Press Release

June 2020

New Disabled American Veteran discounts for muzzleloader and archery permits take effect July 1

A new law that takes effect July 1 reduces the archery and muzzleloader permit fees specifically for Disabled American Veterans. Only holders of Disabled American Veteran licenses are eligible for the discounted permits.

The new fees for both permit types are $3.75 for resident and $5.75 for nonresident Disabled American Veterans. DAV license holders previously had to pay the regular resident or nonresident price for these permits.

To receive DAV reduced fees, veterans must provide a copy of their official VA Disability Percentage Rating letter, and the letter must verify a service-connected disability rating of 40 percent or greater.

For more information about Idaho Fish and Game’s disabled veterans programs, visit https://idfg.idaho.gov/licenses/dav-programs

Upper Salmon River Chinook Salmon Fishing Report

The 2020 Upper Salmon River Chinook fishery opened this past Friday, June 26.

Angler effort on opening day was high with anglers spread out throughout the fishery area. Over the weekend, the majority of anglers were observed fishing downstream of the Yankee Fork Salmon River, and poor weather on Sunday resulted in a drop in angler effort.  Salmon were caught each day, and an estimated 21 hatchery Chinook (16 adults and 5 jacks) were harvested between Friday and Sunday. Anglers averaged an estimated 65 hours per Chinook caught and 95 hours per Chinook kept.

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Brent Beller - IDFG

Conditions on the upper Salmon River were good throughout the weekend. Currently the Salmon River downstream of the Yankee Fork is flowing at 1,740 cfs which is 75 percent of average for today's date. The river's visibility was clear, and water temperatures were in the mid to upper 50s.

Salmon Region waters to be stocked with trout in July

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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Mandy Sayer

Idaho Department of Fish and Game will stock over 35,000 rainbow trout in the 10-12 inch range at the following location in July.

Location, Week Stocked, Number of Trout

Six men plead guilty, are sentenced in 2018 poaching case in Franklin County

Jay Reeder, Brandon Porter, Rick and Jesse Earl and Dustin Hollingsworth of Preston, Idaho and Brian Miller of Pennsylvania all reached plea agreements in a Franklin County court for the illegal killing and possession of three mule deer and 16 elk, including several trophy class animals in the fall of 2018 near Preston, Idaho.

Most capped resident elk tags go on sale July 10, Sawtooth Zone tags on July 13

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 Friday, 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 Monday, July 13, 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).

Resident hunters are reminded that beginning this year, those who applied for a controlled elk hunt, regardless of whether they drew or not, must wait five days after tags become available to purchase a capped elk zone tag. Learn more about the waiting period here

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. 

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

Nonresident regular deer tags sold out on June 26

Regular nonresident deer tags sold out on June 26, and while some whitetail-only tags remain, nonresident hunters who plan to buy one should do so soon because they are likely to sell out quickly.

Nonresident elk tags sold out on June 17. Fish and Game projections based on current sales rates show that the remaining white-tailed deer tags could sell out by August 1. Actual sell-out date could be sooner if sales increase, which occurred with nonresident elk tags. Elk tags sold out about two weeks earlier than projected.

To see the current availability of nonresident tags, go to the nonresident tag quota webpage. 

Nonresident over-the-counter general hunt tags are limited to:

  • 12,815 elk tags
  • 14,000 regular and white-tailed deer tags
  • 1,500 nonresident white-tailed deer tags, which are available when the regular/white-tailed tags sell out.

Fish and Game has sold out nonresident tags for years, and sell out dates have been getting earlier for several years. Idaho resident deer and elk tags are not limited by a quota.

Recent nonresident tag sell out dates

2020

Elk: June 17

Deer: June 26

White-tailed deer: Still available

2019 

Elk: Aug. 16

Deer: Aug. 27

White-tailed deer: Sept 13

2018

Elk: Sept. 24

Deer: Oct. 4

White-tailed deer: Oct. 10

2017

Elk: Oct. 31

Deer: Oct. 23

White-tailed deer: Nov. 7

Residents are not limited by an overall tag quota for deer and elk tags, but are allowed to buy nonresident tags as second tags after Aug. 1 if nonresident tags have not sold out. 

 

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

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 July.

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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

 

Day Rock Pond – 500 Rainbow Trout. This is a small pond in the Silver Valley where anglers can easily fish from the shore.

Dismal Lake – 450 Rainbow Trout. This is the only annual stocking event for this waterbody.

Wandering bull trout makes Idaho its summer stop over

Salmon and steelhead are famous for their amazing migrations, but trout and char can pull off some pretty impressive migrations as well. 

In the fish business, the term "fluvial" refers to a unique life-history where fish migrate between larger river systems where they spend winters and smaller streams where they spawn. Sometimes these migrations are quite extraordinary.

For example, biologists in Idaho documented the remarkable repeat migration of one particular fluvial bull trout (technically a char despite its common name) that is impressive. 

In January 2018, this particular bull trout was 12-inches long when it was captured and tagged by Idaho Power Corporation biologists in the Hells Canyon section of the Snake River. Small electronic tags are injected into the fish that can later be detected if the fish is recaptured, or some streams have sensors that will detect a tag if a tagged fish swims near it. 

The following January, the fish was captured again in the same section of Hells Canyon and measured 16.5 inches in length.

A few months later (May/June), this same bull trout was found in north-east Oregon’s Imnaha River, a tributary to the Snake River in Hells Canyon. Then in July, the fish traveled more than 186 miles to spawn in a small mountain stream in the Salmon River country in Central Idaho.

And that’s not the end of the story; this bull trout kept going. During winter of 2020, the fish was recaptured in the same section of the Snake River in Hells Canyon where it was found in 2019, and was again detected in the Imnaha River in May!

No doubt this bull trout will soon be making its way back to Central Idaho to its mountain spawning grounds, continuing its remarkable journey. 

First Super Hunt drawing winners announced

Winners in the first of two Idaho Super Hunt drawings have been picked.

Of the 103,623 entries, 35,674 were for eight deer tags, 36,586 were for eight elk tags, 7,026 were for eight pronghorn tags, 15,335 were for one moose tag, and 9,002 entries were for one Super Hunt Combo, which includes a tag for each of the four species.

Super Hunt winners by species, number drawn and state were:

Deer:

3 - Idaho

1 - Indiana

1 - Nevada

1 - Utah

2 - Washington

Elk:

7 - Idaho

1 - Colorado

Pronghorn:

6 - Idaho

1 - Oregon

1 - Washington

Moose: 

1 - Utah

Super Hunt Combo: 

1 – Idaho

All winners have been contacted. State law prohibits Fish and Game from releasing the names of the winners.

Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose, including general hunts and controlled hunts, in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold. All other rules of individual hunts apply.

The entry period for the second drawing goes through August 10, where tags for two elk, two deer, two pronghorn, one moose, and one Super Hunt Combo will be drawn. Winners will be notified by August 20. Hunters may enter the drawings at license vendors, Fish and Game offices, online at https://idfg.idaho.gov, or by calling 1-800-554-8685.

For more information on Idaho's Super Hunts, including frequently asked questions and stories and photos from recent Super Hunt winners, go to http://idfg.idaho.gov/superhunt.

Sorry folks: No Chinook fishing season on the South Fork of the Salmon River for 2020

There will be no open fishery on the South Fork of the Salmon River in 2020 because hatchery returns are not projected to meet broodstock needs. 

For information about where salmon fishing is available see the Chinook seasons and rules page.