Press Release

January 2021

Private trout farms continue to stock surplus rainbow trout into the Snake River

Magic Valley anglers have another opportunity to pursue a new unique winter fishery for rainbow trout following the stocking of large rainbow trout into the Snake River at Centennial Waterfront Park, near Twin Falls. In late January, Koehn Farms will be donating 9,000 trout, which weigh over one pound, into the Snake River. This donation come about due to an unfortunate decline in demand for rainbow trout bound for retail markets.

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Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

Fish and Game staff are helping to stock rainbow trout donated by Magic Valley trout producers into area waters.

Hunters will see big reduction in antlerless moose tags, similar sheep and goat tags for 2021-22 seasons

Fish and Game Commission on Jan. 28 set moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons for 2021-22 during its meeting in Nampa. Changes include reductions in tags available for all three species, including substantial decreases in moose tags, particularly antlerless tags, and minor adjustments to tags for bighorn sheep and mountain goats. 

The new seasons will be posted on Fish and Game's website in early-to-mid March and available in printed rules booklets at Fish and Game offices and license vendors in mid-to-late March. The controlled hunt application period for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats is April 1- 30.

Here’s a summary of changes for 2021-22: 

Moose

Overall reduction of 18 bull tags from 560 to 542 tags and reduction of 71 antlerless moose tags from 74 to three total tags. Reduction in moose tags is in the Southeast and Upper Snake Regions in response to information indicating declining populations, low calf survival, low recruitment and declining harvest metrics. 

Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever said the department is trying to identify why some of these populations are declining and reverse it. 

“We do not take this lightly, and we have a lot of work going on statewide,” Schriever said. 

Here’s information about what the department is doing to study moose populations.

Moose season details include: 

  • Decreased antlerless tags in the Southeast and Upper Snake Regions.
  • Added new antlered hunt in the Southeast Region.
  • Added new antlerless hunt in the Magic Valley.
  • Expanded Hunt Area 44 in the Magic Valley.

Bighorn Sheep

Statewide changes include a decrease in Rocky Mountain bighorn ram tags from 80 to 78 and a decrease in California bighorn ram tags from 17 to 16.

Details include: 

Public’s Help Sought in Second Waterfowl Carcass Wasting Case

Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding the recent dumping of more than 25 whole waterfowl carcasses north of Emmett on Van Deusen Road. The mix of birds included mallards, teal and northern pintails.

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 twentyfour hours a day.

Fish and Game conservation officer Josh Leal is investigating the incident, and while evidence was collected at the scene, Leal hopes to learn more about the case from an eyewitness or others with knowledge of the incident. “I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this wanton waste case,” Leal noted.

The investigation continues in an earlier wanton waste case where nearly three dozen partially field dressed and whole waterfowl carcasses were dumped behind the Fred Meyer store on Chinden Boulevard in Boise.

In addition to the CAP hotline, persons with information regarding this case may also call the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465 weekdays and Idaho State Police at 208-846-7550 on weekends.

WMA Nesting Closures Begin February 1

After providing countless days of outdoor recreation for hunters this fall and winter, Fish and Game’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are ready for a rest and a refocus.

Many WMAs provide sanctuary and nesting habitat for upland and nongame birds as well as waterfowl – ducks and geese. One key to this habitat’s effectiveness is that it remains undisturbed by humans, which is why some WMAs institute area closures beginning February 1st each year. Human disturbance can result in nest abandonment and failure, while undisturbed nesting birds have a much greater chance of producing the next generation of offspring.

Safety tips when living in proximity to mountain lions

Reports of mountain lions in the Wood River Valley are down considerably from the winter of 2019-2020. Last year, Fish and Game reported nearly 100 incidents involving mountain lions in the Wood River Valley, which included several attacks on pets.

While reports have diminished this winter, mountain lions continue to live throughout the Wood River Valley. Fish and Game continues to receive reports, most of which involve lions moving through neighborhoods or sightings of lions in yards.

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IDFG

An adult male mountain lion in its day bed behind a Ketchum residence.

Since mid-January 2021 mountain lions have been observed in the Wood River Valley between Hailey and Bellevue, and a lion is suspected in killing a deer near homes in the Indian Creek area, north of Hailey.

