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 151 - 175 of 3555 questions

Q: How do I get a license to own a wolf?

I am planing to own a pure bred wolf, though in law, I must obtain a license to merely own one. Therefore, what must I do to get this license?

A: 

Pet/Domestic wolves are usually not pure wolf.  They may be close in heritage to thier wild cousins but usually show some sign of domestic dog.
The permit is to allow personnel to identify domestic wolves from wild wolves, if they show all primary wolf characteristics and no domestic dog characteristics.
The permit is issued by Fish and Game through the regional offices.
Contact your nearest regional office for a wolf permit application and to schedule a visit by fish and game personnel to take photos and evaluate the animal for primary wolf characteristics.
Primary wolf characteristics are found in IDAPA 13.01.10.600
 
a. Eyes shine greenish orange
b. Ears rounded and smaller in proportion to those of the coyote
c. Snout is broad with nose pad wider than one (1) inch
d. Legs are long, an adult would stand at approximately twenty-six (26) to thirty-two (32) inches at the shoulder
e. Length is four and one-half (4.5) to six (6) feet from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail
f. An adult weighs at least eighty (80) pounds
h. Fur is long and coarse, varies from white to black but is generally grayish in coloration resembling the coyote.            The underparts are not as white and the legs and feet are not as red as those of the coyote.
 
 

answered 1/31/2016

Q: Brook trout or Sunapee Trout in Sawtooth Lake?

I have been researching the history of sunapee trout in the sawtooths and realized that I caught some fish in sawtooth Lake about 7 years ago that I assumed were brook trout, but when I re-examined these pictures I realized they might be sunapees. According to what I have been able to find, the only two lakes with established sunapee populations are Alice Lake and Sawtooth Lake, and these lakes aren't listed under the bodies of water that contain brook trout in the Salmon region. Are there other char species in Sawtooth lake such as brook trout and/or lake trout, or did I in fact catch sunapee trout?

A: 

Your question is interesting and timely.
Sunapee (which are a type of char and related to lake trout, brook trout and bull trout) were stocked in several lakes in the Sawtooths over 50 years ago.  Over the years we've had anglers catch Sunapee and bring them to our offices for identification.  We don't advertise this unique fishing opportunity because of the risk of over exploitation.
This past year, the Forest Service started collecting water samples from various lake outflows in the Stanley Basin area and running eDNA analysis in an attempt to identify the various fish species in each waterbody.  This process is new and evolving.  In a very basic sense, unique DNA markers or sequences from aquatic organisms can be isolated and identified, so we can tell what fish species exist in a water just by analyzing a water sample and analyzing DNA.
In Hell Roaring Lake, it showed a positive eDNA sequence for lake trout.  This was baffling because lake trout have never been stocked in the lake and have not been stocked upstream.  Our records did show Sunapee being stocked in a lake just upstream of Hell Roaring Lake and both waters are connected by a surface stream.  Because genetic eDNA markers haven't been developed for Sunapee, and they are a close relative of lake trout, we suspect a reminant population of Sunapee are being detected in the sample.
Stay tuned because our fisheries staff will conduct focused sampling on Hell Roaring Lake in 2016 to verify the fish community.
  

answered 1/30/2016

Q: Shed Hunting: can I use an antler trap?

I was wondering if there are any restrictions using baited antler traps in the Boise foothills? This is a simple antler trap using a salt lick or any other bait, that is surrounded with stretched out bungee cords to drop the antlers that might still be on any deer trying to get at the bait. I've seen them before but wanted to know if they were legal in the state.

A: 

Antler traps are legal as long as the animal is not harmed by the "trap".
If placing an antler trap on public ground, check with the land management agency, they may have restrictions on placing items that are left unattended.
One word of caution, if using bait to attract animals to the antler trap, it is unlawful to use bait to attract wildlife (turkey, deer, elk etc.) and then hunt them.
 

answered 1/29/2016

Q: waterfoul hunting the clearwater river in Lewiston

I've seen quite a few fishing access signs on 95 heading south out of Lewiston along the clear water river. Can you duck hunt at these access points or is it fishing only?

A: 

The access sites along the Clearwater River east of Lewiston are mainly to provide boating and fishing access.  Be aware that all hunting is closed in the Lewiston Preserve, from Lewiston east to the railroad bridge at Spaulding. The Nez Perce National Historical Park in Nez Perce County is also closed to hunting of all game birds. Please contact the Clearwater Fish and Game office in Lewiston at 208-799-5010 for more details.   

answered 1/27/2016

Q: motorized hunting rule

What are the fines/license revocation penalties for violation of motorized hunting rule? I was told by a friend there is a 1 year loss of hunting license plus a fine. That is true for trespass, correct?

