Press Release

July 2016

Homestead Trail Now Open

The popular Homestead Trail – part of the Boise River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) – is once again open for use by foothills recreationists. The trail was closed after the Table Rock wildfire roared through the area, burning more than 2,500 acres, and nearly 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat on the WMA. “We’re happy to re-open the trail to foothills users,” Fish and game regional habitat manager Jerry Deal noted.

The only caveat is that users stay on the trail; cross-country travel through any burned area within the WMA is prohibited.

Upper Salmon River Chinook season to close July 31

Idaho Fish and Game will close fishing for Chinook salmon on the Salmon River from the Copper Mine boat ramp about 2.5 miles upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River upstream to a posted boundary approximately 100 yards downstream of the weir and trap at the Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley at the end of fishing hours (10 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time) on July 31, 2016.

Project WILD Workshop Will Focus on Wildlife, Water, Trees and Words

If you are an educator who has participated in a Project WILD, Project WET, or Project Learning Tree workshop, then you are already aware of some of the innovative tools available for teaching science and environmental education to students of all ages. But did you know there is one workshop that ties all three "Projects" together with a special focus on literature?

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Idaho Forest Products Commission, and the University of Idaho are sponsoring a "Focus on Literature" workshop for educators. This workshop will help teachers link science and environmental education with reading and writing in their classrooms.

A Focus on Literature workshop will be held at the Fish and Game office in Coeur d’Alene, 2885 W Kathleen Ave. The workshop will run from 8am through 4pm on Wednesday August 3 and Thursday August 4.

Focus on Literature is ideal for any educator-schoolteachers (K-12), Head Start instructors, 4-H leaders, scoutmasters, docents, afterschool program teachers, and home school educators.

Advance registration is required. The registration fee for this workshop is $40. As an option, participants can attend the workshop for university credit at an additional cost ($60 - $75 depending upon institution chosen for credit). Typically, an outside assignment is required for those taking it for credit.

Workshop participants will learn about Idaho's wildlife, habitats, forests, and water resources as well as the value, use, and management of those resources.

Participants will also take home a variety of educational materials, including their choice of activity guides from one of the programs (Project WILD, Project WET, and Project Learning Tree) as well as posters, books, and a host of other materials, tools, and project ideas perfect for any classroom setting.

Don’t forget to buy your controlled hunt tags by August 1

Big game hunters who were successful in drawing controlled hunt tags for deer, elk, pronghorn, and black bear have until midnight Mountain Daylight Time, Monday, August 1 to buy their tags.

It is the individual applicant's responsibility to check online at, or watch for a post card to see if they were drawn for a tag. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified.

Tags may be purchased at any Fish and Game office, any license vendor, by telephone at (800-554-8685), or online from Fish and Game’s website.

“Every year we have people contact us after the deadline,” said Michael Pearson, Fish and Game administration bureau chief. “Please call your hunting partners, family and friends to remind them to buy their controlled hunt tags so they can enjoy the benefits of drawing those tags.” 

Last year, Idaho elk hunters with controlled-hunt tags were more than twice as likely to harvest as general-season elk hunters (45.6 percent vs. 21.7 percent). Deer hunters weren’t far off with 60 percent of those who drew a controlled hunt harvesting a deer vs. 43 percent success for general-season hunters. 

Any controlled hunt tag not purchased by midnight (MDT) Monday, August 1, except unlimited tags, will be forfeited and made available in a second drawing.

A change this year combines all unsold tags, including controlled hunts that start in early August, into a single, second drawing.  In the past, Fish and Game made the tags for early season controlled hunts available first-come, first-served in early August. Some August controlled hunts will already be in progress when the second drawing occurs, but there will be plenty of hunting time available for most of those hunts.  

Fish and Game Commission to meet August 8 in Boise

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet Monday, August 8 at Fish and Game’s Headquarters office, 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

Commissioners will consider proposed seasons for sage-grouse, approve the fiscal 2018 budget, and hear a briefing on nonbiological rules for all game animals.

There will be no public hearing during this one-day meeting, but the public is welcome to attend.

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 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).

Keep a clean camp to avoid bear conflicts

With summer temperatures continuing to increase and natural food sources for bears becoming harder to find, potential for human interactions with bears are on the rise.

With thousands of campers, anglers, and hikers venturing outdoors, Idaho Fish and Game encourages people to be mindful of their food and garbage.  The same cautions apply to homeowners in bear country.

Grizzly in camp
Creative Commons Licence
Gregg Losinski, IDFG


"It is important for campers and homeowners to be proactive so they don't attract bears," said Gregg Losinski, Fish and Game conservation educator.  "Don't wait until it's a problem, because once bears become accustomed to an easy food source - they will return and conflicts will continue."

