Press Release

July 2017

Idaho’s Chinook salmon seasons to end July 30

Chinook salmon seasons on the Snake, Little Salmon and Upper Salmon rivers will close at the end of fishing hours on Sunday, July 30. The closures to these fisheries are occurring because harvest objectives are being met and/or because the Chinook run has ended.

Although the spring/summer Chinook season will close, the Fish and Game Commission will consider a fall Chinook season at their July 27 meeting in Bonners Ferry. More information will be available on Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/chinook.

Wolf trapper certification courses offered

Trappers are reminded that Idaho rules require trappers to successfully complete a Wolf Trapper Certification course before they can purchase wolf trapping tags.

Courses are offered periodically throughout the year, but few are taught during trapping seasons as the instructors are trappers who are out in the field running their own trap lines.

The course includes 6.5 hours of instruction including both classroom and field experience followed by a written exam.

Upcoming courses include:

  • Salmon - Aug. 12, IDFG Office, 99 Highway 93 North
  • Lewiston - Sept. 8 & Sept. 9 (two courses), IDFG Office, 3316 16th St.
  • Nampa - Sept. 9, IDFG Fisheries Research Building, 1414 East Locust Lane
  • Coeur d’ Alene - Sept. 22 & Sept. 23 (two courses), IDFG Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Avenue

The course costs $8 per student, and advanced registration is required. Individuals interested in completing the class can register online. Online registration by credit card requires an added convenience fee of $1.75. The fee is due at the time of registration. Registrants must be at least 9 years of age to take the course.

The Wolf Trapper Certification course is instructor-led. Instructors are experienced trappers who are trained and certified to provide students with both classroom study and interactive, hands-on training. Course content covers a wide variety of topics related to wolf biology, wolf behavior and management. There are specific rules regarding wolf trapping that are covered in the class.

Instructors and Fish and Game staff leading the class have expertise in furbearer management, trapping laws and ethics, responsible trapping, proper equipment and trapping techniques. Proper care of a hide for maximum value, and harvest reporting requirements are covered as well.

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 33,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during August.

 

Location     Week Stocked      Number of Trout

Boise River - above Glenwood Bridge August 7, 21 1,440/1,440

Boise River - below Glenwood Bridge August 7, 21 1,080/1,080

Boise River, Middle Fork August 14 2,000

Boise River, North Fork August 14, 28 2,000/2,000

 

Browns (Airport) Pond (McCall) July 31, Aug 28 750/750

Bull Trout Lake August 7 900

Bull Trout Lake, Little #1 (Grandjean) August 7 750

Bull Trout Lake, Little #2 (Grandjean) August 7 200

 

Council (Ol’ McDonald) Pond August 28 500

Fischer Pond (Cascade) July 31, Aug. 28 750/750

Gold Fork River (Donnelly) August 7, 21 250/250

Lake Fork Creek (Lake Fork) August 7 300

 

Lake Fork Creek, North Fork (Lake Fork) August 7 200

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds August 7 600

Marsing Pond July 31 450

Martin Lake (Grandjean) August 7 1,000

 

Northwest Passage Pond (McCall) August 7, 28 375/375

Payette River, Middle Fork July 31, August 14 750/750

Payette River, North Fork July 31, August 7, 28 2,250/250/250

Payette River, South Fork July 31, August 21 1,500/1,500

 

Rowlands (Scout) Pond (McCall) July 31, August 14, 28 750/750/750

Silver Creek (Crouch) July 31 750

Tripod Reservoir (Smiths Ferry) July 31 1,000

Weiser River, Middle Fork August 14 500

 

Wilson Springs (Nampa) July 31, August 14 250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa) July 31, August 14 400/400

 

The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.

F&G is seeking public input on sage-grouse hunting proposals

Fish and Game is proposing one option for the 2017 season, which is the same as the season offered in 2016. Statewide, the proposed seven-day season would be from September 16 through September 22, with a one-bird daily limit within sage-grouse range, except in designated closed areas.

Here is the season proposal and and comment page. Hunters can also visit their nearest Fish and Game office for copies of the proposed seasons and comment forms, or attend an open house meeting where they can speak directly with local biologists. For meeting details, contact your nearest Fish and Game office.

Comments will be collected through August 10. A summary of public comments will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at their meeting later in August when they will set the final seasons.

The 2017 season proposals follow the hunting season and bag-limit guidelines as laid out in the Conservation Plan for the Greater Sage-grouse in Idaho.

The guidelines compare the current three-year running average of male sage-grouse counted at leks (breeding sites) from 1996-2000 when Idaho began intensified surveys statewide. Current sage-grouse lek data indicate that many populations could be hunted at the “Restrictive” level. The guidelines also allow the flexibility to consider local issues of concern, such as insufficient data, isolated populations or impacts of wildfire and West Nile virus.

Fires force closures at Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Due to two fires, Fish and Game has closed the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area 30 miles south of Lewiston. 

Lightning ignited the fires on Friday, July 14, and the WMA will be closed to the public until further notice past the Deer Creek Road and past Hoover Point to allow for fire crews to battle the fires.  

