Press Release

June 2016

South Fork Salmon Chinook season to close July 4

The good news for anglers is Chinook fishing on the South Fork of the Salmon River will last through the Fourth of July weekend. The bad news is that will wrap up Chinook fishing on the South Fork this year.

Fishing for Chinook salmon on the South Fork Salmon River will close at the end of fishing hours (10 p.m. Mountain Daylight time) Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekly angler surveys indicate that sport anglers will have harvested the non-tribal share of hatchery Chinook salmon returning to the South Fork Salmon River by this time.

Chinook fishing continues on the Clearwater, Upper Salmon, and Boise rivers.

Anglers are reminded that changes to the Chinook seasons and limits may occur on short notice.  Anglers can stay current on the changes by visiting Fish and Game's Salmon page at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/chinook, or by calling the Salmon Hotline at 1-855-287-2702.

‘Capped’ general-season, resident elk tags go on sale July 10

General season deer and elk tags go on sale July 1, but some resident elk tags in nine general seasons are sold in limited numbers known as “capped” elk zones. Tags for these nine zones will go on sale at 10 a.m. (Mountain Daylight Time) on July 10 and will be sold online, through license and tag vendors, or by phone. Fish and Game offices will be closed on July 10.

The sale applies only to these elk tags, and here are the numbers of them available:

Bear River B-tags - 441

Diamond Creek A-tags - 1,146

Dworshak B-tags - 2,118

Elk City B-tags - 1,414

Lolo A-tags - 128

Lolo B-tags - 630

Middle Fork A-tags - 1,168

Middle Fork B-tags - 925

Salmon B-tags - 1,589

Sawtooth A-tags - 496

Sawtooth B-tags - 1,290

Selway A-tags - 179

Selway B-tags – 480

 

The capped tags are sold over-the-counter on a first-come, first-served basis at license vendors, online at https://idfg.idaho.gov, or with a credit card by calling (800) 554-8685. Demand for capped elk zone tags is high, and many are expected to sell fast.  Fish and Game officials adjusted the sale of the tags this year from midnight to 10 a.m. to accommodate hunters who prefer to buy their tags at license vendors. 

Fish and Game offices are closed on weekends, but remaining capped tags will be available there during regular office hours.

The remaining number of capped elk tags available are updated weekly online at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/license/residenttagavailability.

View Chinook salmon at the Fish and Game MK Nature Center

Visitors to the Fish and Game MK Nature Center now have the opportunity to see one of Idaho's most amazing animals: Chinook salmon.

mk_salmon.jpeg
Creative Commons Licence
Photo by Roger Phillips, IDFG

Several Chinook have joined the other fish swimming in the Nature Center's stream.  Fish managers and hatchery workers delivered the salmon to Boise on Friday to give visitors the opportunity to see these amazing fish close-up through viewing windows.  The windows provide visitors the ability to see what things look like from the perspective of creatures that live beneath the water's surface.  Lucky visitors may even get the chance to watch the salmon spawn later this summer.

Fish and Game Commission to meet in Jerome July 6 and 7

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet July 6 and 7 at Fish and Game’s Magic Valley regional office in Jerome. 

A public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6 at 324 S. 417 E., Suite #1.  Persons wanting 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.

The commission meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 7 at the regional office. Routine agenda items include nonresident deer and elk tag quotas; nonresident deer and elk tag outfitter set-aside; release of bighorn sheep tags for auction and lottery; expenditure of Animal Damage Control funds; legislative proposals; and set the proposed fall Chinoook salmon season.

For a complete meeting agenda, see https://idfg.idaho.gov/about/commission/schedule.  Times on the agenda are approximate and subject to change.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director's Office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-368-6185 (TDD).

Big Game controlled hunt drawing results online

Hunters who applied for elk, deer, pronghorn, fall turkey and black bear controlled hunts can check online to see whether they were successful in the recent computerized drawing.

Drawing results are now available at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/CH.

Applicants can enter their hunting license number and follow three simple steps to find out instantly if they were successful or not in the drawing.  Traffic on the website may be heavy at times, so please be patient. 

It is the responsibility of the hunter to determine whether he or she was drawn.  Postcards will be mailed to successful applicants by July 10.

Winners must purchase their controlled hunt tags by August 1.  Any tags not purchased by August 1 will be forfeited.  All unclaimed and leftover tags from the first drawing will be available in a second drawing around August 23, with the application period from August 5 through August 15.

After the second drawing, any leftover tags will be sold first-come, first-served beginning August 25 at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time at any Fish and Game office, license vendor, online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov or by telephone at 800-554-8685.

Chinook coming to the Boise River

To expand opportunity for anglers to fish for one of Idaho's most prized game fish, Idaho Fish and Game will release Chinook salmon into the Boise River on Friday, June 24.

The salmon will be released sometime after noon at the Glenwood, West Parkcenter, Barber Park and Americana release sites.  There will be no parking available at the Americana release site due to construction and space limitations.  Anglers need to park at Ann Morrison Park or other areas. 

Fish and Game hopes to release 100 to 150 salmon, but exact numbers will depend on how many are trapped at the contributing hatchery weir.

"Numbers are not certain, but enough to provide to some great opportunities right here in Boise,” said Sam Sharr, Fish and Game Anadromous Fisheries Coordinator.

Take Hunter Education Now to Avoid the Rush

Hunter education is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1975 who wants to purchase an Idaho hunting license.

