Press Release

May 2014

Public Invited to Comment on Wolverine Conservation Plan

Wolverines may be elusive in the wild, but the public is invited to take a closer look at Idaho Department of Fish and Game's draft plan for conserving this unique, mountaineering mammal. The Idaho Wolverine Conservation Plan was released May 19 for a 21-day public review. The comment period will conclude on June 9.

The wolverine is an icon of Idaho's high country and one of the Gem State's rarest mammals. About the size of a small bear cub, wolverines are members of the weasel family. In the southern extent of their North American range, wolverines occupy high-elevation alpine and subalpine habitats with spring snow cover and cool summer temperatures.

The plan was developed to proactively lead state efforts to conserve and protect wolverine populations and the habitats they rely on to ensure their long-term viability in Idaho. The plan includes statewide wolverine status and distribution, factors affecting population and habitat, priority areas for conservation, and supporting actions to benefit wolverines in Idaho.

A copy of the draft wolverine plan is available by clicking:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/wolverine-conservation-plan. Comments may be submitted on the website or by e-mail to idfg-staff@idfg.idaho.gov; or mailed to Wolverine Plan Comments, c/o Idaho Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the plan or about wolverines in general can do so during a live web chat on June 3rd from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. MDT, and 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT.

To join the conversation go to the following link: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/article/wolverine-conservation-pla...

Road Restrictions Over Hells Canyon Dam Adjusted

BOISE, Idaho, May 29, 2014 - The road over Hells Canyon Dam will completely closed to traffic from 9:30 a.m. - noon and from 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. MDT June 2 - 5 and again June 9 - 12. These dates represent a change from those announced previously.

A traffic flagger will be stationed on the Idaho side of the dam. A message board will be placed across the Oxbow Bridge on the Idaho side to provide changes or updates to the road status.

The closure is necessary because of the presence of heavy equipment on the dam while workers remove stop-logs - barriers that keep water from the spill gates while the maintenance is done.

Hells Canyon Dam is owned and maintained by Idaho Power. Completed in 1968, the Hells Canyon hydroelectric project generates up to 391 megawatts of electricity. It is the company's second-largest hydro facility in terms of generation capacity.

Controlled Hunt Drawing Results; Moose, Sheep, Goat

Results for Moose, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goat are now available.

Hunters who have applied for controlled hunts for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat tags can see if they were chosen by going to the Fish and Game web page: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/controlledhunt/results.asp

All of the available tags were drawn in the first drawing. There are no leftover tags.

For more information on hunts for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats go to: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=64

Biologists Trap Grizzlies for Research

ISLAND PARK - As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the distribution of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) is working to inform the public that pre-baiting and scientific trapping operations are once again beginning in the Upper Snake Region.

IDFG biologists make up Idaho's contribution to the larger Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) efforts. Trapping is beginning immediately and will continue until August 26, 2014. Trapping operations can include a variety of activities. Access points in all work areas will be marked with bright orange warning signs. It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs and not enter areas that are posted. Trapping operations will take place within the Island Park Caldera and the Centennial Mountains of Idaho.

Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzlies in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk to attract the bears. If it appears grizzly bears are in a baited area, snares or culvert traps will be used to capture them. Once trapped, the bears are sedated and studied in accordance with strict protocols developed by the IGBST.

Whenever bear trapping activities are being conducted and for a period of three days afterwards, major access points to the trapping site will be marked with bright orange signs. If you see these signs, do not enter the area.

For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts or Idaho's role in grizzly bear management, call 208-525-7290.

Wolverine Plan; Live Web Chat

Your chance to weigh in or ask questions about Fish and Game's plan for wolverine conservation and protection is coming up. Biologists will be available during a live web chat on Tuesday, June 3rd.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has released a draft Wolverine Conservation Plan for a 21-day public review and comment period through June 9th 2014. The web chat is designed to better inform anyone interested in wolverines, or the plan.

The wolverine is an icon of Idaho's high country and one of the Gem State's rarest mammals. About the size of a small bear cub, wolverines are members of the weasel family, which also includes mink, otter, and marten. In the southern extent of their North American range, wolverines occupy high-elevation alpine and subalpine habitats where cold, snowy conditions exist for much of the year.

The plan was developed to proactively lead state efforts to conserve and protect wolverine populations and the habitats they rely on to ensure their long-term viability in Idaho. The plan includes statewide wolverine status and distribution, factors affecting population and habitat, priority areas for conservation, and supporting actions to benefit wolverines in Idaho.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the plan or about wolverines in general can do so during the live chat on June 3rd from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. MDT, and 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT. The draft plan will be considered for adoption by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the July 10 meeting in Salmon.

A copy of the draft wolverine plan is available by clicking:

Draft Idaho Wolverine Conservation Plan 2014-2019

Ask Fish and Game: Jack Salmon Limits

Q: If I am fishing in an area with a 4 fish limit on salmon, and I keep 4 jacks, can I continue fishing for adult salmon if I release any jacks I catch?

