Press Release

May 2017

CAP your tag with a dollar donation

Ethical sportsmen are reminded that they can help stop a game thief by designating a dollar to Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) when purchasing a license or applying for controlled hunts.

Citizens Against Poaching is a non-profit citizen organization, managed by a volunteer board, who work in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. CAP has a 24-hour hotline where citizens can report wildlife crimes, and remain anonymous if they choose. Callers may also receive a reward.

CAP does not receive any funding from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, so a one dollar donation is critical to the CAP poaching hotline.

“Donations provide funding for rewards,” said Chris Wright, Fish and Game assistant enforcement chief. “You will simply be directing that dollar to be used by Citizens Against Poaching, but your controlled hunt application fee will remain the same.”

In 2016, the CAP hotline received 878 calls from citizens reporting suspected Fish and Game violations. These calls resulted in 77 cases, 157 citations issued. These concerned citizens were paid $17,700 in reward money.

Citizens who witness fish and game violations are encouraged to call the CAP hotline number at 1-800-632-5999, call any law enforcement authority, or report online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/poacher.

Anglers Invited to Help with Fish Collection at CJ Strike Reservoir

This Saturday, anglers can participate in their favorite pastime and support a good cause – reestablishing fish populations in local waters.

The winter’s heavy snowpack has filled many small lakes and reservoirs throughout Southwest Idaho including Blacks Creek Reservoir and Indian Creek Reservoir. Biologists from Idaho Fish and Game will be stationed at CJ Strike Reservoir this Saturday, May 13 from 10:00am to 6:00pm, collecting Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, and Yellow Perch from anglers for transfer to the two reservoirs.

“We have a dedicated group of anglers that have agreed to volunteer their time to give back to the resource,” fisheries biologist Mike Peterson noted. “But we want to encourage all licensed anglers to join us for the capture event.”

Participating anglers should stop at the Air Force boat ramp (just north of Strike Dam) to register. “Because it is illegal to transport live fish without a permit within the state, we will provide participants with a permission slip to transport live fish during the event,” Peterson said.

Holding pens will be placed adjacent to the Air Force boat ramp, where participating anglers can drop off their live fish. At the end of the day, the fish will be loaded into hatchery trucks and delivered to the reservoirs.

Idaho Fish and Game does not operate a warmwater hatchery. “With assistance from local anglers, we will be able to move fish into these reservoirs much sooner than our crews can do on their own, with the hope of seeing the transplanted fish successfully spawn this year,” Peterson said. “These reservoirs are very productive and transferred fish can grow quickly. If the reservoirs continue to hold water, they should provide great fishing opportunity in two to three years.”

Baby animals are better off when left alone

Spring is baby season for all things wild.

Being the peak time for wildlife to have their young, the Idaho Fish and Game offers this simple suggestion to those well-intentioned people that discover baby animals that appear to be abandoned - leave them alone.

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Idaho Fish and Game

Each spring a myriad of baby birds, ducklings, goslings, squirrels, fawn mule deer, calf elk, baby raccoons, and baby rabbits are taken from the outdoors and brought to Fish and Game. The unfortunate part of these well-intended "rescues" is that in most cases, the animal was not lost, abandoned, or orphaned.

"Just because the mother is not present, doesn't mean the youngster isn't being properly cared for,” cautions Clay Hickey, Fish and Game wildlife manager based in Lewiston. “If you encounter young wildlife that seems abandoned, it’s best to leave it alone.”

Family fishing waters provide great places for family adventure

Looking for a fun family-friendly activity close to home? Give fishing a try.

“There’s plenty of great fishing action close to home,” says Doug Megargle, fisheries manager with Fish and Game based in Jerome. “Family fishing waters are full of fish, so now’s a perfect time to get out and create some lasting memories.”

Family Fishing waters are choice fishing spots geared toward families and the likelihood of catching fish. Most are easy to reach, stocked with trout, and accessible by anglers of all ages.

“If you’re looking for a fun, quick fishing trip for the entire family, you can’t beat them,” said Megargle.

Here's a link to more information about Family Fishing Waters near you.

Fish and Game’s “Take Me Fishing” trailers are also a great resource. During the spring and early summer, the trailers are set up at easy to reach fishing ponds across the state and offer basic fishing equipment that can be checked-out for free and knowledgeable staff ready to help kids and parents start fishing. Plus, anyone who signs-up at the trailer does not need a fishing license to fish during the event. Here's a schedule of events in your area.

Before heading out for a day, be sure to review the fishing seasons and rules brochure for the water you have chosen for the day. Seasons and rules brochures are available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices and here's the digital version of the rules booklet. 

Commission to meet in Salmon May 16-17

Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet May 16-17 at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Salmon regional office in Salmon.

