Press Release

June 2018

Section of Clearwater River will reopen for Chinook fishing on July 7

The section of Clearwater River from the Cherrylane Bridge to Orofino Bridge will reopen to Chinook fishing on July 7. The section will reopen on a Saturday, which is midway through the regular four-days a week season. 

The section was closed on June 10 to spread Chinook angling opportunity to other communities upriver, but enough fish remain to provide additional opportunity within the existing sport-fishing harvest share.

To see which sections of the Clearwater are open and closed to Chinook fishing, see "Chinook Season Status" on the Seasons and Rules page


Capped resident elk tags go on sale July 10 and July 12

Resident hunters wanting to purchase a general season elk tag in a capped zone will need to keep two dates in mind in July.

On Tuesday, July 10, all resident capped elk zone tags, except for the Sawtooth Zone, go on sale at 10 a.m. (MDT) at Fish and Game offices, license vendors, with a credit card at Fish and Game's online vendor, or by calling (800) 554-8685.

On Thursday, July 12, resident Sawtooth Zone A and B elk tags go on sale, with half of the tags sold at Fish and Game offices and license vendors-only starting at 10 a.m. (MDT). The remaining half of the resident Sawtooth tags will go on sale online-only at 1 p.m. (MDT).

Capped zone tags are sold in limited numbers on a first-come, first-served basis. Demand for these tags is high, and many are expected to sell fast. Fish and Game officials adjusted the sale to give equal access for in-person sales at vendors and those who prefer to buy tags online.

The sale applies only to these elk tags with numbers available:

  • Bear River B-tags - 441
  • Diamond Creek A-tags - 1,146
  • Dworshak B-tags - 2,118
  • Elk City B-tags - 1,414
  • Lolo A-tags - 128
  • Lolo B-tags - 630
  • Middle Fork A-tags - 1,168
  • Middle Fork B-tags - 925
  • Salmon B-tags - 1,589
  • Sawtooth A-tags - 496 - on sale July 12
  • Sawtooth B-tags - 1,290 - on sale July 12
  • Selway A-tags - 179
  • Selway B-tags - 480
  • Weiser River B-tags - 3,560

Online buyers are reminded that Fish and Game added increased security measures, which require buyers to establish a unique account with a user name and password. Before tags go on sale, hunters are encouraged to buy their hunting license, set up their online account in advance and remember their password.

Boise man cited for poaching a sturgeon after sportsman reported it

A Boise man was recently cited for catching and keeping a two-foot white sturgeon caught below Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River. A Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) call triggered the investigation.

Michael Melton (32) caught the sturgeon on the evening of June 17th, and placed the fish in his vehicle. "Fortunately, a nearby angler took action,” Fish and Game conservation officer Brian Jack noted. “He called the CAP hotline and provided us with a license plate number and accurate descriptions of both the vehicle and the suspect.”

Later that same evening, Jack and fellow conservation officers Brian Flatter and Kurt Stieglitz contacted Melton -- who still had the sturgeon in possession -- at a Meridian residence. After a short discussion, Melton admitted to catching and keeping the fish.

Melton was cited for possession of a white sturgeon during closed season. The offense requires a court appearance, and a guilty verdict carries a mandatory fishing license suspension and civil penalties.

The young sturgeon was stocked in the Snake River in October, 2016 as part of the cooperative sturgeon sport fish program conducted by Idaho Fish and Game, Idaho Power Company and the College of Southern Idaho. At that time, the 19-inch fish weighed just over two pounds. When measured by officers, the fish had grown to 23 inches and weighed 3.2 pounds.

“Detecting wildlife crimes is difficult without the support and vigilance of the sporting public,” Jack said. “The CAP program is an excellent tool for sportsmen who make the call in a timely manner and provide the kind of detail we need to make a successful case.”

The CAP hotline (1-800-632-5999) is available 24 hours a day, and callers can remain anonymous. Persons with information about a suspected wildlife violation may also contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465 weekdays, Idaho State Police at 208-846-7550 on weekends or their local Sheriff’s Office.

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's McCall and Nampa Hatcheries will be releasing more than 37,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during July.

