Press Release

August 2016

Red Top Pond gets big improvements for anglers

Anglers have another fishing opportunity and improved facilities at the Red Top Pond near Caldwell. Idaho Fish and Game recently added a fishing dock and parking area to the 20-acre pond. It has warmwater fish, such as bass and bluegill, which have existed for years and are self-sustaining populations.

Hunters still have options for big game controlled hunts

Hunters who were unsuccessful in the first drawing for controlled hunts in June have more chances with a second controlled hunt drawing and Super Hunts.

Second draw

Over 2,800 deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear controlled hunt tags will be available for hunters in the second controlled hunt drawing.  Hunters can apply for these tags from August 5 through August 15.  Results of the drawing will be available around August 23.  Any tags not drawn after the second drawing will be sold first-come, first-served August 25 at 10 a.m. Mountain Time.

Any controlled hunt tags left unclaimed with an early August start date will go through the second application and draw process.  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. 

A list of available tags by hunt number is available on Fish and Game’s website under the “Featured” section at      

Hunters can apply at Fish and Game license vendors, by telephone at 800-554-8685, or online at Fish and Game's website.  The application fee is $6.25 for residents and $14.75 for nonresidents for each species.

For information on rules and dates for specific hunts, consult the current big game seasons and rules brochure or the Fish and Game website.

Super Hunt

Another option for hunters is the Idaho Super Hunt drawing, and the deadline for entry is August 10.

The August Super Hunt drawing is for two elk tags, two deer tags, two pronghorn tags and one moose tag, and one Super Hunt Combo (one tag for each of those species). Winners will be drawn and notified in mid-August.

Fish and Game Commission to meet August 8 in Boise

Setting of sage grouse seasons will be a major item on the agenda when the Idaho Fish and Game Commission meets in Boise August 8.

The commission will meet at 10:00 a.m. at Fish and Game’s Headquarters office, 600 S. Walnut.

Commissioners will also approve the fiscal 2018 budget, consider a proclamation restricting take of Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Bear, and consider revising the boundary of the Hagerman goose closure. 

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

In addition, Idaho Fish and Game has posted a notice of intent to promulgate rules, including a public comment summary concerning the rule proposals for the Greater Yellowstone Population of Grizzly Bears. This summary is available at

A full agenda is now posted on the Fish and Game website at

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).

August 1 is the deadline to purchase controlled hunt tags; discounted second elk tags also go on sale

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

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

Any controlled hunt tags not purchased by the deadline, except unlimited tags, will be forfeited and made available in a second drawing.  The application period for the second drawing runs from August 5 - 15, with the drawing to be held around August 23.

This year, Fish and Game will not hold a separate first-come, first-served sale on controlled hunt tags with an early August start date.  Any controlled hunt tags left unclaimed with an early August start date will go through the second application and draw process.  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.

Discounted Second Elk Tags

Also, starting August 1, unsold nonresident elk tags will be discounted to $299 (plus $1.75 vendor fee) when purchased as second tags through the month of August.  Starting September 1, these nonresident elk tags will be available as second tags at the regular price while supplies last.

Second deer tags are also available beginning August 1 but will not be discounted due to high demand.  The price for second deer tags is $300.00 (plus $1.75 vendor fee) while supplies last.

Second tags come from the nonresident quota (12,815 elk tags and 15,500 deer tags).  Starting in 2000, unsold nonresident tags have been made available to residents and nonresidents as second tags (about 70 percent) are sold to residents.

If the nonresident quota sells out, second tags will no longer be available for the 2016 big game season.

Idaho man wins bighorn sheep tag in lottery

Matt Hansen of Idaho Falls was the lucky winner of a hunting tag from the 24th Annual Bighorn Sheep tag lottery drawing July 27. The tag is offered under a partnership between Idaho Fish and Game and the Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation. 

“I’m beyond excited to get it,” Hansen said. 

He plans to hunt Hells Canyon or the Mount Borah area, both of which are prime areas for trophy bighorn sheep. This will be Hansen’s first opportunity to hunt bighorns, and it was his first time applying in the bighorn lottery. 

bighorn ram, by Roger Phillips, IDFG
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Photo by Roger Phillips, IDFG

The lottery raised $73,413 that will be spent towards the benefit and enhancement of bighorn sheep in Idaho. The Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation has been hosting this bighorn lottery since 1992 with the proceeds going back to Fish and Game for sheep research and habitat development.

Early hunts are great options with unique challenges

With a number of hunting opportunities opening in early August on or near private lands, Idaho Fish and Game reminds hunters that they can increase their success and avoid potential conflicts by obtaining landowner permission in advance and taking extra precautions to properly care for their harvested game.

pronghorn horns antelope
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Jason Beck

Most of the hunts that open in early August are designed to help reduce chronic crop damage for landowners. Some hunts are restricted to areas outside National Forest boundaries and within one mile of private lands in agricultural production. Other hunts are restricted to private lands only and hunters participating in these hunts must secure permission to hunt on private property.

Chinook fishing to close on most of Idaho rivers

Most of Idaho's remaining Chinook salmon fishing seasons will come to a close Sunday, August 14.

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Idaho Fish and Game will close fishing for Chinook salmon on the mainstem Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, and Lochsa rivers at the end of fishing hours (9 p.m. Pacific Time) on August 14, 2016.

Fisheries objectives for the nontribal sport fishery will be achieved in the Clearwater River drainage by this time.  

The Chinook salmon fishing season continues on the Boise River through August 30. The daily limit is two salmon, regardless of size. Fishing is permitted 24 hours a day and barbless hooks are not required.

Although the spring/summer Chinook season are ending, fall Chinook seasons will open September 1 on parts of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. 

Rapid River hatchery closed to the public until July 2017

Rapid River Hatchery near Riggins, ID, including the adjacent day-use park, will be closed to the public from Aug. 1, 2016, until July 2017, during renovation of the hatchery’s water supply structures. The construction will not impact fish rearing operations at the hatchery. U.S. Forest Service Trail #113 will remain open for public use.

Rapid River Hatchery, by Ralph Steiner
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Photo by Ralph Steiner, IDFG

Tucked beside a tributary of the main Salmon River near Riggins, Idaho, Rapid River Hatchery is the largest collecting, spawning and rearing facility of spring Chinook salmon in Idaho. The hatchery was constructed in 1964 by Idaho Power as part of their hatchery mitigation program and has been rated one of the most successful hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest.