Press Release

September 2015

Hot summer affects Chinook salmon

It wasn't just sockeye salmon that suffered in this record hot summer of 2015. Idaho Fish and Game's McCall Hatchery made some changes to accommodate over-heated Chinook salmon.

"Because of the water temperatures in the South Fork being in the upper seventies, we were seeing a lot of mortality with fish that we were holding as well as fish that were in the river swimming free,' said Joel Patterson, McCall Hatchery Assistant Manager. "So, those fish were then transported here because of elevated temperatures and low flows."

Normally, the McCall Hatchery houses catchable rainbow trout in the summer, but those fish were moved out early to lower elevation lakes and streams to make room for the Chinook salmon. Instead of spawning the fish at the trap along the South Fork Salmon River, it was done at the McCall Hatchery in late August and early September.

Watch the video of Fish and Game employees spawning Chinook at the McCall Hatchery online at: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/chinooks-hot-summer.

Ask Fish and Game: Stopping at check stations

Q: Do I need to stop at a check station even if I'm unsuccessful?

A: Yes. Idaho Code requires that "all anglers, hunters or trappers must stop and report at a wildlife check station encountered on his route of travel." This includes those with or without game. All those who are fishing, hunting or trapping that day, or are returning from an overnight outing, are required to stop and follow directions of the road-side signs. Those with fish or game are also required by law to produce all wildlife in possession for inspection.

At a check station, you will be asked a series of questions about how many occupants of the vehicle were fishing, hunting or trapping, which hunt unit they were in, and how many animals of which species have been harvested. All of the information collected, including information on unsuccessful trips, is recorded and compared with information from prior seasons. This information serves both as an immediate measure of how the season is going and is used, in part, to help determine final season success and harvest figures.

Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day

On the eve of what may be one of Idaho's best hunting seasons in years, hunters and anglers throughout our state and across the country will be celebrating their historic contributions to wildlife conservation on National Hunting and Fishing Day, Saturday September 26.

First observed in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes the traditions of hunting and fishing, but also decades of contributions made by hunters and anglers to benefit and improve wildlife conservation throughout our country.

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed a proclamation marking National Hunting and Fishing Day in Idaho, recognizing the contributions made to conservation and to the economy of our state by Idahoans who take part in hunting and fishing activities.

Click here to read Governor Otter's proclamation: http://www.sportsmenslink.org/uploads/page/ID%20Proclamation%202015.pdf

Fire Restrictions Lifted on Fish and Game Lands in Clearwater Region

Due to recent widespread rain events throughout many parts of north-central Idaho, Stage I and Stage II fire restrictions will be lifted on Idaho Fish and Game managed lands across the Clearwater Region, effective immediately.

This applies to all Wildlife Management Areas, lakes and reservoirs, and fishing access areas owned or managed by Fish and Game across Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis and Idaho counties.

Contact the Fish and Game office in Lewiston for more information at (208) 799-5010. Please visit http://idahofireinfo.blogspot.com for current information regarding fire restrictions or contact the local land management office.

Reporting Wildlife Violations

Idaho Conservation Officer patrol districts average over a thousand square miles. Within each patrol district, officers have a wide variety of duties to perform.

Many hours are spent performing fisheries and wildlife management work, teaching hunter education, helping landowners and homeowners with wildlife problems, giving classroom and civic group presentations, attending training meetings, and dealing with unexpected fish and wildlife matters that arise in their assigned district.

With all the things a Conservation Officer has to deal with, it can be a challenge for the public to contact them.

If everything happened between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday, it would be easy. The regional office on Kathleen Ave in Coeur d'Alene is open during these regular business hours (excluding holidays) and people can walk in or call IDFG at 769-1414. But that only covers a third of the hours in a day and not every day of the week.

Many people, including IDFG officers, have cancelled their home phones and now only have cell phones. But with cell numbers not being in the phone book, what does a person do to contact fish and game when the regional office is closed?

For emergencies or to report violations in progress, the first option is to call the local Sheriff's office or the Idaho State Police. Conservation Officers have radio contact with these agencies and they communicate frequently by radio.

