Press Release

August 2017

Unit 20A Access Difficult this Fall

Planning to hunt unit 20A this fall? Several normal access points are currently closed.

The Stoddard Pack Bridge was lost in a March rock slide. This bridge crossed the Salmon River at the northeast corner of unit 20A on the Salmon River Road. Identified for national emergency funding, the bridge will be replaced by the Salmon-Challis National Forest, but not for at least two years.

Several slides this spring damaged the Elk Creek Road (AKA Elk Summit Road) between Warren Summit and the South Fork Salmon River northeast of McCall. The road will be closed between Sawmill Point and the South Fork Salmon River most of September and October as the Valley County Road department conducts repairs. More details on this closure are available at:

Chamberlain Basin airstrip is currently closed due to the Highline Fire. Hunters can stay up to date on this closure by checking the InciWeb fire information site at:

You may be asking yourself just what access remains for unit 20A? Elk Creek Road remains accessible from Big Creek to the South Fork Salmon River. Hunters can also access Unit 20A by traveling forest roads from Dixie to either Mackay Bar or Whitewater Ranch, and then use foot bridges to cross the Salmon River. Be aware of land ownership, as there are private ranches in both areas.

If these access limitations prove to be overwhelming obstacles for some hunters, hunt tags may be exchanged for $3.75 at any Fish and Game office prior to the first day of the hunt.


- IDFG -

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 12,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during September.


Boise River - above Glenwood Bridge September 4, 18 1,080/1,080

Boise River - below Glenwood Bridge September 4, 18 1,080/1,080

Horsethief Reservoir September 18 3,000


Indian Creek (Caldwell) September 18 200

Indian Creek (Kuna) September 18 300

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds September 11 600


Marsing Pond September 4 450

McDevitt Pond (Boise) September 25 900

Riverside Pond (Boise) September 25 720


Settlers Park Pond (Meridian) September 25 250

Wilson Springs (Nampa) September 4, 18 250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa) September 4, 18 400/400


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.


- IDFG -

Mourning dove, sandhill crane, and early goose seasons open Sept. 1

The 2017 mourning dove, sandhill crane, and early Canada goose seasons open Friday, September 1.

The mourning dove season runs through October 30, with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.

Eurasian collared-doves are an introduced species that have expanded their range into Idaho. There is no daily bag or possession limit for Eurasian collared-doves. They will not count as part of the aggregate bag limit of mourning doves as long as they are identifiable.

Sandhill crane season runs through September 15 in all five hunt areas of eastern Idaho, with seasons extending to September 30 in three hunt areas. The daily limit is two birds for all hunts, and the season limit is two birds for each hunter.

The early Canada goose hunt will run through September 15 in Bear Lake County, the portion of Bingham County within the Blackfoot Reservoir drainage; and Caribou County, except that portion within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The daily bag limit is five and the possession limit is 15 during this time period.

Hunters can find seasons and rules for dove, sandhill crane, and Canada goose in the 2017-2018 Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Rules brochure, as well as license requirements, shooting hours, and hunt area descriptions. The brochure is available at Fish and Game's offices, license vendors, and online at

Sage-grouse season set

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved a restrictive season for sage-grouse.

The 2017 season will run from September 16 to September 22, with a daily bag limit of one bird, and a possession limit of two birds. The season will take place in the same areas as last year's hunt.

The Sage-grouse Seasons and Rules brochures, including a map of areas open to sage-grouse hunting, will be available soon at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and website at

For general upland game bird rules, grouse identification, license and permit information, see the 2016 & 2017 Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure. 

Current sage-grouse lek data indicate that many populations are stable.  Fish and Game closely monitors sage-grouse annually to ensure hunting will not compromise the population. Fish and Game follows guidelines that allow the flexibility to also close areas to hunting due to low population numbers, insufficient data, or impacts of wildfire and West Nile virus.

Mountain Goat Counts Slated for Early September near Yellow Pine

Idaho Fish and Game biologists will take to the air in early September to count mountain goats near Yellow Pine, Idaho. The mountain goat surveys will focus on an area north of the East Fork of the South Fork Salmon River Road between Monumental Creek and the South Fork of the Salmon River.

Creative Commons Licence
Michelle Kemner, IDFG

The surveys will encompass portions of hunt units 25, 26 and 20A. Because mountain goat surveys are conducted primarily in alpine habitats, minimal disturbance to archery elk and deer hunters is expected. Biologists will try to avoid flying near any hunters they observe.

For questions regarding the early September mountain goat surveys, please contact the Fish and Game McCall office at 208-634-8137.


- IDFG -

Fire restriction placed on Fish and Game managed lands and access areas across southeast Idaho

Because of the current fire risk condition in southeastern Idaho, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is imposing a Stage I fire restriction on Fish and Game managed lands across the Southeast Region, effective immediately.

Until further notice, the following restriction applies to all Wildlife Management Areas, lakes, and reservoirs, and fishing access areas owned or managed by Fish and Game across Bannock, Bonneville, Bingham, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin and portions of Oneida and Power counties:

Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire is prohibited except within a designated recreation site, within a fire structure provided by the administrative agency, or on their own land and only within an owner-provided fire structure (see definition below).


1. Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

2. Persons using fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels.

3. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

4. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

5. All land within a city boundary is exempted.

6. Other exemptions unique to each agency.

For further information, please call Fish and Game’s Southeast regional office at 208-232-4703.

Leftover controlled hunt tags available August 25

Over 470 deer and 500 elk controlled hunt tags not issued during the recent second drawing for deer, elk, antelope and black bear will go on sale first come, first served Friday, August 25 at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

There are no leftover tags available for pronghorn or black bear. For a list of available leftover tags, go to

Leftover tags will be available for purchase at Fish and Game offices and license vendors, online at, or by calling 1-800-554-8685.

Second controlled hunt draw results now online

Hunters who applied in the second controlled hunt drawing for elk, deer, pronghorn, and fall black bear can check online to see whether they were successful in the recent computerized drawing.

Results are available on Fish and Game’s website at

Applicants can enter their hunting license number and follow simple steps to find out instantly if they were successful or not in the drawing. Traffic on the website may be heavy at times, so please be patient.

It is the responsibility of the hunter to determine whether he or she was drawn. Postcards will be mailed to successful applicants.

Tags can be purchased at any Fish and Game license vendor, online at, or by telephone at 800-554-8685. There is no deadline to pick up these tags.

All tags leftover from the second drawing will be sold first come, first served beginning at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time August 25. A list of available leftover tags by hunt number will be posted on Fish and Game’s website at before August 25.

Next generation of Chinook get started on the S.F. of the Salmon River

For Chinook at the McCall Fish Hatchery, their lives start (and end) at the South Fork of the Salmon River with the adults returning from the Pacific and Fish and Game crews spawning the fish to produce the next generation of Idaho salmon. 

It's a laborious process as each fish is hand checked to see its ready to spawn, and then put through a process that is both basic – sperm meets egg – and complicated because fish are tested, DNA catalogued, cross referenced with its ancestors, checked for disease, and then fertilized eggs from each female are numbered, catalogued and transported to the McCall Fish Hatchery. 

Spawning sessions began in August and are repeated twice a week through late summer until all the adults are spawned. They will produce about a million young fish that will be hatched and raised at the McCall hatchery before eventually being released to migrate to the ocean. 

Here's what the process looks like: