Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions. We post here answers to questions we're being asked frequently. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us. Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office. Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered" date.

Displaying 51 - 75 of 3555 questions

Q: state record crappie out of crane creek reservoir

i want to go to crane creek and try for state record crappie . i can use all the help i can get. when should we go for crappie at crane creek? thank you.

A: 

If you are going for a big crappie, the best time will be in the spring time right before spawning. Crappie typically approach shallow water in spring to spawn when water temperatures are in the low to mid 60-degree range. Depending on the weather, that might be mid-April to late May. The best fishing in spring is usually during periods of warm stable weather. Finding crappie is the hardest part, since they can move daily and often bunch up in tight schools. Explore different types of lake structure near spawning flats such as lake points, creek channels, brush piles and ledges.  As water warms up, crappie will move up from deeper structure onto these shallow flats. Try a variety of lures, but small tube jigs tipped with scent or bait are a favorite for Idaho crappie. Rember, if you go for a Certified Weight Record, you'll need to weigh the fish on a certified scale and get a receipt. You can find complete information about the state record fish program and how to apply on the IDFG website here:
https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/record
Good luck!
 
Martin Koenig
Sportfishing Program Coordinator
 

answered 4/19/2016

Q: Group Controlled hunt moose

If I put in as a group and am drawn but there is only 1 tag left, does the whole group get passed up? Are my odds better to draw if I put in as an individual?

A: 

Thank you for your question.
If you are part of a group application and the application is selected during the draw process but there are fewer tags remaining in the hunt you entered, the draw system will not award any tags to the group application and move on to the next application with an individual or group size equal to or less than the number of tags remaining in the hunt.
You may contact us at 208-334-3700 if you have additional questions about the controlled hunt draw process.

answered 4/18/2016

Q: Unit 38

My question is unit 38 is short range weapons only and Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Lake Lowell, Unit 38-1b, 38-1xb is all that is closed in unit 38 because it is controlled hunt only?

A: 

For general deer season in Unit 38 you can hunt the short-range weapon season and/or the archery only season.  Both the Regular Deer Tag and the White-tailed Deer Tag are available to be used in Unit 38; but make sure your tag matches the season and method, and species your are hunting.  The Regular Deer Tag can be used to harvest a mule deer or white-tailed deer in Unit 38 in the season for that tag. The White-tailed deer tag is only valid for a white-tailed deer during the season for that tag.  There is no any weapon (rifle) season for Unit 38.
You are correct that the Lake Lowell section of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is closed during the Unit 38 general deer hunts.  You can only hunt on the Lake Lowell section of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge if you draw the antlered or antlerless controlled hunt(s) that are available for that area.  There are other portions of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge that are not contiguous with the Lake Lowell section that are not part of the controlled hunt but would be part of the regular season hunt.
In addition you should be aware that any State Park in Idaho is closed with a few exceptions.  To see these exceptions you can look them up on page 96 (left hand column) of the 2015-2016 Big Game Regulations.   
Also remember that most cities/towns have a regulation against discharging a firearm within city/town limits and this usually includes bow/arrows.

answered 4/18/2016

Q: How long do bass in Southwest Idaho take to grow? What is the deal with no one keeping bass?

I am curious about a few things:
1) In southwest Idaho (Airport pond in Emmett, CJ Strike, Lake Lowell, etc) how long do small and large mouth bass take to grow? I have heard a 5lb bass is over 15 years old?
2) Why is it that everyone says to never keep bass? Does this negatively impact growth and population? Is this only in small ponds vs large reservoirs? What is the science behind this? Should people not be keeping bass to eat?

