Press Release

June 2014

Chinook Salmon Return to Boise River

To expand opportunity for anglers to fish for one of Idaho's most prized game fish, Idaho Fish and Game will be releasing Chinook salmon into the Boise River on July 2nd.

The salmon will be released sometime after noon at the Glenwood Bridge, the Americana Bridge and Barber Park locations only.

Any angler wishing to harvest Chinook salmon from the Boise River must possess a valid Idaho fishing license and a salmon permit. Anglers will be allowed to keep 2 Chinook salmon per day, regardless of size. The possession limit will be 6 Chinook salmon, regardless of size. Jack salmon (those less than 24 inches) must be included in those limits. Adult salmon (those 24 inches or longer) must be recorded on an angler's salmon permit.

For a complete list of rules for Chinook fishing on the Boise River, pick up a rules brochure at any Fish and Game office. The brochure is also available online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/fish/chinook

75th - Celebrating the Nation's Icon

The bald eagle soared off the endangered species list in 2007, rebounding from 417 breeding pairs in the continental United States in 1967 to over 10,000 today. The recovery and delisting of the nation's symbol marks a major achievement in conservation. Idaho's breeding bald eagle population has experienced a 20-fold increase, growing from about a dozen known nesting territories in 1979 to more than 250 today.

Uniquely North American, the bald eagle has a long and symbolic history in the United States. It first appeared on an American coin in 1776, and became the national emblem in 1782 when around 100,000 nesting pairs lived throughout the United States, ranging from Alaska to northern Mexico. But by 1963, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that only 417 nesting pairs remained in the lower 48 states.

Beginning in 1940, Congress attempted to protect the bald eagle by passing the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which made it a crime to take or sell the eagles. But it was the chemical DDT, developed after World War II as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides, which really took a toll on the bald eagle and other raptor species. DDT accumulated in the birds and caused them to lay eggs with thin shells. Concerns about the bald eagle resulted in its protection in 1967 under the predecessor to the current Endangered Species Act (ESA). As a result, the bald eagle was one of the first species protected by the ESA when it was enacted in 1973.

Today, large concentrations of wintering bald eagles in Idaho can be found along Lake Coeur d'Alene, Lake Pend Oreille, and sections of the Snake, Salmon and Boise rivers.

To learn more about bald eagles in Idaho and other 75th Celebration stories, go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/75th.

Hagerman WMA Ponds Open for Salvage Fishing

Three ponds in the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area will be open for salvage fishing from July 1 to September 30, 2014. Bag, possession and size limits will be removed for all species except white sturgeon on the West Highway Pond, Anderson Pond #3 and Anderson Pond #4. These ponds have been overrun with carp. Fish managers will be eliminating all fish in these ponds so they can be restocked with game fish only.

Fish and Game has already removed many game fish from these ponds for restocking. The Department would like to give residents the opportunity to catch any remaining game fish so they won't be wasted.

To take advantage of the salvage order, anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license. With the exception of firearms, explosives, chemicals and electricity, fish (except for white sturgeon) may be taken with any method, including seines and dip nets. All fish must be killed before transport from the ponds.

For more information, contact the Magic Valley Region fisheries staff at 208-324-4359.

Fish & Game Commission to Meet in Salmon

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet Wednesday and Thursday, July 9 and 10 at the Salmon Region Office, 99 Highway 93 North in Salmon.

A public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 9. Members of the public who want to address the Commission on any topic having to do with Fish and Game business may do so at the public hearing. All testimony will be taken into consideration when the commission makes decisions on agenda items at the meeting.

On Thursday July 10, the meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the same location. Agenda items include season setting for mourning dove, sandhill crane and fall Chinook salmon. The Commission will hear from staff regarding the recommendations from the Regional Working Groups on how to reduce conflicts between trapping and domestic dogs; possible discounting of nonresident deer and elk tags; nonresident deer and elk tag outfitter set-aside tags; acquisition of land for a potential Wildlife Management Area; release of bighorn sheep tags for auction and lottery and a wolverine management plan.

The meeting will include updates on the FY 2016 preliminary budget, legislative proposals, and status reports concerning Migratory game birds and Sage-grouse.

A complete agenda will be available by July 7 on Fish and Game's website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/commission/?getPage=184.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Fish and Game Director's Office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529.

Fishing Line Recycling Program Keeps Local Waters Tangle-free

In an effort to keep the Salmon River and local family fishing waters tangle free, the Salmon Region of Idaho Fish and Game and Salmon Valley Stewardship have launched the Reel In & Recycle program to promote the proper disposal of monofilament fishing line.

