Press Release

March 2018

Spring turkey controlled hunting drawing results available now

The spring turkey drawing is complete and the results are now at huntfishidaho.net for those who have an account with the new licensing system. Those without one can learn how on the Controlled Hunts web page. Customers can also now purchase their spring turkey permits on the site. If they do not have a general turkey tag, they will need to purchase that product as well. The Web app for draw results has also been updated. 

Postcards to successful applicants are being completed and will go out in early April.

There is one controlled turkey hunt with leftover tags, which is hunt 9001 (a youth-only hunt restricted to private property.) Those tags will go on sale first come, first served on Monday April 2 at 10 a.m., Mountain Time. 

 

 

Apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts in April

The application period for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat controlled hunts runs April 1 through April 30 and applications can be made at any Fish and Game office, license vendor, by telephone, or apply online. Telephone applications may be made at (800) 554-8685.  All mailed applications must be postmarked no later than April 30.

At its March meeting, Fish and Game Commission made changes to 2018 mountain goat and bighorn sheep hunts, including:  

  • Eliminated the two tags in mountain goat controlled hunt 6005 in Unit 10-3 because the goats appear to have moved out of the hunt area. 
  • Eliminated bighorn sheep hunt 7007 in Unit 46-2, which would have offered two tags, and extended hunt 7006 in Hunt Area 46-1 to close Oct. 8 instead of Sept. 14. Biologists are concerned that a disease event may have reduced the number of harvestable rams, so an adjustment in tags was needed. 

To apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts, each applicant must possess a valid 2018 Idaho hunting or combination license.

Application fees increased for 2018, and prices are $16.75 for residents and $41.75 for nonresidents. Those fees are nonrefundable. 

Moose, goat and sheep hunt applicants must pay the tag fee along with the application fee when they apply.

  • Fees for residents under "Price Lock" are $183.50.
  • Residents who are not Price Locked pay $216.50.
  • Nonresidents pay $2,143.50 to apply. 

Moose, sheep and goat drawing results will be online in early June. Tag fees will be refunded to those who do not draw. 

F&G Commission moves forward with grizzly bear hunt, delays decision on extending wolf hunting and trapping seasons

At its March 22 meeting in Boise, the Fish and Game Commission instructed staff to draft a proposal for a fall grizzly bear hunt in which one male bear could he harvested.

Fish and Game biologists are scheduled to present the commission with proposed hunting season options for Commission action at the Commission’s May 10 meeting in McCall.  

Under an agreement with Wyoming and Montana, the three states meet to annually review the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear population status, the population-based mortality threshold and estimated bear mortality. The states then decide if there are bears available for hunting harvest.

Commissioners also deferred a proposal to extend hunting and trapping seasons for wolves in some portions of the state. Commissioners are expected to revisit the proposals later this year.

New changes to 2018 big game rules: sheep, goat, Unit 10A deer hunt, Weiser River elk zone, and units 26 and 27 controlled deer hunts

Fish and Game Commission at the March 22 meeting made several changes that big game hunters should be aware of for the upcoming fall seasons, including: 

  • Eliminated the two tags in mountain goat controlled hunt 6005 in Unit 10-3 because the goats appear to have moved out of the hunt area. 
  • Eliminated bighorn sheep hunt 7007 in Unit 46-2, which would have offered two tags, and extended hunt 7006 in Hunt Area 46-1 to close Oct. 8 instead of Sept. 14. Biologists are concerned that a disease event may have reduced the number of harvestable rams, so an adjustment in tags was needed. 
  • Removed the use of second deer tags in Unit 10A and shortened the white-tailed deer season in Unit 10A by moving the closing date from Dec. 1 to Nov. 20. Hunters are concerned about the number of mature white-tailed bucks in the unit. 
  • Removed the cap on the Weiser River Elk Zone A-tag so there is no limit on the number of those tags available to hunters. The zone is currently above the department’s objectives for total elk population. 
  • Reduced the number of tags available to nonresident hunters for the November unlimited controlled hunts in Units 26 and 27 down to 10 percent of the five-year average for total participation in each hunt. Controlled Hunt Area 26 (controlled hunt number 1016) will have 13 nonresident tags and Controlled Hunt Area 27 (controlled hunt number 1017) will have 51 nonresident tags.

    The Fish and Game Commission has heard complaints about crowding at airstrips, and these hunts had a very high percentage of nonresident hunters. These controlled hunts will remain unlimited for resident hunters. Hunt Area 27 hunt is first-choice-only for both resident and nonresident applicants.  

Commission approves spring Chinook season, opener is April 28

Fish and Game Commission on Thursday, March 22 approved spring Chinook fishing on the Clearwater, Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers to start April 28 and run until closed by the Fish and Game director. 

Fisheries managers are forecasting a run of 66,000 spring Chinook, roughly double last year’s return and slightly above the 10-year average of 62,000. 

Included in the forecast are 53,000 hatchery Chinook and 13,000 wild Chinook. The 2017 return was 30,000 and 4,000. 

The actual run has just started with only six spring Chinook crossing Bonneville Dam as of March 22. 

Rules will include open fishing four days per week, Thursdays through Sundays, in the Clearwater drainage and seven days per week in the Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers. 

Daily bag limits will be four per day with no more than one being an adult (24-inches or longer) in the Clearwater River system and four per day with no more than two being adults in the Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers. 