A: 

A violation of the Motorized Hunting Rule is Misdemeanor in Idaho, which comes with a penalty of a fine of $25-$1,000, and or up to 6 months in jail. It also comes with the potential of a license revocation of up to 3 years. there is no mandatory minimum for the fine or the license revocation as there is with a Trespass to hunt and Fish conviction. Where the se4ntence ends up within those ranges is up the Judge's discretion.
 

answered 1/25/2016

Q: Are crappie being removed from Lake Lowell

I haven't caught any crappie from Lake Lowell this past year. The year before I only caught 2 Crappie. Another angler told me that Fish and Game were removing the large crappie from Lake Lowell and placing them in ponds? Is this true. We need large crappie in Lake Lowell. The only other lake that produces good crappie is CJ Strike, which is a long drive from Caldwell. Lets us keep our fish.

A: 

There is absolutely zero truth to that rumor. Over the last couple of years, IDFG has been capturing, tagging, and releaseing channel catfish and largemouth bass at Lake Lowell to gain a better understanding of use and harvest rates. In addition, we also occassionally (about once every couple of years) collect a couple hundred bluegill and lesser numbers of largemouth bass to stock new ponds or drought-stricken waters that have refilled. During these efforts, we rarely sample crappie and have never removed or translocated crappie. In fact, we translocated nearly six thousand crappie to Lake Lowell during 2009 in an attempt to increase abundance. This effort did not achieve the intented result likely due to the extremely high abundance of common carp. 

answered 1/23/2016

Q: If I draw a controlled hunt for bear is that my only bear hunting opportunity for the year?

If I were to apply and draw a controlled spring bear hunt would that be my only bear hunting opportunity for the year or would I still be able to participate in general spring or fall hunts if I did not harvest?

A: 

Even if you harvested a bear on a controlled hunt tag, you could purchase a second bear tag.  This would allow you to hunt the spring or fall general season.   However, if you were to harvest during the general spring bear season on the general season bear tag, you would be done for the year.

answered 1/22/2016

Q: Does Fish and Game consider trapping Steelhead for Boise River from Riggins instead of Hells Canyon?

I have fished Hells Canyon for years, it is remote, quiet and a beautiful place to fish for this prized fish, every year extra steel head are trapped in addition to the hatchery needs to plant the Boise River as well as other locations. I know this is to sell tags but the fish put in these systems are at best caught for only a couple days, myself and many of my friends see a huge decrease in fishing as hundreds of these fish are removed from Hells Canyon, has fish and game ever considered sharing the pain and trapping a portion of these fish from the Salmon river?

A: 

Yes, we have considered many options for how we operate the steelhead trapping and translocation program as it seems to receive an inordinate amount of scrutiny. For Idaho's share, we try to find a balance between meeting broodstock needs, and providing harvest opportunity downstream of Hells Canyon and in other locations. Currently, we purposefully delay the opening date of the Hells Canyon trap to meet the needs of fishermen downstream of Hells Canyon. After November 1, we usually begin trapping efforts to capture fish for the Boise River. As for the notion that we are doing this simply to sell tags and that translocated fish only last a couple of days, I don't agree. We operate the translocation program to provide a unique fishery to a large number of people that might not find the time to travel to do so. Plus, this program reminds people of what was once in the Boise River and other systems that no longer provide anadromous fishing opportunity. Sure, the fact that these anglers buy tags is a bonus, but it certainly is not the reason why we choose to provide this fishery. As for residence time, it is true that a lot of the harvest and effort occur within the first few days. However, we see steelhead-related fishing effort for several weeks after the last stocking event and stocked steelhead live for several months after being translocated. Last weekend, we received a report of one angler catching 2 steelhead in the Boise River in one day, around three months post translocation. These reports are not uncommon. As for utilizing Salmon River fish, I don't see that this option is feasible.  As you probably know, almost Salmon River trapping locations are located much farther upstream and steelhead do not begin to show up at the facilities until the spring at which time they are in much worse condition to the point that translocating wouldn't provide decent fisheries.     

answered 1/22/2016

Q: is there an age restriction on hunting coyotes without an adult and ive heard you can get a spotlighting permit,is there an age restriction on perchesing one?

im 16 and was wondering if there is an age restriction on hunting coyotes without an adult?i have also heard you can get a spotlighting permit,is there an age restriction on perchesing one?

