Press Release

February 2019

Southwest Region trout stocking schedule for March

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 17,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during March.

Location      Week Stocked      Number of Trout

Boise River – Barber Dam to Glenwood      March 11      1,440

Boise River – Eagle Rd. to Middleton      March 11      1,440

Caldwell Pond #2       March 4      500

Crane Falls Reservoir (Bruneau)      March 25      1,200

Duff Lane Pond (Middleton)      March 4      225

Eagle Island Park Pond      March 18      450

Eds Pond (Emmett)      March 18      200

Esthers Pond (Boise)      March 4      1,300

Indian Creek (Caldwell)      March 11      200

Indian Creek (Kuna)      March 11      300

Kleiner Pond (Meridian)      March 4, 18      450/450

Legacy Park Pond (Mt. Home)      March 25      350

Marsing Pond      February 25      450

Mill Pond (Horseshoe Bend)      March 18      450

McDevitt Pond (Boise)      March 4, 18      450/450

Merrill Pond (Eagle)      March 4      250

Parkcenter Pond (Boise)      March 11      750

Payette River Pond      March 11      450

Riverside Pond (Boise)      March 4, 18      360/360

Rotary Pond (Caldwell)      March 4      500

Sawyers Pond (Emmett)      March 18      900

Sego Prairie Pond (Kuna)      March 25      225

Settlers Pond (Meridian)      March 4, 25      125/125

Sterling Park Pond (Boise)      March 4, 25      125/125

Weiser Community Pond      March 11      500

Williams Pond (Boise)      March 25      450

Wilson Ponds (Nampa)      March 4, 11, 18, 25      400/400/400/400

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

Non-profit wildlife group offers up to $10K grants for habitat and conservation

The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation is accepting applications for its 2019 grants cycle. The grants program provides funding on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and tax-exempt organizations.

The Foundation is especially interested in projects that align with the foundation's mission. Grants up to $10,000 per project are available. To qualify, projects generally address one or more of the following areas:

  • Habitat Conservation: Projects that aid in the protection, restoration or improvement of habitats.
  • Fish and Wildlife Management: Projects that apply management principles to protect or enhance fish and wildlife.
  • Conservation Education: Projects that help educate Idahoans of all ages about the state's wildlife resources.

The deadline to apply is April 30. Recipients who qualify for funding will be notified and announced by Aug. 31 for projects to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020

Application forms and guidelines are available on the Foundation's website.

For more information, contact IFWF at (208) 334-2648 or email ifwf@idfg.idaho.gov.

Do Something Wild: Support a Sportsmen's Group

Looking for something wild to do? How about attending one of the upcoming sportsmen’s banquets?

Sportsmen organizations from around the region typically schedule their banquets and fundraisers this time of year. It is the perfect time to get together as fellow outdoors and wildlife enthusiasts and do something wild for wildlife!

Banquets are so much more than just an opportunity to eat good food and have fun with the family. They also function as fundraisers to generate money for wildlife conservation, community contributions, and youth programs—right here in southeastern Idaho.

If you would like to help these groups continue with their tireless efforts, consider buying an annual membership or volunteering your time to help with a project. You can also make a contribution by attending a sportsmen’s banquet or fundraiser—and bring the whole family. From great food, to raffles for wonderful prizes, to auctions for fabulous items, and games for the kids—there is something for everyone.

Not sure when or where your favorite group’s banquet is? Check out the information below for upcoming events in southeastern Idaho, or search the internet for the information. Most sportsmen’s organizations have a website with chapter contact information.

Mule Deer Foundation, Malad Chapter
March 2, Doors open at 5:00 pm
Malad High School
181 Jenkins Avenue, Malad City, ID
Ticket and banquet information: Shane Wood, (208) 317-6255

National Wild Turkey Federation, Southeast Idaho Chapter
March 2; Doors open at 5:00 pm
Phil Meador Toyota
1855 Flandro Drive, Pocatello, ID
Ticket and banquet information: Joe Foster (208) 339-0948 or lclm198@gmail.com, or
Tickets can be purchased online!

Fish and Game authorizes temporary elk feed site in Caribou County

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game with input from the Southeast Idaho Winter Feeding Advisory Committee (WFAC) has authorized a feed site on the west side of the Ninety Percent Range in Caribou County to bait approximately 200 elk from a landowner’s property.

