Press Release

March 2018

Irrigators reminded to contact Fish and Game before turning water on

To keep fish out of irrigation ditches, irrigators who divert water from local rivers and streams are asked to contact Idaho Fish and Game’s Anadromous Fish Screen Program (208-756-6022) one week prior to turning water on.

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Fish and Game will work to get all the fish screens in place and fully operational prior to use to avoid trapping fish behind the screens and out of irrigation ditches. 

Fortunately, Idaho Fish and Game’s screen program, water users, and landowners have been working together to prevent the loss of fish into ditch systems for well over 50 years.  The Screen Program currently operates and maintains over 270 fish screens that have been installed with the cooperation of landowners and water users.

Fish and Game to host public information meeting and chili feed

Hunters, anglers, trappers, and other wildlife enthusiasts are invited to attend public information meetings in Salmon and Challis and visit with Idaho Fish and Game about issues of local interest.

Fish and Game staff will answer questions and provide information on a variety of topics including:

  • Big Game harvest statistics and recent aerial survey results
  • Updates on the steelhead season and upcoming Chinook season

The open house meeting in Salmon will be held Wednesday, March 28 at the Fish and Game office, 99 Hwy 93 North. The Challis meeting will be held Thursday, March 29, at the Community Event Center Board Room on Clinic Road. Each meeting will be held from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. Several informative displays and handouts will be available for review. Chili will be served free of charge first come-first served.

"Bring a friend or neighbor and come by,” said Fish and Game Regional supervisor Tom Curet. “These meetings will be very informative and we hope plenty of folks bring their questions.”

The meetings are for anyone interested in fish and wildlife and are designed to stimulate informal discussions about wildlife issues in Lemhi and Custer counties. For more information, contact Fish and Game’s Salmon Regional Office at 208-756-2271.

See drawing results for spring controlled bear hunts

New this year is the ability for hunters to check their controlled hunt results, and if successful, buy their tags at as part of the transition to the new licensing system.

This is a change from prior years where draw results were available on Fish and Game's website. In order to take advantage of the new site, hunters have to set up an account with an email address and personal log-in name and password, if they have not already done so.

“We take security of personal information very seriously, and while the personal log-in might be a slight inconvenience, it is a necessary step towards protecting customer data,” F&G Administration Bureau Chief Michael Pearson said.

The new site will also allow hunters whose names were drawn to buy the tag online, which will be mailed to them after purchase.

“We hope this new feature will reduce the number of hunters who are drawn for controlled hunts, but later forget to buy their tag by the deadline,” Pearson said.

Fish and Game will continue mailing postcards to hunters whose names are drawn for controlled hunts. Those who do not have access to the internet can either wait to receive their postcard, or visit a Fish and Game license vendor to determine draw status after the results have been announced.

Bird identification workshop will be held March 17 in Boise

A free workshop that will help you identify sparrows will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 17 at the MK Nature Center 600 S. Walnut St. in Boise. 

Sparrows are “little brown birds” with a reputation for sending beginning birders back to the river to look for ducks, herons, and eagles. However, once you learn a few simple strategies, most sparrows are pretty easy to identify, especially when they are singing and in breeding plumage.

There are 25 species of sparrows seen in Idaho, 21 of which are regularly occurring. During the workshop, you will learn how to identify sparrows using six strategies: Plumage, Song, Habitat, Abundance, Seasonality, and Taxonomy.

Workshop is taught by Terry Rich, who is an avid birder who enjoys helping others (especially beginners) learn about birds and birding. Rich has a bachelor of science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MS in Zoology from Idaho State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy from BSU.

Wolf control action completed in Lolo Elk Zone

Idaho Fish and Game has completed wolf control actions in northern Idaho's Lolo elk zone to improve elk survival in the area. Predation on calves and cows is the primary factor limiting recovery of the Lolo elk population.

Ten wolves were killed during the operation, which started in late February. The operation is consistent with Fish and Game's Elk Management Plan and Lolo Predation Management Plan.

The control operation was paid for using Fish and Game license dollars transferred to the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, created by the Idaho Legislature in 2014.

Fish and Game authorizes control actions where wolves are causing conflicts with people or domestic animals, or are a significant, measured factor in deer and elk population declines. Such control actions are consistent with Idaho's 2002 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Legislature.

Fish and Game prefers to manage wolf populations using hunters and trappers and only authorizes control actions where regulated harvest has been insufficient to meet management goals. The Lolo zone is steep, rugged country that is difficult to access, especially in winter. To date, hunters and trappers have reported 22 wolves taken in the Lolo zone during the 2017-18 season. The trapping season ends March 31 and the hunting season ends June 30.