The problem with calling an officer's cell phone number if you have it, is that many places in Idaho are outside of cell phone range. If you call and leave a message on a cell phone about a violation in progress, the call has reached a temporary dead end. The officer will not hear your message until returning to cell phone range and it may be too late to address a need.

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule for Southwest Idaho

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 18,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during October. Local ponds are the primary focus of this stocking effort due to cooler weather and correspondingly cooler water temperatures.

LOCATION - WEEK STOCKED - NUMBER OF TROUT

Boise River, above Glenwood Bridge - October 5, 19 - 1,080/1,080

Boise River, below Glenwood Bridge - October 5, 19 - 1,080/1,080

Caldwell Pond #2 - October 5 - 500

Duff Lane Pond (Middleton) - October 5 - 225

Eagle Island Park Pond - October 5 - 450

Eds Pond (Emmett) - October 5 - 200

Heroes Park Pond (Meridian) - October 19 - 150

Kleiner Pond (Meridian) - October 5 - 900

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds - September 28 - 600

Marsing Pond - September 28 - 450

McDevitt Pond (Boise) - October 5, 19 - 450/450

Merrill Pond (Eagle) - October 5, 19 - 125/125

Mill Pond (Horseshoe Bend) - October 5 - 900

Parkcenter Pond (Boise) - October 5 - 900

Payette Greenbelt Pond - October 12 - 450

Payette River (Plaza Bridge - Emmett) - October 5 - 500

Riverside Pond (Boise) - October 5, 19 - 360/360

Rotary Pond (Caldwell) - October 5 - 1,100

Sawyers Ponds (Emmett) - October 5 - 900

Sego Prairie Pond (Kuna) - October 19 - 225

Settlers Park Pond (Meridian) - October 5, 19 - 125/125

Veterans Park Pond (Boise) - October 5 - 450

Weiser Community Pond - October 12 - 500

Williams Pond (Boise) - October 5 - 450

Wilson Springs (Nampa) - Sept. 28, Oct. 19 - 250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa) - Sept. 28, October 5, 19, 26 - 400/400/400/400

The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.

Fish and Game to host dutch oven breakfast in Lewiston

The Clearwater Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will provide a Dutch Oven breakfast at a sportsperson meeting to be held Wednesday, October 7th at 3316 16th street in Lewiston.

The meeting begins at 6:30 a.m. and will include presentations on big game hunting outlook, significant enforcement cases, habitat improvement program (HIP), fall fishing season updates and other related activities.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in wildlife and is designed to stimulate informal discussion about local wildlife issues. Coffee, juice and a breakfast meal will be provided free-of-charge on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, contact the Fish and Game office in Lewiston at 208-799-5010.

Trapper Education Course Slated in Nampa

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be offering a two-day trapper education course October 24th and 31st from 8am to 12 noon each day at the Fish and Game Regional Office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, in Nampa.

Register for the course by accessing the Hunter/Bowhunter Education link on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. Register early as space is limited to 12 persons.

A variety of topics will be covered that promote safe, responsible trapping and outline the role trapping plays in wildlife population management. Portions of both days will be devoted to field work, during which students will learn selective trapping techniques for many different species, as well as fur handling and pelt preparation methods.

The course is open to persons of all trapping skill levels, including those who would like to become trapping instructors. Recognized by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the course is accepted nationwide by states that require a trapper education course to receive a trapping license.

For more information regarding the course, please call the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465.

Lewiston Area Youth Pheasant Clinic Scheduled Oct. 3rd

A chance to hunt ring-necked pheasants awaits young hunters who sign up for a youth pheasant clinic scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd from 8:30am-4:00pm in Genesee.

The clinic is free and intended for first-time hunters 12 through 15 years of age who have already completed a hunter education course and hold a valid 2015 Idaho hunting license. Shotgun and shells will be provided. An adult supervisor must accompany each young hunter throughout the clinic.