A public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16 at 99 Highway 93 North. Citizens are invited to address the commission on any topic related to Fish and Game business. 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. Wednesday, May 17 at the regional office. Routine agenda items include setting a summer season for Chinook salmon, preview of the fiscal 2019 budget, direction on the expenditure of Wolf Depredation Control Board funds, and briefings on nonbiological rules for game animals.

A full agenda is posted on Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/about/commission/schedule. Times on the agenda are approximate and subject to change.

Individuals may request accommodations by contacting the Director's office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-368-6185 (TDD).

Stolen cargo trailer recovered, Fish and Game has suspect

A Fish and Game trailer stolen from Boise in April was recovered on May 2 and about half its contents found, but many items remain missing and officials are asking the public's help locating them. The trailer contained GPS and radio collars for tracking big-game animals and other equipment used to capture, handle, process and release animals. 

A suspect is being sought in connection with the theft. Fish and Game Investigator Kurt Stieglitz said there’s evidence linking an individual to the theft, including security camera footage. 

Stieglitz said the suspect is believed to live in the Nibley/Logan Utah area, possibly the Salt Lake area, and also has family in Reedsport, Oregon. He is thought to have been traveling between the two locations when the theft occurred. There are several active warrants for the suspect in Utah, Stieglitz said. 

Fish and Game officials inventoried the 14-foot cargo trailer and estimate the value of the trailer and its contents is more than $100,000. The trailer also sustained about $1,600 in damage after being stolen. It was stolen from an unsecure area on Fish and Game property in Boise after it was moved from a secure area threatened by flooding.

After the theft, several boxes of tracking collars were discarded in locations between Boise and Jerome. Magnets attached to collars that prevent transmissions were jarred loose on some collars, which allowed biologists to locate them. 

The trailer was recovered after being abandoned in a remote area near Logan, Utah after a citizen reported it to local law enforcement, which contacted Fish and Game officials. 

Fish and Game officials hope to recover more of the missing equipment. 

“A lot of it is specialized stuff that has little value on the street,” Stieglitz said. 

Anyone who finds, or has information about the missing equipment can call (208) 465-8465 or their local law enforcement agency.

Mountain Lion Sightings Serve as Reminder to Use Caution

It's no secret that Idaho is known for its abundant and diversity of wildlife.

Yet to the surprise of some people, wildlife - including mountain lions - can be found in and around where people live.

Recent mountain lion sightings near Juliaetta should serve as a reminder to residents and visitors that they can expect to see lions anywhere in Idaho.

In the past few weeks, lions have been spotted outside of the community of Juliaetta.

"While sightings of Mountain lions in urban areas are rare, it's not unheard of," said Rick Cooper, senior conservation officer for Fish and Game based in Lewiston.

Because lions are territorial, young adults sometimes move into marginal, non-typical habitats, such as urban areas, looking for an unoccupied territory.

While mountain lions are elusive and tend to live in remote areas, the number of mountain lion/human interactions is likely to increase as more people move into lion habitat and deer populations increase near and within area communities. Also deer often move into the lush green irrigated areas near humans and mountain lions will follow. Because they are mostly nocturnal and very secretive, they are seldom seen.

"Most people in Idaho have never seen a mountain lion"

"Most people in Idaho have never seen a mountain lion, but given the number of people who live and recreate here, and the number of lions, there's always potential for an encounter," Cooper said.

To discourage wild animals, including mountain lions, from exploring their property, Idaho Fish and Game urges homeowners to follow these precautions:

Grizzly Bears Are Out In Upper Snake Region

Grizzly Bears Are Out In Upper Snake Region

ISLAND PARK – Tracks in the backcountry are one thing, but eye-witness reports by motorists driving on Highway 20 in Island Park is an even surer indicator that grizzlies bears are emerging from their dens in the Upper Snake Region. Posts to the region’s FaceBook page on Friday, April 28 indicated that a group of grizzly bears was observed from Highway 20, near Harriman State Park. Analysis of images taken from cell phones indicates the bears observed were probably Bear 728, a sow with three large two-year-old yearlings. Examination of the site by department personnel found that the grizzlies were digging up pocket gophers caches.

Recent radio tracking flights had indicated that collared grizzly bears in the region had begun to emerge from their dens, this sighting confirmed that even at lower elevations bears were on the move looking for food. Grizzly bears tend to den at higher elevations so generally not many dens are located in the Upper Snake.

The Intermountain West has always been home to bears. Even in those times and places where humans worked to eliminate grizzly bears, black bears were generally allowed to exist. Today, grizzly bears with the help of man have met all criteria for recovery in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. This means that as both species of bears go about their routines to survive; an ever expanding human presence means that the opportunity for an encounter with a bear is possible. This closeness to wildness is why many people choose to live, work, and visit in the region.