Press Release

May 2020

Hiker attacked by bear near Henrys Lake Outlet

The victim sustained injuries, but was able to walk out on his own. At around 5:30 p.m. he was transported by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. He was treated for his injuries and released.

Idaho Fish and Game along with Fremont County Deputies have secured the scene and are conducting an investigation of the incident.

No campers are in the area as the campground does not open until May 30, but nearby hikers and anglers are currently being contacted along with nearby residents of the Henrys Lake area. Henrys Lake State Park remains open to visitors, but trails in the area have been closed. 

Officials are asking people to stay out of the area until the investigation is completed and it is deemed safe enough to return. 

--UPDATE 5/30/20--

On Saturday morning Fish and Game resumed their investigation of the site where Gregory Godar (73) of West Yellowstone and his wife had a surprise encounter with what he describes as sow grizzly and her 2 yearling cubs.

Godar was attacked on the trail and was unable to deploy the bear spray he had strapped to his chest. “If I had one word of advice, it would be to carry your bear spray in your hand and not strapped to your chest,” says Godar. “I think if I had it in my hand I could have stopped her”. Godar explained that his wife was able to deploy her spray as they backed out of the area, but the bears were too far away by that time. 

A sweep of the trail system at Henrys Lake State Park was conducted by Fish and Game Saturday, May 30 but no bears were found.

Location of the attack site was determined and a mostly consumed animal carcass was found nearby. Several day beds used by bears were also discovered in the vicinity. The animal carcass was collected and removed from the site.

Fish stocking continues statewide, and here are some highlights for June

Idaho Fish and Game has continued stocking fish during COVID-19, and despite this being an abnormal year, most of Idaho's angling opportunities remain unchanged. Here's a sampling of some places that will get generous trout stockings during June.

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Photo by Vicky Osborn/Idaho Fish and Game

To see more about what waters have been stocked, go our the Fish Stocking webpage. 

Panhandle Region

Fernan Lake – 5,200 Rainbow Trout. A popular fishing spot 10 minutes from downtown Coeur d'Alene, anglers of all abilities can enjoy fishing from floating docks, miles of shoreline, or from boats on this lake.

Parking lot construction will begin early June on top of Eagle Creek Road

Parking lot construction will begin early as Monday, June 1st and will continue until June 15th on the large parking area at the intersection of Zaza and Eagle Creek Road.The parking area will be closed and motorists should anticipate heavy truck traffic and occassional delays. For those that would like to park and ride down Eagle Creek, Idaho Fish and Game will allow use of the lower parking lot which is approximately 500' past the intersection down Eagle Creek Road. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding while we work on improving this area. Contact Andrew Mackey at (208) 799-5010 for more information.   




Salmon Region waters to be stocked with trout in June

Even with COVID-19 concerns changing the way we are currently living, working, and recreating, you can still get outside for some fishing adventures. Just remember to follow public health recommendations for social distancing, even when outdoors.

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Mike Demick - IDFG

Idaho Department of Fish and Game will stock over 31,680 rainbow trout in the 10-12 inch range at the following location in June.

Location, Week Stocked, Number of Trout

F&G begins annual grizzly bear research trapping in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest

Biologists from Idaho Fish and Game will begin annual research trapping efforts for grizzly bears in the Upper Snake Region on May 31. To avoid conflicts with hunters, current operations will be confined to areas where hunting is prohibited. Larger scale operations will begin July 1, in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest within the caldera in Island Park, west of Highway 20 along the Centennial Mountain Range, and in the Cave Falls and Teton areas near the Wyoming border.

2020 Campground Openers/Closures at Horsethief Reservoir

The opening of campgrounds at Horsethief Reservoir has been delayed due to the current COVID-19 situation. The opening date for overnight camping at Horsethief Reservoir Campground has been set for Saturday, May 30th. Basic sanitary measures to address COVID-19 issues for campground users are being implemented.

Horsethief Reservoir is managed cooperatively by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the YMCA. Fish and Game manages the popular trout fishery, while the YMCA manages the campgrounds. Several campgrounds are being renovated to improve camping facilities. Osprey Bay and Easter's Cove campgrounds will remain closed for much of the 2020 season because of construction. 

  • Osprey and Easter’s will be open May 30 to June 30,  then closed from July 1 to October for renovation.
  • All other campgrounds (Eastside loops, Timber Bay, King’s Point, and Bear Knob) will be open all summer/fall, starting May 30. 

The Osprey Bay loop road will be graded and paved, as will the loop camp sites. The Easter’s Cove loop road will be properly graded, graveled and compacted. Campsites in both loops will be improved, with the installation of new living pads, picnic tables and fire rings. Last year, King's Point campground received significant upgrades. The loop road was widened and paved, and all 28 campsites were outfitted with large sand living pads, picnic tables and fire rings. The boat ramp parking area was also enlarged and paved to improve boating access.