Along with the pheasant hunt, participants will learn about wildlife conservation, bird identification, dog handling, and clay target shooting. There will be special emphasis on safety, ethics and hunting traditions.

"We hope to provide an unforgettable experience with the intent to increase the interest young people have in upland game hunting and wildlife conservation," says Jay Roach, North Idaho Pheasants Forever chapter president.

"Participants will have the opportunity to hunt using trained bird dogs. It is amazing to watch these dogs work," says Bill Seybold, Idaho Fish and Game Clearwater Region, Hunter Education Coordinator.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. Youth wishing to participate should contact the Clearwater Region office at 799-5010 no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 25th. Detailed information will be provided to those who register in advance. No walk-ins will be accepted.

This event would not be possible without our sponsors; Flying B Ranch, Pheasant Forever, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Snake River Gun Dog Association, Genesee Gun Club, and Latah Wildlife Association.

Lewiston Area Area Youth Have Chance at a Steelhead

Young anglers ages 8-14 are invited to participate in the annual Steelhead Clinic held on Thursday, October 29th from 7:00-9:00pm and Saturday, October 31st from 8:00am -3:00pm. Both events will be held at the Idaho Fish and Game regional office on 16th street in Lewiston.

Life history of a steelhead, fishing gear, and various fishing techniques will be presented during the Thursday night classroom session. Saturday, October 31st will feature an on the water fishing experience. Students will be paired with a mentor and will be able to go out for a day on a drift or jet boat to practice their new skills!

"This clinic has been a tradition for many years and we are happy to share our knowledge with area youth," says fisheries biologist Brett Bowersox.

Clinic participants are required to have a valid 2015 Idaho fishing license. Youth should be dressed for the weather and should bring a life jacket and lunch. Idaho Fish and Game will supply all the needed fishing gear/equipment, boats, fishing instruction and some snacks. Thanks to Black Sheep Sporting Goods for donating a portion of steelhead fishing gear for this event.

Advance registration is required and space is limited. To learn more or to register for this free clinic, contact the Lewiston Parks & Recreation office at 208-746-2313.

New guide for novice hunters online

By Roger Phillips, Idaho Fish and Game public information specialist

Never hunted? Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it may appear at first glance. Idaho Fish and Game has devoted a web page to help novices understand the basics, including what they need to get started, what game is available and where to go.

The information is in an easy-to-understand format that allows you to easily navigate Fish and Game's website and get the information needed to start hunting. You can see it at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunting/beginners-guide.

Fish and Game understands hunting can be intimidating to a novice because hunting rules are so comprehensive. Idaho has more than 450 species of wildlife, and many are pursued by hunters during different seasons, in different places and by different hunting methods (rifle, bow, shotgun, etc.).

That means a lot of hunting rules, but beginners shouldn't be overwhelmed. The department will walk you through the process of becoming a hunter. Fish and Game even offers a "Hunting Passport" program for anyone who's never had a hunting license (in Idaho or elsewhere) that allows you to a buy a hunting license for the discounted price of $1.75. It is good for one calendar year, but you must hunt with a mentor age 18 or older who possesses a valid Idaho hunting license.

Small game and upland birds are good quarry for new hunters because all a person needs is a hunting license, and he or she can hunt cottontail rabbits, forest grouse, California and bobwhite quail, chukar, gray partridge, pheasant and more.

There's also information on the web page to help a new hunter get started pursuing waterfowl, turkeys and popular big-game animals like deer and elk, both of which are possible for novices to harvest.

South Fork Salmon River Road to Close Temporarily for Construction

The Boise and Payette National Forests plan to temporarily close the South Fork Salmon River Road September 28 through October 2 in order to replace two culverts and complete asphalt repairs.

The road will be closed from approximately 2.5 miles north of the South Fork Salmon River junction with Warm Lake Highway to the Poverty Flat campground at mile post 13.5. Alternate routes to the general area are the Johnson Creek Road and the Lick Creek Road.

More information is available both Forest Service websites: http://www.fs.usda.gov/boise or http://www.fs.usda.gov/payette/