A: 

Both species of bass in most of the waters you list grow slowly. A 5 lb bass could certainly be 15 years old; however, no matter where you are talking about bass from the same year class show a range of growth rates with some growing slow, others near average, and others growing more quickly. This may be influenced by water temps, sex, feeding habits, and age at maturity. We recently estimated the ages of bass at Lake Lowell. Many bass in the 14-16 range ranged from 6-12 yrs of age.  Bass at other waters grow at a similar rate, but probably not quite as slow as Lake Lowell.  
There are several reason why people encourage others not to keep bass. One is people think it is a highly-prized sportfish and they have some interest in seeing high release rates, so they have the opportunity to catch trophy individuals. A second reason is that bass have consumption advisories throughout Idaho due to mercurcy bioaccumulation. All anglers should ensure that they are following these advisories which encourage only a certain numbers of meals per time period and to selectively harvest smaller fish. Lastly, you discuss science/biology, this is a very water specific question. We estimate harvest rates through tagging studies. We see a range of harvest rates from these studies. Most of the larger water bodies (Brownlee and CJ) have moderate harvest rates (20-35%) which have shown to be sustainable and capable of providing some trophy class fish too.  Smaller ponds and reservoirs may be over-harvested if they receive intense pressure, but not all receive intense pressure.  If you have additional questions, please call the Southwest Regional Office in Nampa.  
 

answered 4/18/2016

Q: hunter education number

I had an hunter ed number that was my social security number. I requested and have received a new hunter education card from my issuing state that has a number instead of so. sec #.
I would like to change my non-resident ID profile so my social security does not show up on every license I get form Idaho. How do I change the hunter education number from my social sec # (previous) to the new number I have now?
Thanks,
ad

A: 

Idaho Fish and Game issues hunter education numbers at the time of certification, and are generated from the database and are not linked to the social security number and cannot be changed. 
The Idaho Fish and Game license system generates a sportsman's identification number from the database, not the social security number. However, for purchase you need to give your social security number - it is required by the State of Idaho. Your social security number will not print on the license.  

answered 4/17/2016

Q: How can I find prev. years trapping lic purcase? Was a trapping licence required in the early 80's?

With the new trapping course possibly being put on trappers I was wondering when I purchased my first trapping lic. I used to trap back in the early 80"s then joined the service but when retired I started trapping again.

A: 

Thank you for your question.
Trapping licenses were required in the 1980's. Unfortunately we do not have license purchase history for the 1980's.

answered 4/17/2016

Q: Mirror Lake

Is there a public access (free) on Mirror Lake. If so, where is it located. Thanks.

A: 

Hello.  Yes, there is a public access to launch a boat on Mirror Lake.  It is located at the north end of the lake at the small resort/campground.  You'll turn off the main road about 0.5 miles before reaching the lake.  I believe there is a sign for the campground and resort.  The campground and resort are privately owned, but Idaho Fish and Game has an easement that allows for public access.  You can launch a small boat at the dirt boat ramp and then must park in one of the designated IDFG access site parking spaces. These parking spaces are clearly marked and are located just west of the resort office.  The dock is privately owned, so you cannot use it.  There is not public shoreline access to fish from, so you'll need to plan to have a small boat to fish from.  Note that only electric motors are allowed.
I hope this helps and good luck fishing!
Andy Dux

answered 4/15/2016

Q: Harvest Statistics for moose

Is the panahandle region going to have there stats figured out before the deadline to apply for moose

A: 

These results are now available online in full:
2015 Moose harvest statistics
2015 Sheep harvest statistics
2015 Mountain goat harvest statistics

answered 4/14/2016

Q: If I find a winter kill, am I allowed to take the skull?

Like if it's a kill from coyotes or starvation?

A: 

Yes, any naturally killed big game animal parts except big horn sheep (need to be properly pinned) may be kept, bartered, or sold.  See page 97 of the big game regulations for more details.

answered 4/14/2016

Q: Unit 55 bear

I was looking at what unit I can hunt bear in. And I seen unit 55 has a bear hunt. Kinda confused I have been all over that unit and never seen one. Or here of any one seeing one. Maybe it's a small population. Any information would be nice

A: 

Thanks for the question but it was a typo in the Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure; Unit 55 does not have any bears in it. Sorry for the confusion.

answered 4/12/2016

A: 