A: No. Once you have kept any daily limit, you must discontinue fishing for that day.

Wolf Suspected Domestic Dog Disappearance

Pet owners in the Idaho City area are urged to keep a close eye on their animals after a wolf or wolves apparently killed a domestic dog late Wednesday evening, May 21st. The incident comes on the heels of other wolf sightings in the Idaho City area during the previous week.

Responding to the initial call the following morning, Fish and Game officer Bill London found domestic dog and wolf tracks at the residence where the incident was reported. Physical evidence suggested that the dog had been carried off by one of the wolves. The dog has not been seen since.

"Area pet owners should remain vigilant in keeping their dogs in a secure area," Fish and Game wildlife manager Craig White noted. "Wolves see domestic dogs as a threat, and do not tolerate them well."

The animals were likely members of a wolf pack that became established in the area around Idaho City several years ago.

75th Celebration: Honoring the Fallen

A tribute to Fish and Game employees who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

A series of plaques hang on a wall behind the customer service desk at Idaho Fish and Game's Boise headquarters. Each plaque is adorned with a photograph, a name, and two dates; one for the date on which the person in each photograph was hired, the other commemorates the date on which they died.

There are nine plaques on the wall; above them, a brief sentence reads "Department Employees Killed in the Line of Duty." The wall is a daily reminder for current Fish and Game employees that managing wildlife and enforcing game laws, can be dangerous; that "all give some; some gave all".

On this Memorial Day weekend, during Idaho Fish and Game's 75th year, we pause in our anniversary celebration to remember those Fish and Game employees lost in the line of duty.

Super Hunt Registration Ends This Week

The deadline for hunters hoping for the hunt of a lifetime is quickly approaching. Registration for the first Super Hunt of 2014 is May 31.

Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo tags allow hunters to participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn and moose. This includes general hunts and controlled hunts. To win tag hunters need to purchase entries for the Super Hunt drawings.

Super Hunt tags allow winners to pursue a deer, elk, pronghorn or moose in any open hunt. The Super Hunt Combo winner is able to hunt all four species - deer, elk, pronghorn and moose in any open hunt.

Money raised by the drawings provides hunters and anglers access to private lands through the Access Yes! program.

Winners in the first drawing will be notified by June 10. Entries submitted after the May 31 deadline will automatically be entered in the second drawing. The deadline for the Second drawing is August 10.

Controlled Hunt Deadline Approaching

Time is running out for hunters interested in applying for controlled hunts for deer, elk, pronghorn, fall bear and fall turkey. The application deadline is June 5.

Controlled hunts are hunts with a limited number of tags in a specific area for a specific species. They are like general season hunts, but the number of hunters is limited. Controlled hunts are often desirable because of location and timing; and success rates are usually higher than general season hunts.

To apply for a controlled hunt, residents and nonresidents must have a valid Idaho hunting license and complete the application/worksheet available at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/?getPage=86.

Application forms can be found on page 109 of the current big game hunting regulations. The applications can be mailed, with the proper fees, to any Fish and Game office. Hunters can also apply for controlled hunts in person at any hunting and fishing license vendor or any Fish and Game office.

The 2013 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/.

Information from last year's mandatory hunt reports is also available online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/stats.aspx.

Help Sought in Elk Poaching Case Near Prairie

Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding the recent poaching of a calf elk on the Long Gulch Road just north of the community of Prairie. The poaching incident occurred sometime between May 12th and 14th.

Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) is offering a reward for information in the case and callers can remain anonymous. Contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999 twenty four hours a day.

Responding to the initial report, Fish and Game conservation officer Joey Ishida found the calf shot and left to waste about 25 yards off the Long Gulch Road. There is no open hunting season for elk in the Prairie area during this time of year.

Evidence was collected at the scene, but Ishida hopes to learn more about the case from an eyewitness or others who have knowledge of the poaching incident. "I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this poached calf elk," Ishida stated.

In addition to the CAP hotline, persons with information regarding this case may also contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465 weekdays and Idaho State Police at 208-846-7550 on weekends.

Fish and Game Hosts Fishing Web Chat

Anyone with questions about fishing in Idaho can get answers during a web chat hosted by Fish and Game.

On Thursday, May 22nd from 1:30 to 3:30pm MDT. Fish and Game biologists and other fishing experts will be online, ready to answer questions about anything and everything that has to do with fishing in the Gem State.

People can learn where fishing will be good on Memorial Day weekend, and where to find Chinook salmon this spring and summer. Fisheries manager Dave Parrish will host the chat, and will be joined by numerous biologist and others who can answer almost any question you might have.

To join the conversation go to the following link: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/article/live-chat-fishing-idaho. You can also sign up for an email reminder for the live chat by visiting the page.