The Lolo elk population declined drastically over the last 25 years, from 16,000 elk to fewer than 1,000 elk in recent years. IDFG biologists estimated 2,000 elk in the Zone when it was surveyed last winter. Short-term goals for the Lolo elk population outlined in the 2014 Elk Management Plan include stabilizing the population and helping it grow. 

Mountain lion take season closed in Units 66A and 76

The take season for mountain lion has closed in Game Management Units 66A and 76 effective March 8. The 2017-2018 Big Game Regulations states that the mountain lion take season is to be closed when five female mountain lions have been harvested.  The dog training season will remain open in these units through March 31. Hunters will be allowed to keep mountain lions taken prior to this closure and must report them within 5 days of harvest.

As a reminder, the take season for mountain lions closed in units 71, 72, and 74 in southeast Idaho on January 19.  Here is current information on whether a quota has been met or the season has been closed for a particular game management unit anywhere in the state. 

Application period for peregrine capture permits is open March 15 through April 15

The 2018 permit application period is open March 15 through April 15. Two permits are available - one statewide permit for either a nestling or recently-fledged juvenile peregrine, and one permit limited to nestling take only in Lemhi and Custer counties or a recently-fledged juvenile peregrine statewide.

Idaho resident falconers must have a master class license to apply, and may apply for either permit, but not both. Successful applicants will be notified by April 25. Successful permit holders must wait two years before applying for another capture permit.

The capture season runs from May 1 to August 31. Here's the application and rules for capturing peregrines for falconry.

In January 2016, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted seasons and rules to continue annual capture of up to two nestling or juvenile wild peregrine falcons to be used for falconry. 

Migratory Game Bird Season Open House in Lewiston

Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the upcoming migratory game bird seasons. To view and comment on the season proposals, visit Fish and Game's public involvement page at

Hunters can visit the Lewiston regional office at 3316 16th Street in Lewiston for copies of the proposed seasons and comment forms, or attend the open house at the regional office on Wednesday, March 21st from 10:00am-6:00pm to speak directly with local biologists.

Written comments may also be mailed to: 2018-19 Waterfowl Seasons, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Comments will be collected through March 24. Information collected will be summarized and presented to the Fish and Game Commission, which will set the final seasons April 13.

The 2018-2019 Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Rules brochure will be available at all license vendors and online by late July.

Volunteers Needed for Wildlife Habitat Restoration

In the summer of 2016, the Mile Marker 14 wildfire roared across Boise River Wildlife Management Area, incinerating 4,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat, which served as critical winter range for more than 6,000 mule deer.

Here’s your chance to help restore what was lost.

Volunteers are needed to jumpstart recovery by planting seedlings in the burned area along State Highway 21 near Lucky Peak Reservoir. On consecutive Saturdays (March 10, 17 and 24) beginning at 9:00am, volunteers will gather at the Mk Nature Center in Boise and caravan to the planting sites. Volunteers can also drive directly to the planting sites if they so choose.

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Evin Oneale, IDFG

To learn more or register for a planting date, send an e-mail to Fish and Game habitat biologist Michael Young:

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Martin Landing to Institute Fee for 2018 Camping Season

Martin Landing, a popular fishing, hunting and bird-watching destination located at the confluence of the Snake and Boise rivers near Parma, will institute an overnight camping fee for the 2018 camping season.

Beginning March 15th, a $10/night fee will be charged for any and all camping activities at Martin Landing. As always, day and night use for legal fishing and hunting activities will not be subject to the new fees. Camping fees will be used for maintenance and improvement of Martin Landing’s campground facilities.

Located at the end of Scott Pit Road, Martin Landing is part of Fish and Game’s Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area. The agency has partnered with Canyon County Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources to manage camping activities and provide an on-site host to oversee Martin Landing throughout the 2018 camping season.

Campers will find a mix of overnight accommodations at Martin Landing. Ten primitive RV camping sites (tables and grills, but no water or electrical) are available at the main campground, with six walk-in tent camping sites located near the river confluence. A pit toilet services all campsites.

For more information regarding Martin Landing, Fish and Game fishing and boating access sites, or Wildlife Management Areas, please visit Fish and Game’s website ( or contact Fish and Game’s southwest regional office in Nampa at 208-465-8465 or Canyon County Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources in Nampa at 208-454-6884.

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