Press Release

March 2019

Spring bear seasons open April 1 in some units, many others open April 15

The state's spring black bear season opens on April 1 in a number of units in the state, providing Idaho hunters with a chance to hunt big game in the spring.

The balance of units with spring black bear hunts are set to open on April 15.

Many parts of the state offer general hunting seasons for black bears, but hunters can not take any female bear with young. Here are the black bear seasons and rules.

Hunters typically spot-and-stalk, bait or use hounds for black bears. For hunters using bait or hounds, additional permits are required, and other rules apply.

Hunters who harvest a bear must present the skull and hide to an Idaho Fish and Game regional office, official check point, or a Fish and Game conservation officer for removal and retention of a premolar tooth, and to have the hide tagged with an official state export tag.

Closing dates for black bear seasons vary by unit, but most run through the May and some into June.

While bears are prized for their hides, which can be black, cinnamon or occasionally blond, the meat can also be excellent for eating. Bears are omnivores, but most of their diet consists of plants.

In some units, wolf hunting will run through April, which is not reflected in the 2017-18 big game rules brochure. Here's information about extended wolf seasons. 

Spring turkey outlook: good to very good; general season opens April 15

The youth turkey season opens Monday, April 8, and the general turkey season and many controlled hunts in the state open the following Monday, April 15.

While much of the state experienced record snowfall in February, the winter was relatively mild until that point, meaning turkeys were not stressed for a long period of time. Add that to the fact that most of the state's turkey populations were in good shape heading into the winter, and hunters can expect good to very good turkey hunting in the spring of 2019.

Public's help sought in bull elk poaching case in the Tower Creek area near Salmon

The remains of an illegally killed bull elk were discovered recently in the Salmon area and Fish and Game is asking the public for information to bring the poacher to justice.

Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) is offering a reward for information in the case and callers can remain anonymous. Contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999 twenty four hours a day.

Responding to the initial report, Fish and Game conservation officer Matt Sheppard found the carcass of a large bodied bull elk a short distance off the road on the East Fork of Tower Creek north of Salmon. Based on the location, Sheppard believes the elk was likely shot from the road. The head was removed and the entire carcass was left to rot. During his follow-up Sheppard learned that a five and six point bull elk had recently been seen near where the bull elk was found dead. “There is a very high likelihood that this is one of those animals,” Sheppard added.

“Based on the condition of the carcass, the elk was likely shot sometime during the week of March 18th,” Sheppard said. The hunting season for bull elk closed more than four months ago in this area.

Evidence was collected at the scene, but Sheppard hopes to learn more about the case from any eyewitness or others who have knowledge of the poaching incident.

“Someone in addition to the poacher knows about this case and we'd like to talk with them,” Sheppard noted.

In addition to the CAP hotline, persons with information regarding this case may also contact the Fish and Game Salmon office at 208-756-2271.

Want to try fishing? F&G's 'Take Me Fishing' trailers have all you need

Fish and Game wants to help you get started fishing and enjoy the state's amazing fishing opportunities with your family and friends. Take Me Fishing trailers are loaded with loaner fishing rods, tackle, bait and staffed by experienced anglers, and you can fish for free during the trailer events happening in spring and summer.  

Clearwater Region trout stocking schedule for April

Over 35,300 catchable- sized rainbow trout will be stocked at the following locations during April.

Body of Water                        Week To Be Stocked                          Number To Be Stocked

Mann Lake                               March 25-29                                          5400

Hordemann Pond                   April 15-19                                               500

Kiwanis Park Pond                 April 15-19                                             1500

Long Gulch Pond                    April 15-19                                               500

Mann Lake                               April 15-19                                             4500

Robinson Pond                       April 15-19                                                800

Winchester Lake                     April 15-19                                              6000

Spring Valley Reservoir         April 22-26                                               5400

Campbell's Pond                   April 29-May 3                                          2000

Deyo Reservoir                      April 29-May 3                                          5700

Lake Waha                             April 29- May 3                                         3000

The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be released when conditions become favorable. Contact the Clearwater Hatchery for more information (208) 476-3331. See our fish stocking page for statewide information about where fish are released. 

Trout Stocking Report for the Southeast Region

Personnel from Idaho Fish and Game’s hatcheries in the Southeast Region will be releasing over 25,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during April.

Location                                                Week                                 Stocked Number of Trout

Chesterfield Reservoir                         Apr 1-5                                 16,200

Bear River Below Alexander Dam      Apr 1-5                                 250

Bear River Below Oneida Dam            Apr 8-12                              750

Crowthers Reservoir                             Apr 8-12                              2,200

Bear River Below Oneida Dam            Apr 15-19                            1,000

Stone Reservoir                                     Apr 15-19                            1,500

Hawkins Reservoir                                Apr 22-26                            1,680

River (Lower)                                         Apr 22-26                             330

Weston Reservior                                  Apr 22-26                            1,500


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.



Panhandle Region trout stocking schedule for April

Over 39,000 catchable-sized (12-14 inch) rainbow trout are set to be stocked in these Panhandle lakes and ponds during the month of April. This month, our hatchery team will be paying particular attention to Fernan Lake, where around 12,000 catchable rainbows will be stocked in this lake alone.


Week stocked

Number of trout

Lower Twin Lake

April 8-12

Grab your fishing rod and head to one of these favorite spring spots

Anglers who want to get a jump on their fishing season in early spring can find places to catch fish throughout Idaho, and a surprising variety of them. 

With daylight saving time here and spring here, there's also enough daylight for after-work or after-school fishing trips to a local fishing spot. That makes March and April great months for early season fishing as a lead-in to prime spring fishing in May and early June. 

Creative Commons Licence
Mike Demick - IDFG

Idaho Fish and Game stocks trout year round, but expands its operations as more waters open in March and become suitable for trout. Typically, ponds are the first places, followed by small lakes and reservoirs, then larger reservoirs and streams, but it depends on many factors.

F&G biologists adding solar-powered GPS ear tags to mule deer monitoring

Idaho Fish and Game is using "green" power, but not where you might expect it. Mule deer bucks currently roaming the backcountry are sporting solar-powered ear tags that allow biologists to track their movements without worrying about draining a battery in a telemetry collar.

Advanced technology continues to open new doors for wildlife monitoring, and Fish and Game managers and researchers continue to be at the forefront of using that new technology in the field. During winter, they deployed 20 solar-powered, GPS ear tags to bucks in Units 22, 32, and 39.