A: 

If you are 16 there are no age restrictions for hunting coyotes. There is currently no age restriction for a spotlight permit.

answered 1/21/2016

Q: What Baits ARE legal to use for trapping in idaho?

If it is unlawful to use any part of a DOMESTIC or WILD origin game bird, big game, upland game, game fish, protected nongame wildlife, unprotected wildlife, or predatory wildlife for bait in trapping furbearing animals, then what CAN i use? a gold fish? no its domestic! A mouse? no its unprotected wildlife! A butterfly? no its unprotected wildlife . . . etc. PLEASE HELP ME!

A: 

Domestic or wild origin game animal refers to any game species whether it is raised in captivity (like a pheasant or elk) or is a wild animal that you have meat for.  You can use fish that are not game fish in Idaho, furbearer meat, chicken, beef, pig, etc. (they are not game animals in Idaho), lure, scent, etc..

answered 1/20/2016

Q: Will wax worms work for whitefish in the Boise River?

Will drifting a wax worm with a split-shot work for mountain whitefish? Been wanting to catch them and just wondering if wax worms are a good bait.

A: 

Wax worms and fly maggots are both used to fish for Whitefish in waters that are open for use of bait.  Use just a heavy enough splitshot to allow your bait to bounce along the bottom of the stream.
Whitefish are good smoked or pickeled.  They are a white-meated fish.  Watch for small bones.

answered 1/20/2016

Q: Golden Trout in Pass Lake

I saw on USGS website that there were Golden Trout caught in Pass Lake in Custer County as recently as 2011. Does Idaho F&G still stock these waters with Golden Trout and does this lake tend to experience a lot of winter kill?

A: 

We stock Golden Trout in select high mountain lakes as the fish become available.  California Dept. of Game and Fish, every few years, have Golden Trout eggs that are excess to their needs.  When that happens, they make them available to other western states including Idaho.  Idaho has tried on a couple of occasions to develop their own egg source but it has proven to be too expensive for the small number of eggs (less than 100,000) we need for our mountain lake stocking program.
Mountain lake winter-kill of fish are difficult to predict.  As you would guess, drought years followed by sever winter conditions can lead to complete freezing and loss of a fish population.  The other condition that will cause a mountain lake to winter-kill is when a lake has a high organic load from plant growth; freezes early; becomes snow-covered and remains that way for longer than a normal year.  As the organic matter decays it uses oxygen from the water and creates what's called an anoxic condition. Trout require a minimum of 4 parts per million in the water to survive.  Under certain conditions, plant decomposition has lead to 2 or less parts per million oxygen in some high elevation lakes.
 

answered 1/19/2016

Q: Hunting license for target practice

Do you need a hunting license to target practice on public land?

A: 

No

answered 1/17/2016

Q: Feeding white tail deer in the winter.

Is it OK to put out food for the deer in the winter? My grandchild likes to put carrots out in the snow banks and watch them.

A: 

We have no laws prohibiting feeding of wildlife though we recommend against it.  Attracting wildlife to one's house usually causes problems.  Deer will begin feeding on shrubbery, defecating on lawns, chasing pets, and attracting predators and spreading diseases and parasites (like ticks and worms) to each other and pets.  Additionally, wildlife does not do very well on new foods and can cause gastrointnestinal distress.  The bacteria in their stomachs that helps digest is very specific to their winter foods.  Also, feeding causes wildlife to lose their fear of humans and become habituated which can lead to aggressive behavior.  So, long story short, we highly recommend against it.  You very likely would call us shortly to ask to move a few deer that have become overly aggressive.

answered 1/16/2016

Q: How long to wait after purchasing a tag

How long must you wait after purchasing a tag before you can use it? I heard you must wait 24 hours.

A: 

Once you purchase a game tag, there is not a waiting period before you can go out and hunt on that tag.

answered 1/14/2016

Q: Why not Relocate!

I would like to know why the Fish@Game Does not salvage the perch at Lost Valley Resivor and plant them in a place like Salmon Falls Res. were the Walleye pop. has cleared them out pretty much this would make a good forage base for these fish . would it not be cheaper to do this than to poison them? Just wondering! Thank You!