No winter feeding emergency has been declared for wildlife in southeast Idaho. This baiting effort is helping to alleviate interaction between a herd of elk and a landowner’s livestock. Elk will sometimes come into livestock feedlines, which is concerning because the disease, brucellosis, can be transmitted between elk and livestock.

The WFAC (composed of citizen volunteers) and Idaho Fish and Game has been closely monitoring the weather and its impacts on wintering wildlife throughout the region this winter. Both the WFAC and Fish and Game staff have been making wildlife observations in the field, and reporting weather conditions, big game animal movements, and wildlife/human conflicts during regular meetings to discuss winter feeding. 

Big game herds are handling the weather

Currently, big game animals appear to have good body conditions for this time of year, and they are fairly well spread out across their winter ranges. Though snow is deep in some areas, exposed vegetation, access to areas with shallow snows, or windswept slopes, are available throughout the region.

Prior to late February snow storms, the region had experienced storms followed by warmer temperatures and melting snow, which afforded big game animals fairly consistent access to vegetation, and good mobility.

That means deer and elk were able to retain more of their fat reserves than if the weather and snow conditions had been more severe. Of course, the advisory committee and wildlife managers will continue to closely monitor weather and snow conditions throughout the region until spring and/or warmer weather arrives. 

Feb. 25: Upper Salmon River steelhead fishing report

Feb. 25: Poor weather conditions over the past week on the upper Salmon River resulted in very low steelhead angler effort. Afternoon temperatures on Thursday, Feb. 21, and over the weekend were warm enough to allow a break in the frazil ice, and some anglers were able to get out and try fishing.

$50,000 is swimming in Lake Pend Oreille

If the great taste of a walleye fillet isn’t enough, anglers will now have added incentive to catch and keep walleye in Lake Pend Oreille and connected Idaho waters. Starting March 1, an experimental program launched by Idaho Fish and Game and Avista will offer a chance at cash rewards for anglers harvesting walleye.

Fifty walleye in Lake Pend Oreille, the Clark Fork River and the Pend Oreille River have been injected in the snout with a tiny, internal tag. These tags are invisible to anglers, but turning in heads from legally caught walleye offers anglers a chance at two types of cash rewards. Anglers will receive $1,000 for a head that is turned in from a tagged walleye. Additionally, every walleye head turned in enters anglers in the monthly drawing for ten cash prizes of $100 each.

There is no bag limit on walleye in the Pend Oreille system. For rules and entry details visit Fish and Game’s Lake Pend Oreille Angler Incentive Program website or any of the following fish head freezer locations:

UPDATE: F&G adds three proposals to 2019-20 big game hunts

Editor Note: This press release was issued prior to the closing of the comment period. Please review the more recent press release here: https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/final-big-game-season-proposals-available-o...

Idaho Fish and Game is adding three proposals for the 2019-20 big game hunting season for eastern Idaho mule deer hunts and elk hunts in the Weiser and Brownlee zones in response to new information. 

Wildlife managers simultaneously propose changes to big game hunts for the upcoming season while also doing winter surveys and gauging big game populations and herd compositions. As new information becomes available, it’s necessary to alter hunting season proposals. 

People who already commented on the 2019-20 hunting season proposals will be notified of the changes and invited to comment again. Others who wish to comment on big game season proposals will have through Feb. 24. 

Wildlife managers are proposing the following changes:

Weiser Elk Zone

In the Weiser Zone, the goal for several years has been to increase cow harvest and decrease the  the herd to align with elk management plan objectives. Two years ago, general cow hunts were added to Weiser Zone A and B tags, and late antlerless controlled hunts were added to target elk causing problems on private agriculture land. 

The 2019 aerial survey indicates the efforts had the intended effect, and although the population is still above objective range, it is no longer growing.

Proposed changes include decreasing 400 Weiser River Zone antlerless elk tags, plus one week removed from A-tag cow hunt.

2018 deer, elk harvests similar to 2017; above 10-year averages except mule deer

Hunters took more mule deer and fewer white-tailed deer in 2018 compared to 2017, while the elk harvest was similar between the two years -- dropping by less than 2 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The 2018 elk harvest was about 15.4 percent above the 10-year average, and the overall deer harvest was less than 1 percent below the 10-year average.