Thanks for the question,
The short answer is no.  Years ago, the Kokanee fishery in Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir (SFCR) was integral to the fishing experience in the reservoir.  In the late 90's we started to see a decline in angler catch rates.  This decline continued to worsen over the next 5-7 years to the point where, despite stocking the same number and with the same stock of Kokanee, we saw no improvement in angler catch rates.  We didn't want to give up, but we believed the predator load (Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northen Pike Minnow) simply ovewhelmed the stocked kokanee.  So, we doubled stocking densities (at considerable costs) for 2 years and then monitored the fishery.  No luck.  They dissappeared, and the double stocking densities ocurred at considerable cost to the anglers (license dollars). At that point, we did not see the sense in spending license dollars feeding predators in SFCR, so we discontinued the program.
We have not revisited the hatchery stocking program since then, and have no reason to believe conditions have improved to where a hatchery kokanee based fishery would prosper.
We wish we could make it happen, but at this point in time, the precious hatchery kokanee are being used in fisheries known to produce kokanee fishing opportunities.
Please contact the region directly if you have additional questions or would like clarifications.  208-324-4359.
 

answered 4/12/2016

Q: Wild turkey range

I thought I saw a wild turkey on the the river between Garden City and Eagle along the Greenbelt by Eagle Island. It was near the heron nesting area. Is that possible?

A: 

Yes, it is possible. There is a fairly healthy population of wild turkeys along the Boise River corridor from Eagle to where the Boise River joins the Snake River. It is fairly common for Fish and Game to receive sightings from the Eagle area. Occasionally, Fish and Game even receives observations from Boise.

answered 4/11/2016

Q: Do I need a trappers license to trap rats?

I getting some pack rats at my work location, do I need a trapping license to trap out these rats?

A: 

No you do not.  Thanks for asking!

answered 4/11/2016

Q: Where are the public boat ramps on milner resevoir?

Searched the reservoir on google maps and cant identify anything that would look like a public access point with boat ramp. I believe the BLM Milner rec site west of Burley would qualify. This is a really large reservoir to not have sportsman access points, and a long drive from Montpelier to search all the possibilities. any information would be greatly appreciated, Thanks for your time.

A: 

There are several public and commercial access sites on Milner Reservoir.  Start by searching parks in Burley and Heyburn.
The best site is Lud Drexler Park in Burley where Overland Road crosses the Snake River.   The BLM "Milner Historic Recreation Area" located 9 miles south of Burley also has a ramp and camping amenities.  Search key words BLM Milner Reservoir for images and information on some of the most popular Milner Reservoir sites.
 

answered 4/11/2016

Q: Fishing with two pole permits

Can another person fish on a two pole permit?

A: 

No they can not fish in idaho without a valid licnese that was purchsed for the individual.

answered 4/10/2016

Q: What are the rules about raising deer for meat?

I looked around the website as much as I could and I could not find any information about raising deer or elk on a farm for meat. What are the rules, what permits would I need? Would I need to post no trespassing and no hunting? How likely is it that they would be bothered more than cows in pasture land?

A: 

Domestic wildlife (deer and elk) are considered livestock and are therefore managed by Idaho Department of Agriculture.  You would have to contact them for rules and regulations regarding game farming.

answered 4/8/2016

Q: Is it ever going to be discussed about changing the rule of mounting a Gopro to guns or bows to video a hunt?

I understand not being able to mount certain electronic devices to guns or bows to give you an advantage but a Gopro gives you no advantage except to film your hunt.

A: 

This is an issue that the Commission could take up at any time. Currently, no electronic devices may be attached to archery equipment or firearms.

answered 4/8/2016

Q: Removing deer in residential neighborhoods

Four deer have taken up residence in my neighborhood (South Boise near Manitou Park). Who can I call to have them removed. They are eating our shrubs, etc.

A: 

Some general steps you can take is to make loud noises, startle the deer, and make it uncomfortable for the deer. There are some commercial and home-made remedies that you can spray on your shrubs and other ways to either protect or make your shrubs less palatable. Removal of deer in residential neighborhoods is not always practical or standard. For more specific steps that can be tailored to your specific situation you are can call your regional office. In SW Idaho that is the Nampa office - 465-8465.
 

answered 4/8/2016

Q: Can I use a 22, 22 mag, and 17 hmr (all rimfire cartiges) for mountian lions?

Page 98 of Big Game under weapons notes exception for mountain lions for rimfire guns - I believe

A: 

Yes, it is legal to take mountain lion or legally trapped gray wolves with a rimfire weapon.  For all other big game, the use of a rimfire would be unlawful.

answered 4/6/2016

Q: If big game hunters must dispose of carcasses properly, why isn't this also the standard for salvagers, which don't have to take all the animal if they don't want to?

Big game hunters are required to properly dispose of carcasses but salvagers can gut an elk along an interstate and leave it legally. Potentially causing another accident from scavaging animals not to mention the eye sore and leaving it for someone else to clean up. Why is that?

A: 

That is a good question.  We ask that salvagers pick up the animal they wish to salvage and haul it away to process.  We also ask they put safety first when salvaging.  Proper disposal of a carcass is always recommended once you take it into possession.  However, you bring up a good point that people don't always use safe and common sense practices when salvaging a large animal.  Perhaps it is something we need to revisit in our salvage rule.

answered 4/5/2016

Q: Can i use a spear gun on carp while snorkeling or from the shore?

I have a couple of spear guns from when my father use to scuba. I was wondering if it is legal to use those on non-game fish such as carp.

A: 

You may legally use a spear gun or archery equipment to fish for non game species such as carp.  Please be aware that many species look similar underwater and that you must be able to identify your target positively.

answered 4/5/2016

Q: Can I complete Oregon's hunter education if I'm an Idaho resident?

Can I complete the Oregon hunter's education course, if I'm an Idaho resident, and have never taken it?

A: 

A hunter education certification from another state would qualify for purchasing a hunting license in Idaho. This includes online and instructor-led courses. States vary whether they accept non-residents into hunter education courses. To find out contact the hunter education program in the state where you plan on taking hunter education.

answered 4/5/2016

Q: Size of Idaho Bass

I've been spending some time fishing Silver Lake down in Boise. I have quite a few questions about it. It's rumored you guys are responsible for either actively stocking the lake or you stocked it at one point, is this true? Now that aside, there's two rumors that have really been bugging me. According to some fishermen 4-5 lbs is the "average" size of largemouth bass in this lake. They also claim 8lbs is a "quality" fish. I've yet to actually see any of these fish and I've caught plenty of 1.5 to 2 lb fish which they mentioned were four lbers. From this I can already image how they would see a four pounder as an eight pounder. Are their measurements off or are these just tall tales? Now my question is, for a northern lake here in Idaho, is this even possible? The second rumor I've heard which is there is spotted bass. To me this is just too outlandish, but could it be true?

A: 

Silver Lake is a private water. We have little to do with its management, though we have some oversight responsibility regarding fish stocking and importation. We certainly do not stock it currently (we do not stock waters inaccessible to the public) and there are no records of it being stocked by IDFG recently. However, historical stocking records are not perfectly complete, so it is possible that we may have stocked it a long time ago. Regardless, it is not a public water currently.
As for average size bass, anglers are known exaggerators. We would be more than fairly surprised that any water in Idaho possesses bass that average 4 lbs. As for 8 lbers, we occassionaly see largemouth bass in this size range in other waters that we sample, but they are exceedingly rare. Throughout my career, sampling thousands of fish with electrofishing equipment, I've only handeled two, both of which were from CJ Strike, though certain small waters in the Southwest Region have trophy potential.
As far as we know, there are no spotted bass in Idaho. If they are in Silver Lake, it would be without our knowledge and would be the results of illegal transport or introduction from other states. This is fairly unlikely as potential source waters are a long distance away.

answered 4/4/2016

Q: are controlled hunts draws separate for different weapon types?

Is the muzzleloader elk draw separate from the archery elk draw? Or, is it all combine?

A: 

There are 3 types of hunts in Idaho.  Any weapon, muzzleloader only and archery only.   If a hunt does not specific muzzlerloader or archery, it would be an any weapon.

answered 4/3/2016

Q: Bowhunter education

So I took my bow hunters ed. Do I need to go and shoot for some one like the do for hunters ed for rifles at the end or the course?

A: 

The bowhunter online course is online only. At the end of the course print your certification card and you take this to purchase your archery tag. If you participated in the instructor-led course, you received your card at the end of the course. Lost your card? Use our self-serve certification look up at fishandgame.idaho.gov - hunter education.

answered 4/2/2016