Sections of the Clearwater River open for fishing will include: 

  • Mainstem Clearwater from Camas Prairie Bridge upstream to the mouth of the South Fork of the Clearwater River. 
  • North Fork Clearwater from mouth upstream to Dworshak Dam. 
  • South Fork Clearwater from mouth upstream to the confluence of American and Red rivers
  • Middle Fork Clearwater from South Fork Clearwater upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers. 
  • Salmon River will be open from Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek. 
  • Little Salmon River will be open from the mouth upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road. 
  • Snake River will be open from Dug Bar boat ramp to Hells Canyon Dam. 

Full rules will be posted on Fish and Game’s website in late March or early April.  Printed rules will be available prior to the season opener.

Steelhead anglers reminded of rules, including reduced limits

As the weather warms and steelhead continue their long swim upstream, anglers trying to catch one of the hard fighting fish need to be aware of the current rules, including recent changes to bag limits.

Due to lower numbers of returning steelhead this year, the Fish and Game Commission changed the limits starting with the 2018 spring season. The current steelhead limit is two (2) steelhead a day and six (6) in possession on the Salmon River. Anglers are reminded that these changes are not reflected in the seasons and rules brochures, but printable copies are available online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/steelhead/rules.

Steelhead anglers 14 years old or older need a current and valid fishing license and a steelhead permit. Children (including nonresident children) under the age of 14 do not need to buy a fishing license or steelhead permit, but they must fish with a valid permit holder. Any fish kept by the young angler must be recorded on the permit holder’s card and counted in the permit holder’s legal bag, possession and season limit. A resident child under 14 may buy a permit without a license so they can keep their own limit of steelhead.

important rule to keep in mind is that those who keep steelhead must immediately validate their permit. To validate the permit, remove one numbered notch from the permit, write in the river location code, and enter the month and day of the catch. To do so, anglers are encouraged to keep a knife and pen handy.

Wild steelhead or steelhead with an intact adipose fin cannot be kept and must be released. Any steelhead that is being kept must be killed immediately. Otherwise, the fish must be released upon landing.

Any angler, who has attained the bag, possession, or season limit, must stop fishing for steelhead including catch-and-release fishing.

Fishing Trailer Scheduled for Local Pond Tour

Stocked with equipment and information, Fish and Game’s fishing trailer will soon be making more than 25 appearances at local ponds across the region, promoting fishing as part of a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

To learn more about the trailer program, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465. More information regarding the fishing trailer program, including other regional trailer schedules, are posted on Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/trailers.

With its exterior wrapped completely with vibrant fish illustrations, the trailer is hard to miss. “The big fish and vivid colors make the trailer a kid magnet,” Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said. “That’s what we’re after; a focal point to help get a kid excited about fishing.”

But the important stuff is inside the trailer. “The idea is to bring fishing equipment and fishing expertise to what we call our ‘bicycle fisheries’ – local neighborhood ponds,” Oneale noted. “All kids and their parents have to do is show up; we’ll get them geared up and on the water.”

“We hope our efforts will get kids excited about fishing and help build a new generation of anglers,” Oneale added.

The trailer’s 2018 schedule will kick off at Kleiner Pond in Meridian on Saturday, April 7th followed by a stop at Settlers Pond on Wednesday, April 11th. A fishing license is not needed by any participant that registers at the trailer for the duration of the event, regardless of age or residency. “Everyone is welcome at these events, but we want to make a point of inviting kids and their parents who have an interest in fishing but lack the equipment and perhaps the knowledge to get started,” Oneale said. “The only cost is a bit of time, and the idea is to help people gain enough fishing experience and confidence to strike out on their own and enjoy fishing as a fun, family activity.”

 

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 23,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during April.

LOCATION      WEEK STOCKED      NUMBER OF TROUT

Caldwell Pond #2      April 9      500

Crane Falls Reservoir      April 16      1,200

Duff Lane Pond (Middleton)      April 9      225

Eagle Island Park Pond      April 9      450

Eds Pond (Emmett)      April 23      200

Esthers Pond (Boise)      April 9     1,300

Heros Pond (Meridian)      April 9      150

Indian Creek (Caldwell)      April 9      200

Indian Creek (Kuna)      April 9      300

Kleiner Pond (Meridian)      April 2, 23      450/450

Lowman Nature Ponds      April 23      600

Lucky Peak Reservoir      April 16      5,700

Mann Creek Reservoir      April 16      2,400

Marsing Pond      April 2      450

Mill Pond (Horseshoe Bend)      April 23      900

McDevitt Pond (Boise)      April 9, 16      450/450

Merrill Pond (Eagle)      April 16      250

Parkcenter Pond (Boise)      April 9      750

Payette Greenbelt Pond      April 16      450

Riverside Pond (Boise)     April 2, 23      360/360

Rotary Pond (Caldwell)      April 9      500

Sawyers Ponds (Emmett)      April 23      900

Sego Prairie Pond at Nicholson Park (Kuna)      April 9      225

Settlers Pond (Meridian)      April 9, 23      125/125

Weiser Community Pond      April 16      500

Williams Pond (Boise)      April 16      450

Wilson Springs (Nampa)      April 2, 16      250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa)      April 2, 9, 16, 23      400/400/400/400

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 -