Fishing line recycling bins are now stationed at 20 popular boat access and family fishing sites from North Fork to Jimmy Smith Lake.

"Reel In & Recycle is dedicated to keeping our waterways clean and free of debris," said Fish and Game wildlife biologist Beth Waterbury. "Discarded fishing line accounts for many wildlife injuries and deaths from entanglement. This program will help reduce those tragic incidents while cleaning up our shorelines." Waterbury noted that monofilament fishing line, made of high-density nylon, can last up to 600 years in the environment.

Salmon Valley Stewardship is a proud Reel In & Recycle partner. "This project is a perfect fit for our organization," said SVS executive director Gina Knudson. "Reel In & Recycle offers a community-based solution to help steward our beautiful rivers and lakes." SVS interns Anna Foust and Kristin Nesbit, both college biology majors, recently helped Idaho Fish and Game install recycling bins at Kids Creek Pond, the Lemhi Hole, and Island Park in Salmon.

Idaho Fish and Game and SVS are seeking volunteers to adopt collection bins. Adoption would entail periodic collection of fishing line from bins and delivery of collected line to the Fish and Game office in Salmon. From there, fishing line will be packaged and shipped to Berkley Conservation Institute to be recycled into underwater fish habitat structures.

"These recycling bins make safe disposal of fishing line more convenient and accessible to anglers," said Waterbury. "I urge everyone visiting our rivers, lakes, and ponds to utilize this new recycling program."

Ask Fish and Game: Barbless Hooks in Boise River

Q: Do I have to use a barbless hook if fishing for salmon in the Boise River?

A: No. The barbless rule in most Chinook salmon fisheries is designed to minimize harm to wild and natural salmon which are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Because no wild salmon return to the Boise River, the barbless requirement is not necessary.

Fish & Game Revisits Controlled Hunt Decision

Idaho Fish and Game has heard from many concerned hunters and parents about our decision this week to allow 9 through 11 year olds to remain in the recently completed controlled hunt drawing. In response, Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore has decided to give this a second look and will make an announcement early next week.

A new law which takes effect July 1, allows these young hunters to hunt big game, if they are 10 years old by the time they go hunting. Because the first drawing occurred before July 1, these young hunters were ineligible to apply. However, it appears many parents were not aware of this because more than 1,000 ineligible youngsters were entered into the drawing, mainly as part of group applications. Idaho Fish and Game decided to allow these young hunters to remain in the drawing due to administrative and customer service reasons, which include avoiding a delay in releasing the drawing results.

Fish and Game has received numerous phone calls and emails from hunters all over the state who feel that a different solution is necessary. With that in mind, Fish and Game is revisiting this situation to discuss whether there is a more suitable way to rectify this decision. The discussion will continue during the next several days until a final plan of action is reached.

Fish and Game apologizes to all hunters for the confusion, and appreciates the input we have received in recent days.

Controlled Hunt Results Available

Results for Idaho's 2014 controlled hunts for deer, elk and pronghorn are now posted on the Idaho Fish at Game website. Hunters can check results at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/CH Check your hunting license for your license number, have it ready, and follow the steps. High interest in these results is causing some delays on the Fish and Game website. We appreciate your patience.

A new law that goes into effect July 1 allowing 10 and 11 year olds to hunt big game caused some confusion during this application period and resulted in more than 1,000 controlled hunt applications that included 10 and 11 year olds, mainly in group applications. Even though the law doesn't take effect for a few more days, and the drawing occurred before then, Idaho Fish and Game decided to allow the applications to remain in the drawing for administrative and customer services reasons.

Because the vast majority of these applications were controlled hunt group applications submitted with other family members, removing those that included 10 and 11 year olds would have disqualified approximately 2,500 additional individuals who otherwise would have been eligible to participate in the drawing.

Removing, and/or correcting all 1,000 plus applications from the drawing, would have taken significantly more time and delayed completion of the drawing and the release of results to our customers.

We apologize to those who wanted to submit controlled hunt applications on behalf of their child but didn't because the new law was not yet in effect. Given the number of applications received, Fish and Game leaders felt this was the best option available. Because the new law will be in place July 1, 10 and 11 year olds will be eligible to put in for the next controlled hunt application held in August, or they may purchase general season big game tags.

Chinook Harvest Restricted on Little Salmon

Anglers in the fisheries for spring Chinook Salmon returning to Rapid River Hatchery have caught more than 90% of the non-tribal harvest share of that return.

Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore has signed an order restricting the harvest of adult Chinook salmon on the Little Salmon River. At the end of fishing on Friday, June 27, harvest of Chinook 24 inches or longer will not be allowed from the mouth of the Little Salmon upstream to the Pollock Bridge at milepost 190 on Highway 95. Anglers can continue to harvest jack salmon (those less then 24 inches) in this river section. Any salmon 24 inches or longer must be released immediately. Anglers may keep up to 4 adipose-clipped jacks per day until further notice.

Harvest of adipose-clipped adult and jack Chinook remains open from the Pollock Bridge upstream to Smokey Boulder Road until further notice.

Osprey Boat Cruise Planned for July 12

The osprey is a fish-eating hawk common to northern Idaho. At least 100 pairs nest annually in the Coeur d'Alene Lake region including the lower reaches of the St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene Rivers.

Adult osprey along with the young of the year birds begin their annual migration in mid-September, traveling all the way to Baja California, Central America, and many all the way to South America. The adults return in late winter/early spring to the area where they originally hatched.

The University of Idaho and the Idaho Fish and Game Department have been studying and banding ospreys at Coeur d'Alene Lake for over 25 years. The work is done to determine survival and mortality rates and to further define the migration patterns and wintering areas of the population.

To conduct this research, young of the year pre-flight osprey are briefly taken from nests just before fledging. A band with a unique number is gently applied to one leg, and the 6-7 week old birds are safely placed back in the nests.

You may be wondering what the adult osprey think of the process. The adults take flight when the research boat approaches. They make their displeasure known with loud, screeching calls intended to scare the biologists away and to tell the young osprey to lie down flat in an effort to hide. Yet, these brave biologists have over 30 years of experience banding osprey and they can understand Ôosprey' language. Knowing the osprey are only using scare tactics, they go about their work and get away from the nests in no time flat.

The banding process goes very quickly. After the leg bands are applied and the biologists move away, the adults immediately return to the nests to find their young safe and secureÉbut sporting new leg bands.

75th Celebration; Digital Tools for the Digital Age

In the digital age not many people stop to think about how word of Ôgood fishing' spread in 1938. Few had telephones. If they did, word of a hot fishing location might Ôaccidently' spread by people listening on the party-line telephone system, or by the operator, who routed calls, telling a friend; but most fishing reports spread by word-of-mouth. In 1938, as it is today, the information was always suspect because everyone knew two truths about anglers. First, they all lie; and second, a true angler would never divulge detailed information about where fishing was really good!

Things have changed in 2014. The timeless desire to tell a fishing and hunting story is being blogged, tweeted and Facebooked. This often happens from locations where anglers are catching fish (or not) within seconds of landing the Ôbig one,' or hunters posing for the Ôbeauty shot' from the field.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has also taken their Ôgame' to the digital age in developing the online Hunt and Fishing Planners for the sporting public.

In 1938, it would be safe to assume no one ever dreamed of Idaho Fish and Game offering powerful tools like the Hunt Planner and Fishing Planners. Since we launched our desk-top planners, technological advances have expanded the information we can provide our customers at the touch of your phone or a click of your mouse.

For more on this story and other 75th Celebration stories, go to: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/75th.

New Photo Gallery Added to Fish and Game's Website

Do you have a photo from a recent Idaho hunting or fishing adventure you want to share? How about a photo you've taken of wildlife in Idaho? You can submit your favorite photos electronically to Fish and Game's website.

To see what others have shared or to submit your own photo, go to https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/gallery.

All photos must be taken in Idaho. Hunting and fishing photos should display the animals in a tasteful manner. Please submit sharp, clear, color photographs accompanied with the following information:

  • Name and email of person submitting photo.
  • Date and general location photo was taken.
  • Brief caption describing the content of the photo (e.g., Jennifer Smith, age 12, with her first deer).
  • Brief stories are encouraged, but not required.

Digital photos should be less than 8 megabytes in JPG, PNG, or JPEG formats. Fish and Game retains all rights to accepted submissions and reserves the right to reproduce or reprint, with proper credit, photos in other publications, on television, web sites and other media.

Below are some tips for composing photographs:

  • On all but the brightest days, use a flash to reduce shadows.
  • Get close. Fill the viewfinder with your subject.
  • Experiment with different compositions - position of the person and subject, background settings, camera angles, etc.
  • Try to take photos in the field before you field dress your harvested animal. If the photos are taken after the animal is field dressed, please clean up as much as possible.
  • Keep the light in the face of the person and make sure hats or other clothing are not shadowing his or her face.