Winter surveys show high numbers of mule deer fawns in the Upper Snake

Mule deer fawn numbers are looking really good across much of the Upper Snake Region as we head into the rough part of winter.

"Our fawn production across the region was pretty incredible," said Upper Snake Region Wildlife Manager Curtis Hendricks. "I think that we have only had fawn ratios rivaling these numbers on the east side of the interstate on one other occasion."

Wildlife Biologists conducted mule deer herd composition flights this past December in each of the region’s mule deer data analysis units (DAUs). The Upper Snake Region includes portions of 5 mule deer DAUs – Smoky-Boise, Mountain Valley, Island Park, Palisades and Caribou.

Southwest Region Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule - February

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 9,800 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during February. Two of the treasure Valley’s newest ponds are including in the schedule; Dick Knox Pond in Emmett and Star City Pond West in Star.

LOCATION                                                                   WEEK STOCKED         NUMBER OF TROUT

Boise River – Barber Dam to Glenwood Bridge              February 8                  720

Boise River – Eagle Rd to Middleton Bridge                    February 8                  720

Dick Knox Pond (Emmett)                                                  February 15                700

Eagle Island Park Pond                                                       February 22                350

 

Kleiner Pond (Meridian)                                                      February 1                   700

Marsing Pond                                                                       February 1                   550

McDevitt Pond (Boise)                                                        February 1                   450

Payette Pond                                                                        February 22                 550

 

Riverside Pond (Garden City)                                            February 8, 22             450/450

Sawyers Pond (Emmett)                                                    February 15                 350

Star City Pond West                                                            February 22                 600

Weiser Community Pond                                                   February 22                 500


Williams Pond (Boise)                                                         February 8                   450

Magic Valley Region rainbow trout stocking schedule for February 2021

Hatchery personnel from Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region will be stocking approximately 7,350 10-12” catchable-sized rainbow trout in February. All stocking dates and numbers of fish are approximate and may change without notice due to water or weather conditions.

 

Body of Water

Week to be Stocked

Number to be Stocked

Comments

Magic Valley trout growers donate thousands of live trout for anglers to catch

In mid-January, over 40,000 rainbow trout were stocked in two locations in the Magic Valley Region. The Bell Rapids stretch of the Snake River received 40,000 rainbow trout from the Jones Fish Farm. These fish are all well over one pound in size. During the same week, the College of Southern Idaho aquaculture program donated 500 rainbow trout that were stocked into Rock Creek within Rock Creek Park.

Public's Help Sought in Waterfowl Carcass Wasting Case

Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding the recent dumping of 34 whole and partially field-dressed waterfowl carcasses behind the Fred Meyer store at Glenwood and Chinden in Garden City.

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.

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Ben Cadwallader, IDFG

Fish and Game district conservation officer Ben Cadwallader investigated the incident and found 19 whole waterfowl carcasses, mostly mallards, along with 15 others with the breast meat removed. Based on security camera footage of the suspect vehicle, the carcasses were dumped from a pickup truck just before 8:00pm on Wednesday, January 20th.

Canada geese carcasses dumped near Aberdeen

Idaho Department of Fish and Game is looking for information regarding another waterfowl waste case in southeast Idaho. At least 5 Canada geese were discovered at the base of a cliff where they had been tossed and left to waste after being shot. The disposal site was likely accessed via a two-track dirt road off of Beach Road which runs along American Falls Reservoir just outside of Aberdeen.

This is the second waterfowl waste case Idaho Fish and Game has investigated in the Southeast Region in less than four weeks, the first involving duck carcasses dumped off of Hall Road in McCammon in late December 2020.  And, in the Magic Valley Region, Idaho Fish and Game is still seeking information regarding the waste of multiple geese along the Snake River in Minidoka County in two separate incidents during this same timeframe.

Idaho code is clear on this issue: waste of game birds is illegal. The edible portions of meat must be taken, which is the breast meat for ducks and geese.

Those with information regarding any of these waterfowl waste cases can call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999 or either of the regional Fish and Game offices in Pocatello (208-232-4703) or Jerome (208-324-4359). Callers can remain anonymous, and there are rewards for information that leads to arrests in any of these cases.