According to Idaho Department of Lands, the Corral Creek and Powerline fires are burning in remote rangeland and grew to about 800 and 1,500 acres, respectively by July 16. The area’s weather is predicted to continue to be hot and dry.

Resources on the two fires include a helicopter and single-engine air tankers. Several engines and are also assigned to the Powerline fire.

Fire managers are waiting for the arrival of additional resources including 6-20 man crews, engines, dozer and additional air resources. It is anticipated that the Zaza Road will be closed in the near future.

A type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and was expected to arrive July 17. Structures in the vicinity of both fires are still not threatened and no evacuations are planned. An estimated date of containment for either fire has not been determined.

The fire is in the Idaho Department of Lands, Craig Mountain fire protection area. Cooperators include Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office.

Salvage Order Issued For Lower Big Lost River

Fish and Game has issued a salvage order for the lower Big Lost River below the Moore Diversion.

The salvage, which suspends fish bag, possession, and size limits only on the river stretch downstream of the Moore Diversion through August 31, 2017.

High water this spring likely caused an unknown number of fish to move below the diversion. As runoff subsides, it is likely that this river stretch will go dry and fish will be stranded and die. Fish and Game recognizes the value of these fish as a food resource, and that these fish could be used by anglers. 

To take advantage of the salvage order, anglers must have a valid fishing license. With the exception of firearms, explosives, chemicals, prohibited bait and electricity, fish may be taken with any method, including seines and dip nets.

For more information, contact the Fish and Game office in Idaho Falls at 208-525-7290.

Fish and Game Commission to consider proposed rules at July meeting

When the Idaho Fish and Game Commission meets July 26 & 27 in Bonners Ferry, they will consider routine agenda items, as well conduct formal rulemaking to consider rules that are simple in nature and do not implement new regulatory requirements.

Individuals may provide comments on these rules at the Commission public hearing beginning at 7 pm, Wednesday, July 26 at the Best Western Kootenai River Inn, 7169 Plaza Street.

The proposed rules are:

  • Revise reference to mandatory school for Unit 39 controlled archery hunt to reflect current implementation of mandatory hunter orientation.
  • Revise rule prescribing elements of Mandatory Harvest Report Form submission to reflect current implementation.
  • Refine reporting requirements for wolf harvest to rescind telephone reporting, which is no longer applicable to management because there are no longer zone quotas. Mandatory check of harvested wolves will still be required.
  • Consider a temporary and proposed rule that would rescind rule requiring payment of moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goat tag fee at the time of controlled hunt application to coincide with the new, increased application fee for these species beginning with 2018 license sales.

A detailed agenda, including a draft of the rule proposals, will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available. Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Fish and Game director's office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).

Should the Commission adopt any of the proposed rules, they are published for an additional 21 day public input period in the Administrative Bulletin before the Commission adopts them as pending rules, at which point they must be upheld by the 2018 Idaho Legislature to become final rules.

Leftover turkey controlled hunt permits available July 17

Idaho turkey hunters have one last shot at 124 leftover fall turkey controlled hunt permits that will be available first-come, first served starting at 10 am MDT, July 17 at all Fish and Game license vendors, online at https://idfg.idaho.gov, or by calling 800-554-8685.

Available permits by hunt number are:

  • 6 permits, hunt number 9017, youth hunt
  • 4 tags, hunt number 9020, youth hunt
  • 56 tags, hunt number 9021
  • 58 tags, hunt number 9022, youth hunt

A valid Idaho hunting license must be presented in order to purchase a leftover permit, and applicants must submit the appropriate application fees, permit fees and tag fees.

Hunters 65 years of age or older or hunters with a senior combination hunting license or a disabled hunting license may purchase leftover youth-only hunt permits. Nonresidents may also purchase the permits and will not be restricted to the 10 percent quota that applies during the regular permit drawing.

Additional information can be found on Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/tag/hunt/controlled/unclaimed and on pages 16-25 of the Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and Rules brochures available at all license vendors or online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/rules.

Resident Sawtooth Zone Elk A & B Tags sold out

Idaho Sawtooth Zone Elk A and B tags for residents in game management hunt units 33, 34, 35 and 36 are sold out for 2017.

Due to high demand, half of the Sawtooth Zone elk tags were sold only at Fish and Game offices and license vendors beginning at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, with the remaining half sold only online starting at 1 p.m. All of the Sawtooth Zone's 496 allotted elk A tags and 1,290 B tags sold quickly.

Sawtooth tags sold at Fish and Game offices and vendor locations sold out in approximately 10 minutes for A tags and 13 minutes for B tags. Tags sold via the Internet sold out in approximately 15 minutes for A tags and B tags.

Other resident elk zone tags sold out includes Diamond Creek A tags and Weiser River A tags.

The numbers of tags available in each capped zone are updated weekly by going to https://idfg.idaho.gov and clicking the “Elk Tag Quotas” under the “Licenses” tab.

Idaho Fish and Game's Headquarters office is keeping waiting lists for these zones in case some tags become available due to someone relinquishing their tag before the season starts. Hunters may add their names to any of the waiting lists by emailing licenses@idfg.idaho.gov or by calling Fish and Game’s licensing division at 208-334-2592.