A: 

Hello, thank you for your question about yellow perch. 
Lost Valley Reservoir is managed as a coldwater trout fishery. Yellow Perch can be a problem for producing quality trout fishing, especially when the become overabundant and small. 
Idaho Fish and Game does salvage fish in some cases. But, collecting enough yellow perch and transfering them somewhere else to improve the trout fishing would be extremely expensive. It would be very difficult to net enough perch to reduce the population close to zero. Transfering that many fish would take a lot of boats, trucks and manpower. This effort would need to be repeated every year to keep up with the perch population as they come back, and then you never really are rid of them. 
Salvaging fish does make sense in some cases. In the case of yellow perch and Lost Valley Reservoir, it is just not an economical solution for the perch management there. 
Thanks!
Martin Koenig
Sportfishing Program Coordinator

answered 1/14/2016

Q: Fishing at CJ Strike.

How is the fishing at CJ Strike this time of year? I would like to take my kids to do a little fishing but unusre how it would be? If it is worth going would it be better to use a boat or fish from the bank?

A: 

Depends on if there is ice on the Bruneau Arm of C.J. Strike.  Ice fishing for rainbow trout and perch can be very good if you have the equipment and know where the underwater fish habitat structures are located.
If there is no ice on the reservoir, fishing can be slow this time of year on C.J. Strike.  You can occasionally find a trout or perch cruzing the shore.  Use bait and fish deep for best results.  Also, fish in the afternoon when water can potentially warm a degree or two.  Warming water temperatures prompt the fish to increase feeding activities in the winter and can create exceptional fishing in late January and February when days are lengthing and temperatures begin to warm.
If you have a boat, it's best to move around on the reservoir and seek pockets of fish.  Once you've identified where fish are located and the depth, fishing with bait is your best way to catch trout and perch.  Trolling in the afternoons will be "hit-and-miss" for trout.  Boat fishing will produce better results than fishing from the bank.

answered 1/13/2016

Q: Junior Sportsmans Package

Is there an option for a junior Sportsmans Package? My son and I spend a lot of time together outdoors. Every year I purchase the Sportsmans Package for myself to cover almost all that I enjoy hunting and fishing in Idaho. My son would like to pursue (now that he is 14) the same species as I am able...but getting two full blown Sportsmans Packages is cost prohibitive. It seems it would be easy to add a Sportsmans Package for the juniors and seniors out there at their respective discounted rates. The convenience of having all the license/tags/permits available might be a huge seller and very worth while adding to the list of available packages... is anything like this available or are we only able to buy individual licenses/tags/permits for our youth (and seniors)?

A: 

We are glad to hear that you and your son enjoy spending time hunting and fishing together. We appreciate your passing on the hunting and fishing legacy to your kids.
Currently there is not an option for a junior/senior/DAV sportsmans package. This is something that has been discussed as part of our on going review of our license structure and we will continue to look at this type of a feature in our license structure. For now the best thing we can suggest is the junior licenses and the discounted tags. One thing we would suggest is when your son is 17, purchase a 3 year junior combination license. Once he turns 18 he will not be able to participate in youth hunts but he will still be able to purchase big game tags at the junior price as long as the multiyear junior license is valid.
Thank you for your question and we hope you have a great time in the outdoors this year.
 

answered 1/13/2016

Q: Can I target practice on BLM land without a hunting license?

I know that this question has already been answered, but it was answered in the year 2000. I was just wondering if the law has changed in 16 years.
Thank you!

A: 

You may target practice on BLM lands without a hunting license.

answered 1/12/2016

Q: Are adipose fins clipped on all stocked rainbow trout released in Idaho?

Are adipose fins clipped on all stocked rainbow trout released in Idaho? I caught two trout in Lucky Peak Reservoir that had caudal and pectoral fin damage commonly associated with hatchery trout but both fish retained their adipose fins.

A: 

Greetings, thanks for your question about adipose-clipped trout! 
Idaho Fish and Game does not typically adipose-clip hatchery rainbow trout. You may see some adipose-clipped hatchery trout in some waters (Salmon River near Stanley, for example), but they are not very common. The Department may adipose-clip trout when needed in certain circumstances or for a particular evaluation or study (stocked brown trout on the Boise River, for example).
The majority of hatchery trout are not typically adipose-clippped, so the trout you caught at Lucky Peak were probably typical hatchery trout. 
Thanks,
Martin Koenig
Sportfishing Program Coordinator

answered 1/11/2016

Q: Are the dates on a 3 day steelhead permit flexible?