Bears can travel great distances while switching from spring to summer foods and when berries and other natural foods become scarce, human related attractants such as food and even garbage, becomes appealing.

Mile Marker 14 Fire prompts closure of Boise River Wildlife Management Area

Because of the Mile Marker 14 wildfire burning northeast of Boise, Idaho Fish and Game closed portions of its Boise River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to the public. 

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, July 21, the fire was 60 percent contained and burning northeast of the WMA in the Mores Creek Bridge and Deer Creek areas.

So far, the fire has burned about 4,306 acres of land managed by the Idaho Fish and Game and various federal agencies. 

The fire started Tuesday afternoon near Hilltop Summit on State Highway 21.  Afternoon winds and hot temperatures quickly helped the fire expand to several hundred acres.  At Fish and Game’s WMA field office, two outbuildings were burned and numerous trees scorched.  The extent of damage to the WMA, which is critical winter range for big game and other wildlife, has not yet been determined, but planning for rehabilitation projects is already underway.

“Volunteers will be at the heart of the rehabilitation efforts on the WMA fires, including fall seedling planting and native seed collection,” said Michael Young, Fish and Game volunteer coordinator.  “Folks interested in helping out can sign up on the contact list and we’ll notify them of our future plans.”     

Those interested in volunteering can sign up here    

The cause of the fire was human caused and is under investigation. 

More details on the Mile Marker 14 Fire and other fires burning in Idaho are available on the InciWeb fire information website at

First sockeye of 2016 arrives in Stanley

Sockeye Salmon
Creative Commons Licence
Roger Phillips
Idaho Fish and Game crews welcomed the first sockeye of the summer back to the Stanley area on Tuesday, July 19. The fish completed a 900-mile journey that included crossing through eight dams and swimming 6,500 vertical feet of elevation from the ocean to Stanley. 

Hopefully, it will be followed by more sockeye. Through July 19, an estimated 1,029 sockeye bound for Idaho had crossed Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. Of those, 730 had crossed Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, which is about 25 miles downstream from Lewiston and the last dam the fish cross before reaching Idaho. 

After crossing Lower Granite Dam, the fish still have to swim about 400 miles to return to their spawning grounds in the Stanley area. 

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 29,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during August.


Location                                                    Week Stocked                           Number of Trout


Boise River - above Glenwood Bridge         August 8, 22                          1,440/1,440

Boise River - below Glenwood Bridge         August 8, 22                             720/720

Boise River, Middle Fork                                August 8                                  2,000

Boise River, North Fork                               August 1, 22                          2,000/2,000

Browns (Airport) Pond (McCall)                  August 1, 29                             500/500  

Bull Trout Lake, Little #1 (Grandjean)           August 15                                  750


Bull Trout Lake, Little #2 (Grandjean)            August 3                                   200

Council (Ol’ McDonald) Pond                       August 29                                  500

Crooked River (Idaho City)                            August 8                                   500

Fischer Pond (Cascade)                               August 1, 29                             750/750

Fish Lake (McCall)                                        August 29                                 1,500

Gold Fork River (Donnelly)                            August 1                                   750


Kimberland Meadows Pond (New Meadows) August 29                                  500

Lake Fork Creek (Lake Fork)                         August 8                                   300

Lake Fork Creek, North Fork (Lake Fork)      August 8                                   200

Fish and Game discounts nonresident elk tags sold as second tags

Elk hunters can double their hunting opportunity at a discount in August by buying a second tag to extend their season and have a chance to harvest two elk.

Starting Aug. 1, nonresident elk tags will be $299 when purchased as a second tag, which is discounted from the regular price of $416. It will return to the regular price on September 1.

Sandhill crane tags available starting August 1

Hunters are reminded that Sandhill crane will be available on a first-come first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m. (MDT) August 1.

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Tags can be purchased at Fish and Game license vendors, online at, or with a credit card by calling (800) 554-8685.

Hunters can find Sandhill crane hunting information in the new 2016-2017 Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Rules brochure, which now includes season information for waterfowl, Sandhill crane, dove and crow.  The brochure is available online at, or at license vendors by July 22.

Sandhill tag numbers were increased to a total of 465 tags, season lengths were extended in some hunt areas, and a small section of the Jefferson County Hunt Area was closed.  The daily limit is two birds for all hunts, and the season limit is two birds for each hunter.

Waterfowl seasons will be similar to last year, except seasons in northern and eastern Idaho will begin two weeks earlier than last year to allow hunting opportunities prior to wetlands freezing. Overall, hunters will enjoy a 105 day season for ducks and Canada geese with a 2-day youth hunt scheduled statewide on September 24 and 25, 2016.

The daily bag limit is seven ducks; but not more than two female mallards, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails, or two canvasbacks.