For more information:

F&G capture and euthanize injured mountain lion near Rexburg

On the evening of May 23, a young male mountain lion was tranquilized by Fish and Game staff on the outskirts of Rexburg. The young lion had an injury on his right flank and was held overnight for observation. It was later determined that the injury was severe and the lion was euthanized. 

Over the past few weeks Fish and Game received reports of a mountain lion being spotted by Rexburg residents as the cat crossed fields and yards. More recently the young lion was photographed by a backyard trail camera on the west side of town.

On Saturday evening, nearby residents spotted the mountain lion laying along the road next to some willows and quickly called local law enforcement. Madison County Deputies and Fish and Game responded to the scene along with some local houndsmen who were asked to assist in the capture. With the help of the hounds the mountain lion was quickly contained in the willows and darted by wildlife officials.

Spring bear hunters reminded of baiting rules

With spring black bear hunting season well underway, Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds hunters that using bait comes with easy to follow rules. Yet each spring, some run afoul with the law when their blunders could easily be avoided.

black bear walking in grass
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Here are a few reminders every bear baiter should follow:

Review the rules:  “Being a responsible bear hunter starts with carefully reviewing the seasons and rules booklet,” says David Silcock, Fish and Game enforcement supervisor based in Salmon. “Take the time to read the rules and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.”

Please Recreate Responsibly during the Memorial Day Weekend

Despite COVID-19, Memorial Day remains the start of the summer recreation season, and state and federal land managers urge the public to enjoy the outdoors – but to do so responsibly.

The Recreate Responsibly Idaho partners would like to remind Idahoans to be safe and respectful of others as they enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and – to an extent – camping this holiday weekend.

To safely recreate, people should keep six-feet from those outside of their household, observing basic social distancing on trails, parks, greenbelts, beaches, river banks, or anywhere people may gather.

At Lucky Peak State Park, the staff anticipate crowds on Sunday and Monday, when the weather is expected to be best, and they hope to avoid a replay of recent weekends, when many visitors neglected safeguards.

“It was like the pandemic never happened,” said Surat Nicol, park manager.

Boat ramps like the park’s Spring Shores are pinch points, where social distancing becomes more difficult and the importance of avoiding crowding and using face masks is amplified.

“We want people to come out and have a good time, but to be prepared and be patient,” Nicol said. “It’s going to take a little longer to launch boats and to retrieve. We ask people to keep their distance.”

Across Idaho, state and federal lands and recreational areas remain open for day use, and some federal campgrounds at lower elevations will reopen for the holiday weekend. A list of recreational options and their status can be found at Recreate Responsibly Idaho. The partnership is a coalition of natural resource agencies, backed by Gov. Brad Little, promoting safe recreation.

If you want to recreate, please:

Riley Pond on the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area to be partially drained to improve waterfowl habitat

Located 4 miles south of Hagerman on the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Riley Pond will be drawn down following the Memorial Day weekend for a wetland management project. The drawdown is expected to last until early September.

Wetlands benefit from routine and timely drawdowns to increase wetland vegetation productivity, which in return benefits both waterfowl and fish.

Fish and Game staff will relocate many of the bass and bluegill from Riley Pond to other Magic Valley regional waters including the Hagerman WMA.

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Riley Pond at the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area

Purchased in 1940 for waterfowl and upland habitat, Hagerman WMA and the numerous ponds throughout the WMA have become a popular destination for anglers. Fishing will continue to be open on Riley Pond, as well as on Riley Creek and the Oster ponds.

F&G taking applications for Access Yes! Program

Fish and Game is seeking to enroll new properties in its Access Yes! Program, which improves public access to private land or through private land by compensating willing landowners who provide access.

Fish and Game recently received a $900,000 federal grant through the 2020 Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), which will help them do just that.

That funding will be split up over the next three years (2020-2022), providing an additional $300,000 annually to the Access Yes! Program for landowner compensation. Fish and Game is currently soliciting applications from interested landowners for enrollment in the program this fall, and is accepting applications through early June.

Why a landowner should consider enrolling

In addition to receiving monetary compensation, there are a number of other benefits for participating landowners.

Through Access Yes!, landowners can specify conditions upon public access that best meet their needs, such as restricting motorized vehicle travel, restricting when the property is publicly accessible, and for which wildlife species they are offering public hunting/trapping or viewing opportunities.

In addition, landowners are covered by the state recreational liability statute, which provides a liability shield to landowners who allow recreational opportunities without charge or have entered into a cooperative lease agreement with the state.

I’m a landowner and interested in Access Yes! — what is the process for applying?

The first step for participating in Access Yes! is contacting the Fish and Game Landowner Sportsman Coordinator in your region.