn more about the volunteer host position at Horsethief Reservoir or to apply for the position, visit the Volunteer.gov website: http://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=14104.
Horsethief Reservoir is one of a handful of developed campgrounds where no fee is charged, contributing to its popularity. In the 1990s, Horsethief's camping areas were developed to limit resource damage from unregulated use. Since then, Idaho Fish and Game has staffed Horsethief with camp hosts for the peak fishing and camping season. Because of limited financial resources, camp host services, maintenance services and camping end mid-September each year.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Rose Lake boat launch and picnic area will be closed to public access for about 60 days this spring. The closure is needed for public safety during site improvement work.
Construction and closure will begin the week of May 5. The site will be closed for the duration of the project which is expected to last up to 60 days.
The project involves converting the Rose Lake boat launch from a primitive site to a modern facility with expanded and closer parking, a new access road to the ramp, and a larger boat loading area. New, paved ADA accessible parking will be built near the docks and ramps. Boaters will benefit from a new double lane launch surface, a new boarding dock system, and a boat preparation area.
IDFG Habitat Manager JJ Tears says, "We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause for the short term. However, once completed, the Rose Lake fishing and boating access site will provide multiple outdoor recreational opportunities for local families and the general public for years to come."
For temporary small boat launching IDFG will have the old gravel ramp at the Watson Road fishing access site open.
For additional project information please contact JJ Teare at the IDFG Panhandle Region office, (208)769-1414.
A cow moose that was carrying a fetus a little more than a month away from birth was found dead along Penny Lane off Sanders Rd. The location is about three miles north of Emida in Benewah County.
According to Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Senior Conservation Officer Rob Morris, the moose was shot on the afternoon of April 22, 2014. No meat was taken from the cow and there were no apparent indications that anyone made an effort to retrieve the animal.
"The person who did this took not only the cow moose from the people of Idaho, they also killed her unborn calf," said Officer Morris.
Anyone with any information on this or any other wildlife crimes is asked to contact the IDFG Panhandle Region Office at (208)769-1414; or, contact Sr. Conservation Officer Rob Morris (208)993-0283. Concerned citizens can also call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline, (800)632-5999.
The MK Nature Center, working through the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, will once again be participating in the Idaho Gives campaign, a one day charitable giving event sponsored by the Idaho Nonprofit Center.
This year's event will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2014 and will run from midnight until 11:59pm. Idaho Gives offers individuals a chance to support their favorite Idaho nonprofit organizations. Thanks to the Idaho Nonprofit Center, last year's campaign inspired and enabled people to give to their favorite causes, including the MK Nature Center.
As round two of Idaho Gives approaches, we look forward to another shot in the arm; Idaho Gives 2013 was a resounding success for the MK Nature Center. Nature Center visitors see their contributions at work in our wildlife viewing opportunities, public events, educational programs, displays, and customer service. For 24 years, the MK Nature Center has offered nature-based educational and aesthetic experiences for Idaho visitors and residents at low or no cost.
Supporters will make donations through an independent site, http://www.idahogives.org. The MK Nature Center is once again listed as a project under the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Donors may also contribute to the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, an important non-profit partner of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Donors should be aware that these are two separate funds; donations to the MK Nature Center will go through the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation but will be dedicated specifically to the MK Nature Center and its programs. Donations to the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation are used for a variety of other wildlife and conservation projects throughout the state.
For more information about Idaho Gives, visit http://www.idahononprofits.org/idaho-gives
The chance at Idaho's ultimate hunting opportunity is up for grabs, as Fish and Game is once again selling tickets for the Super Hunt drawings. Entries in the first Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo drawing must be received by May 31 with the drawing set for June 10. All entries received after May 31 will go into the second drawing scheduled for mid-August. All entries for the second drawing must be received by August 10.
Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose. That includes general hunts and controlled hunts. Hunters can take an animal or animals on their Super Hunt or Super Hunt Combo tags in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold. All other regulations of individual hunts apply.
During the first drawing in June, tags will be awarded for eight elk, eight deer, and eight pronghorn hunts as well as one moose hunt; one Super Hunt Combo ticket also will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each: elk, deer, pronghorn, and moose.
In August, another Super Hunt Combo tag will be awarded, along with Super Hunt tags for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn and one moose hunt.
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
The first entry costs $6; additional entries for the same species cost $4 each when purchased at the same time. Super Hunt Combo entries cost $20 for one; additional entries are $16 when purchased at the same time. You don't need a license to enter and you may enter as many times as you like:
- Online with a credit card;
- At License Vendors with a credit card;
- By Phone: 1-800-554-8685 with a credit card;
- At Fish and Game offices with a debit card;
- By mail, send a Super Hunt order form with a check.
What is the best way to find out where fishing is hot in Idaho? Ask the people who are on the water. That's the idea behind a new feature on Fish and Game's website called "Fish Talk."
The new link provides anglers the opportunity to share their experiences with others; from where the fish are biting and what species are being caught; to what bait, lures or flies the fish are taking. Anglers can share their stories and even photographs of the "big one" that didn't get away.
Fisheries manager Dave Parrish will manage "Fish Talk." An avid angler himself, Dave will likely be providing his own expertise and experience to help users decide when and where to plan their fishing trips.
If you are an angler who is concerned that too much information will lead to overcrowding, Parrish says he plans to take measures to ensure that your "honey hole" won't be revealed. Anglers will be asked to share general information about locations, identifying certain lakes, rivers, streams or ponds without being specific about exact locations.
"As I screen the incoming information, I'll try to guard against Ôhot-spotting' with too much specific information." Parrish said.
If you have a story to share, pictures to show, or a heads-up about water conditions, go to the fishing page on our website: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/fish-talk. Find the "Tell other anglers" button and share your fishing adventure.
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