Location      Week Stocked      Number of Trout

Big Creek (Cascade)      July 9      200

Boise River – Above Glenwood Bridge      July 2, 16      1,440/1,440

Boise River – Below Glenwood Bridge      July 2, 16      1,080/1,080

Boise River, Middle Fork      July 16      2,000

Boise River, North Fork      July 9, 23      2,000/2,000


Boulder Reservoir, Lower (Lake Fork)      July 17      1,200

Browns Pond (McCall)      July 2      500

Bull Trout Lake (Grandjean)      July 2, 16      900/900

Bull Trout Lake #1, Little (Grandjean)      July 2, 16      750/750

Bull Trout Lake #2, Little (Grandjean)      July 2, 16      200/200


Clear Creek (Cascade)      July 9      200

Council Park (Ol’ McDonald) Pond (Council)      July 2      500

Fischer Pond (Cascade)      July 2      750

Gold Fork River (Donnelly)      July 9, 23      500/250

Goose Creek (New Meadows)      July 9      250


Kimberland Meadows Pond (New Meadows)      July 16      750

Lake Fork Creek (McCall)      July 9     300

Lake Fork Creek, North Fork (McCall)      July 9     200

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds      July 9      300

Marsing Pond      July 2      450


Martin Lake (Grandjean)      July 2, 16      1,000/1,000

Northwest Passage Pond (McCall)      July 9, 23      375/375

Payette River, Middle Fork      July 9, 23      750/750

Payette River, North Fork      July 2, 16      2,250, 250

Payette River, South Fork      July 9, 23      1,425/1,425


Poormans Pond (McCall)      July 16      250

Rowland (Scout) Pond (McCall)      July 2, 23      750/750

June 28: Chinook fishing update for South Fork Salmon River and Upper Salmon River

Anglers wanting to fish for Chinook in the South Fork of the Salmon River better get there soon because the harvest share may not last until Fourth of July. 

Fisheries manager Dale Allen said within four days of the season opener 25 percent of the harvest share of about 700 fish had already been caught. Some fish have arrived at the fish trap, and they're distributed throughout the river. 

Allen noted the number of anglers has been going up and the angling hours per fish caught has been inching down, and if those trends continue, the season could be over before the Fourth of July. 

"This weekend will be key," he said. "If a bunch of people show up and the catch rates keep increasing, they're going to catch them quickly. If you really want to fish the South Fork, you better go now." 

Anglers can see the daily catch rates on poster boards along the South Fork of the Salmon River Road,  and on the Chinook harvest page. Anglers can also call the salmon fishing hotline at (855) 287-2702 for updates on seasons and closures. 

Upper Salmon River

Catch rates for Upper Salmon have been modest in the early season, and chances are good the Chinook season will last through the Fourth of July holiday and beyond. On Friday, June 29, the Fish and Game Commission will consider opening a third section to Chinook fishing near the mouth of the Pahsimeroi River. 

Visit Fish and Game at the Great Northwest Outdoor Expo

The expo is making its Idaho debut June 29-July 1 in Nampa, and Fish and Game will be on hand at its booth and also providing seminars about big game hunting, upland bird hunting and fishing on Friday and Saturday. 

Fish and Game’s booth will have displays, staffers available to answer general questions about hunting, fishing and more, and also sell licenses and tags. 

The expo features everything outdoors from hunting, fishing, camping, ATVs, sporting dogs, and much more. To see seminar schedules and learn more about the expo, go to

New laws taking effect July 1 pertain to trespassing, animal salvage, and trapper education

Many new Idaho laws that passed in the last legislative session take effect July 1, including laws that affect outdoor recreationists, including hunters, anglers and trappers. 

New trespass law

Idaho’s trespass law changes July 1 and people are now required to have written permission or other lawful permissions to enter private property. 

The law also specifies: 

Biologists begin grizzly bear trapping in the Caribou/Targhee National Forest

Fish and Game will begin trapping efforts in the Upper Snake Region from the end of June until the end of August.  This research is part of on-going efforts required by the 2016 Conservation Strategy for the Grizzly Bear in the Yellowstone Ecosystem to monitor grizzly bears.  

When trapping operations are being conducted, the area around the trap site will be marked with bright warning and closure signs.  It is important that the public respect these signs and not enter posted areas. Trapping will primarily take place in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest within the caldera in Island Park, west of Highway 20 along the Centennial Mountain Range, and the Cave Falls area near the Wyoming border.   

Captured bears are sedated and handled in accordance with strict protocols developed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. Bears that meet our criteria are fitted with a radio collar. By observing radio-collared females, we are able to document age of first reproduction, average litter size, cub and yearling survival, and how often females produces a litter. Data collected from both sexes allow us to estimate survival among different sex and age classes, causes of mortality, and gain a better understanding of habitat use and food habits.  

For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts or Idaho’s role in grizzly bear management, call 208-525-7290.