The overall goal of the program is the prevention of hunting and firearm related accidents, but emphasis is also placed on improving knowledge about wildlife management, the heritage of hunting, and promoting hunting ethics and responsibility.

Every fall there are parents with youngsters who come to regional offices shortly before the deer season opens, saying they need to take a hunter education course. Late course requests create challenges for the student, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), and the volunteer instructors who teach the instructor-led classes.

IDFG is often able to accommodate student needs by providing independent study or online classes followed by a required field day; or, by finding space in one of the last instructor-led classes.  However, last minute options often require that the prospective hunter make a choice between completing hunter education and attending football or soccer practice, music lessons, back-to-school preparation, or end of the summer family vacations.  It does not need to be that hard or stressful!

If your sights are set on hunting this fall and you need to complete Idaho’s hunter education requirement, now is the perfect time to sign up for a course. Summer is a great time to get into a course, as many are offered in the summer. Early fall classes are also offered. By the time big game seasons start to open, volunteer instructors are heading out to enjoy their own hunting opportunities and the number of available classes decreases. 

Three course options are provided.  An instructor-led course is considered the best option for youth ages 9 to 14, and for individuals having minimal hunting experience. They are easy to sign up for by going to the IDFG website.

South Fork of the Salmon River Chinook fishing Q&A

By Roger Phillips, Idaho Fish and Game public information specialist

South Fork of the Salmon River’s Chinook season can be fun and frustrating. The season opened June 18, and anglers play an anxious game trying to time their fishing trips with arrival of the salmon because after the fish arrive the season can be short and sweet.

Fish and Game has to carefully manage the fishery and ensure anglers don’t over harvest, but still catch their share. The season is typically a fluid situation because anglers are fishing before fisheries managers know exactly how many will be available for harvest. Fish and Game strives to keep people informed so they can best decide when to go fishing.

Here are some common questions people have about the South Fork’s Chinook season:

Q: How many fish are available this year?

A: Fish and Game expects about 1,100 Chinook available for sport anglers fishing in the South Fork this summer, which could change based on how many fish cross Lower Granite Dam. The number is similar to last year’s harvest when anglers took 1,084 hatchery adults and 127 hatchery jacks.

Q: How long will the season last?

A: That’s difficult to answer because it depends on daily catch rates and how many people are fishing.  Last year, the season opened on June 19 and closed July 3. The timing of the run, fishing effort and catch rates ultimately determine how long the harvest share lasts. Fish and Game tries to give 48 hour notice before closing fishing on the South Fork.

Q: How can a person find out how many Chinook have been caught so far?

Leave it better than you found it

With camping and fishing season in full swing and many people enjoying Idaho's outdoors, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to make litter pick-up part of their outdoor routine. 

"Not only is it the right thing to do, but it demonstrates respect and commitment to outdoor ethics and conservation," said Joe DuPont, Fish and Game fisheries manager of Lewiston. "Respectful people preserve the places they enjoy, so why not leave it better than you found it?” 

Picking up that soda can, cigarette butt, or discarded fishing line left by others will not only help clean up the outdoors, but traditions will be enriched as future generations learn by example to be good stewards of the land.  Youth learn very quickly from their parents to either be good caretakers - a positive role model for hunting and fishing, or disrespectful slobs. 

While the vast majority of outdoor enthusiasts are good about taking their trash with them, unfortunately it only takes a few leaving their mess to ruin an area for the rest. 

Littering is the most common reason why landowners don’t allow access on or through their property.  

“Some very popular stretches along the little Salmon River may be closed to access next year because the landowners are just not going to put up with the litter problem anymore,” said DuPont.

That means everyone may pay the price of lost access forever because of the disrespectful actions of a few.   

Leaving trash is not unique to fishing and hunting areas, but one that plagues all areas - along roadways, hiking trails, campgrounds, vehicle pullout areas – basically anywhere people go outdoors. 

The illegal dumping of trash and vandalism of facilities at Fish and Game’s access sites are also common problems.  These areas are maintained for the benefit of recreating public and are paid for with funding from hunters and anglers. 

Cultivate a lifelong fishing buddy – take a kid fishing

For quality time with your family, there's nothing quite like spending a day fishing together. It's a great way to instill a love for the outdoors in your kids, inexpensive and fun.

With many families heading out fishing this summer, the Idaho Fish and Game reminds adults there are a number of things to keep in mind when taking youngsters to make it a happy outing for everyone.

gramps_wilkens_pond_idaho_county
Creative Commons Licence
photo by Mike Demick

 

" Kids grow up fast, so make it fun, be positive and treasure the time spent together outdoors,” said Phil Cooper, Fish and Game conservation educator in Coeur d’ Alene. "Consider it as an investment - do it right and payback time will come years later when they take you fishing."

To help ensure your youngster's fishing trips are not their last, Fish and Game provides the following suggestions:

Fish and Game Commission to meet in Jerome in July

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet July 6 and 7 at Fish and Game’s Magic Valley regional office in Jerome. 

A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6.  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 the next day.

The commission meeting will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 7. Routine agenda items include nonresident deer and elk tag quotas; nonresident deer and elk tag outfitter set-aside; release of bighorn sheep tags for auction and lottery; expenditure of Animal Damage Control funds; legislative proposals; and set the proposed fall Chinoook salmon season.

A full agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director's Office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-368-6185 (TDD).