Press Release

December 2016

Ice fishing report: C.J. Strike has ice in the Bruneau Arm, Dec. 30

Josh White, manager of Fish and Game's C.J. Strike Wildlife Management Area reported on Dec. 30 there's about 4 to 5 inches of ice in the Bruneau Arm and best access is from Cottonwood Campground. 

With sub-zero temperatures expected for lows around New Year's Day the ice should thicken more, but he warns people to be careful and avoid other parts of the reservoir. Many areas have not frozen and others have thin ice. 

C.J. Strike offers fishing for perch, rainbow trout and more, but in most years is doesn't freeze thick enough for ice angling. This is a fairly rare treat for anglers, but White warns people to pay close attention to conditions because when temperatures warm the ice breaks down fast. 

Public Comment Sought Regarding Horsethief Reservoir Upgrades

Camping upgrades may soon be coming to Horsethief Reservoir, and the public is invited to learn more about the proposed upgrades by attending a project open house at Fish and Game’s Nampa office.

The open house will be held on January 3rd from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at Fish and Game’s Nampa office, located at 3101 S. Powerline Road.

Idaho Parks and Recreation RV grant monies are being pursued to fund the construction of four full hookup camp host sites at the popular fishing and camping destination. Additional grant funding would be used to purchase and install steel fire pits in a number of developed public campsites at Horsethief.

New Year requires 2017 Idaho hunting and fishing license

Before heading out in the New Year, Idaho hunters and anglers are reminded to pick up a 2017 license.

Nearly all of Idaho's hunting and fishing licenses, tags, and permits are sold on a calendar year basis, and they expire December 31.

The only licenses or permit not sold on a calendar year basis are Idaho's trapping license and Federal duck stamp. Both are valid from July 1 through the following June 30. This is because the seasons generally begin in the fall and end in the late winter.

An annual Idaho resident adult hunting licenses cost $12.75 and fishing licenses cost $25.75. Junior and senior licenses cost even less. Another option is a three-year license available for junior, adults and seniors, which saves a little money and time standing in line.

Licenses are available at Fish and Game offices, license vendors, by phone at 1-800-554-8685, or on-line at https://idfg.idaho.gov/. There is an additional service fee for licenses purchased online. Licenses for disabled hunters and anglers are only available at Fish and Game offices.

Website provides information about banded waterfowl in Idaho

Waterfowl bands have a special place in waterfowl hunting. They're not ducks playing music, waterfowl bands are part of a long-running project where wildlife managers trap waterfowl, usually during late summer, and place small metal bands on the legs of ducks and geese to track migrations and populations.

As those banded birds migrate, they are frequently shot by hunters or eventually found dead from other causes, and the information on the band is relayed back to the U.S. Geological Survey and entered into a database. If you've shot a duck or goose with a band, you should report it by going to reportband.gov. After reporting, you will receive a certificate of appreciation that includes where the bird was banded and how old it was at the time of banding.

If you're curious where ducks and geese are banded in Idaho, and where banded birds are shot or otherwise found, go to https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/rules/migratory and scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link.

The map on the website is interactive, so you can click on the location of the individual birds and tell where and when the birds were shot or found. The map also shows the location of where birds are banded, and the database goes all the way back to 1914. For example, you can see a mallard banded in September, 1914 at Utah's Salt Lake was recovered (presumably by a hunter) near Lava Hot Springs in January 1915. You can also sort the database by bird species.

The information bands provide has been used in North America from present through the early 1900s, but bird banding dates back to the late 1500s in Europe.

Spring steelhead season opens New Year’s Day

For some anglers, the best thing about New Year's is the start of the spring steelhead season, which opens January 1 on parts of the Clearwater, Salmon, Little Salmon, Snake and Boise rivers.

But before wetting a line, anglers will need a 2017 Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit.

River sections to open include:

  • Salmon River from its mouth to the posted boundary 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery weir, near the town of Stanley.
  • Little Salmon River from its mouth to the U.S. Highway 95 Bridge near Smokey Boulder Road.
  • Snake River from the Washington state line at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream to Oxbow Dam.
  • Clearwater River mainstem and Middle Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to Clear Creek.
  • North Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to Dworshak Dam.
  • South Fork Clearwater River from its mouth to the confluence of American and Red Rivers.
  • Boise River from its mouth to the Barber Dam.

The steelhead limit is three per day, nine in possession and 20 for the season. Once limits are reached, the angler must stop fishing, even catch and release.  Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, and may keep only hatchery steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin.  All other steelhead must be released unharmed immediately.

Steelhead are in the Boise River and the Snake River above Hells Canyon Dam only when stocked by Idaho Fish and Game.  During November, over 300 steelhead were stocked in the Boise River. A steelhead permit is required to fish for and keep steelhead (rainbow trout longer than 20 inches with a clipped adipose fin). Barbless hooks are not required on the Boise River.   

Idaho Fish & Game seeks input on moose, sheep and goat seasons

Proposed changes to moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons for 2017 and 2018 are available for public review and comment on Fish and Game’s website at: https://idfg.idaho.gov/form/moose-sheep-and-goat-2017-2018. 

Proposed season changes for moose occur primarily in the Panhandle and eastern Idaho, and include combining some hunt units and tag changes in several hunt units. Bighorn sheep proposals include tag changes in several units and several new hunts, including for ewe.  There are no proposed changes to mountain goat seasons from prior seasons and rules.

Comments can also be mailed to: 2017-2018 MSG Species Season Proposals, PO Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. The deadline for comments goes through January 4.

Public comments have been collected from 10 open house meetings held around the state.  All comments will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission prior to setting the seasons at their January 26 meeting in Boise.

Chili Cook-off in Lewiston January 12th

Bring a pot of your favorite chili recipe and come join the discussion! Dinner will be served free of charge on a first come-first serve basis at the chili cook-off meeting starting at 5:30pm on Thursday, January 12th at the regional fish and game office, 3316 16th street in Lewiston.

Dinner meeting presentations will include information on statewide moose research and management, fall fisheries highlights, hunter check station data summary and much more! Regional supervisor, Jerome Hansen says, “Bring a friend, neighbor and a youth. This is a family friendly event!” Participants are encouraged, but not required to bring a pot of chili, soup or stew to add to the competition. Attendees will have a chance to vote on their favorite recipe.

Contact the regional office at (208) 799-5010 for more information.

Egin-Hamer closure goes into effect January 1st

The Egin-Hamer Area Closure places nearly 500 square miles of land off-limits to human entry for the protection of wintering deer, elk, and moose herds.  The closure begins on January first and lasts through the end of March on lands south of the Egin-Hamer Road and until April 30, north of it.  Once again, signs marking the area north of the Egin-Hamer road are fluorescent orange, while signs for the earlier opening southern portion are lime green colored.