I am taking a guided steelhead fishing trip in March and will purchase a 3 day permit and license. If for some reason the trip is postponed, and I do no fishing at all on the original dates, would the license still be good for the revised dates?

A: 

We would need to change the dates before the dates on the current license expire.  A new license would need to be issued with the new dates.  This can be done at no cost.

answered 1/11/2016

Q: Hunting

Is black bear open in unit 66a during the 2016 controled antlersless elk center fire season.
If i were to hunt antlerless elk this 2016 center fire season in unit 66a could I harvest a black bear provided i have my tags and license.

A: 

Black bear season is open in GMU 66A in the fall from Aug 30 - Oct 31.  The antlerless elk controlled hunt is Oct 25 - Nov 15.  For the first few days  of the elk season (Oct 25-31) you would be able to harvest a black bear.

answered 1/9/2016

Q: Hunting

Is black bear open in unit 66a during the 2016 controled antlersless elk center fire season?
If i were to hunt antlerless elk this 2016 center fire season in unit 66a could I harvest a black bear provided i have my tags and license?

A: 

For the 2016 year, the bear and antlerless elk hunt would be both be open only from October 25-31.   The bear is open October 1-31 and the controlled elk is open October 25-November 15.   Please be advised that these dates may differ in the future years beyond 2016.

answered 1/9/2016

Q: Why is a two point hunt allowed in the Owyhee Mountains ?

Every year while Chuckar hunting we hear stories and on occasion have seen three point Deer 'or greater 'shot and left lay in the Owyhee Mountains . Hunters that have made an error in analyzing the points on a Deer . They choose not to expose their error because of legal consequences. It is a TWO Point hunt. This has been called the Buzzard Hunt because the Buzzards will show you where these Deer shot in error are located. What a waste !!! Seems some other formate could be established , i.e. A quota system with a mandatory visual Idfg report., once the established quota has been reached , Closed . i.e. Doe hunt. i.e. Youth hunt only 'along with the big buck tag for adults'. And there may be some other alternatives. I called IDFG with this and told the guy people were shooting Deer in error ,,,,, all he said was " They better not ". In parting he said "the Lions and Scavengers will eat em up ". Aaaaah , he missed the point !

A: 

The Owyhee Units general season only allows harvest of young bucks to limit the overall harvest.  The units are mostly considered a high desert that generally supports a lower deer density because the area is limited by water and seasonal forage.  Also, the area is relatively open which generates a higher vulnerability for big bucks.  The potentially higher vulnerability combined with the proximity of Units 40 and 41 to the Boise metropolitan area means that these units could have very high hunter pressure and harvest on big bucks if there were an any buck open general season. Frankly, these deer populations couldn’t sustain that kind of heavy harvest pressure, and still provide a mature buck hunt.  The advantage of a 2-point restriction harvest-reduction strategy is that it still allows hunters to pursue bucks in a general season.  It allows older age classes of bucks to be harvested in a controlled hunt, and keeps large, mature bucks in the breeding population.
That said, each strategy to reduce harvest has trade-offs and disadvantages.  The disadvantage of the 2-point restriction is people making mistakes, as you’ve pointed out, and mature trophy bucks being vulnerable to poachers.  IDFG is aware of this issue, but we believe that when looking at the population as a whole the 2-point restriction is reducing the number of bucks harvested while still allowing the most opportunity for hunters. Hunters NEED to be aware of what they are aiming at before they pull the trigger.  Take a few extra seconds to confirm that the buck is legal before taking the shot.
IDFG is currently considering a research project to study buck vulnerability in the 2-point restriction units and comparing them to units with an open general season, such as Unit 46.  Stay tuned for more information if this project develops further.

answered 1/9/2016

Q: is there a bag limit on sunapee trout in Idaho?

Arctic char in dworshak reservoir?

A: 

Sunapee trout would be included in the current definition of a trout in Idaho.  The limit would be 6 unless there is a special rule on the water where they are found. 
There are no sunapee in Dworshak Reservoir or tributaries.  The only place in Idaho that we have sunapee is in a couple of high mountain lakes in the Sawtooth Mountains.  What you're probably catching are bull trout (also in the char family) which are federally protected. Next time you catch one, take a picture, release the fish and email us a photo.
 
Thanks

answered 1/8/2016