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 501 - 525 of 3527 questions

Q: Crawfish in Idaho

Does the Fish & Game have any information on crawfish populations in Idaho? Where are the most crawfish located? I live in the treasure valley and am looking for somewhere close to set traps. Thanks!

A: 

Even though crawfish are a "game fish" in Idaho, the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game does not track population numbers or trends for crawfish.  With that said, we are unaware of any populations of crawfish being over-exploited in Idaho. There are many areas where you can set traps for crayfish in the Boise area.  Let's start with the Boise River in-town.  The Boise River has a robust population of crawfish that can be seen just by rolling rocks in side channels.  Find some deep water at the river's edge and soak a couple of traps overnight.  Lucky Peak Reservoir is also a good place to find crawfish near Boise.  If you don't mind traveling a little further, C.J. Strike and Brownlee reservoirs also have healthy populations. Remember, with a valid Idaho fishing license, you can have a maximum of 5 traps.  Traps can not be more than 2 feet in any direction and can't exceed 8 cubic feet.  They must have a tag or identifying information that includes name, address, telephone number or fishing license number.  They must also be checked, at minimum, every 48 hours.  
answered 4/26/2015

Q: Shooting doves on ur own property

There are many doves on my land and they are eating all the seeds in my garden. I live on a farm and they crap everywhere. Is it legal for me to shoot them with a pellet rifle to dial down the numbers. I have a current license and everything I need. I just would like to dial back the number of doves.

A: 

The answer to your question depends largely on what type of doves you have on your place. Mourning Doves enjoy protection as a migratory bird, and take of them is regulated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If these are the birds causing your issues, the solution is slightly more complicated. if you are dealing with Eurasian Collared Doves or Rock Doves (pigeons) however, they are classified as unprotected wildlife and may be taken at any time, in any numbers, by any legal means (including pellet gun). A quick Google search will help you identify the culprit. If you discover that the offending birds are Mourning Doves give us a call, we'll see what we can do to help you out. Josh Royse Regional Conservation Officer
answered 4/25/2015

Q: KML Shapefile Availability

Hi, I am a student wondering if I could get the roadkill data for a GIS project, as a KML or other form of data. Thank you very much, ~Timarie

A: 

Yes.  All the road kill data is available on our road kill site at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/species/roadkill/list The data is available as a CSV (comma separated values) for download on that page.
answered 4/23/2015

Q: Why does this fin look like this?

From Twitter @IdahoPursuit @idfg any idea why this fish's fins look like this? pic.twitter.com/KsRCf74K3J— Kevin Jones (@IdahoPursuit) April 18, 2015

A: 

Looks to me like this is most likely a Largescale Sucker – one of Idaho’s native species of Catostomidae (sucker family!). The small white bumps on this fish are breeding tubercules, which are common on suckers (and many minnow species) during the spawning season. According to Dr. Peter Moyle’s excellent book, Fish: An Enthusiasts Guide, breeding tubercules “function much like antlers on a deer – for defense, real and ritualized, and for attracting females.” -Martin Koenig
answered 4/22/2015

Q: What is the forecast and fishing regulations for 2015 when fishing the Clearwater?

I have been unable to find information for 2015 Salmon fishing on the Clearwater? Any news would be helpful

A: 

The rules that were approved by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Commission:  Clearwater River Basin - Daily Limit: 4 fish only 1 of which may be an adult except in the South Fork Clearwater River where 2 adults can be harvested.  Fishing will occur 7 days a week.  No river section closures, except the Big Eddy Hole will be closed to boat fishing.  This area will be marked by signs on the upstream and downstream borders. At the present time fisheries staff are projecting 14,073 hatchery-produced Chinook will cross Lower Granite Dam and head for the Clearwater drainage. When you subtract the Tribal share and hatchery broodstock needs - that will leave roughly 4,500 fish for licensed anglers.      
answered 4/1/2015

Q: steelhead fishing

what is the best bait to use for steelhead? and are they bottom feeders or top feeders?

A: 

One thing you need to know is once steelhead leave saltwater and move to freshwater they can no longer utilize/digest food.  With that said, they still seem to have a feeding instinct and will still strike at baits or other fish but have no way to convert that food into body sustinance. In the fall, when steelhead reach Idaho and the water is still relatively warm, steelhead strike at items suspended in the water column.  That's why plugs, flies and lures are the most effective items for catching steelhead.  The best success is to fish eddy lines and the tail-end of pools.  In the winter when the water is colder, they aren't quite as agressive and bright-colored "sammy" with shrimp or other bait is a popular item to entice a steelhead to strike.  Usually, this bait needs to be presented in the water column and within close proximity. As temperatures begin to clime in the spring and steelhead get closer to spawning time, they become more aggressive and lures, plugs and flies are effective items to entice steelhead to strike.  Again, they are in the active water column and not feeding on the bottom.
answered 3/23/2015

Q: why are the super tags given to nonresidents?

I was born and raised in Idaho. I've hunted and fished here all my life. I have put in every year never drawing a single tag. I put in for everything I can and to no surprise I can never draw. So I'm left to open hunts and do to poor deer management of deer I can't find my animal because everybody shoots all the two points and the bucks have no chance at growing up. Particularly in 48 and 49. Now I see nonresidents drawing super tags which I also put in for and that should be for residents only. I am losing any faith I had in the idfg.

A: 

Your frustration is certainly understandable, especially when you seem to never draw a tag and someone else always draws their tag.  Changing drawing odds is something we hear from hunters fairly frequently.  Unfortunately, what may seem simple is actually more complicated.  Please check out the video series on drawing odds under the Controlled Hunt odds.  The series has seven short segments and is very helpful in learning about and understanding drawing odds. Resident hunters often resent the fact that non-residents can win Super Hunt tags.  Something that might be helpful is to understand that non-residents are often family members and friends of Idaho residents or former Idaho residents who choose to return to Idaho to hunt.  The money raised from hunters who buy Super Hunt tickets goes to Idaho's Access Yes! program, which benefits all hunters.  As of February 2015, the Access Yes! program has made 380,349 acres of private land and 486,375 acres of public land (with private land access) available to hunters and anglers.  The more people who participate in the Super Hunt process, the better because it will ultimately provide more places for hunters to enjoy time in the field.  
answered 3/12/2015

Q: salmon run clearwater river

Is there a projected number of spring Chinook salmon expected to run up the clearwater river in 2015?

A: 

Yes there is.  Our latest estimate is for 14,073 adult hatchery-produced Chinook salmon passing Lower Granite Dam and headed to the Clearwater River system.  A total of 5,452 are headed to Dworshak Hatchery; 2,247 adults to Kooskia; and the remainer are headed to Clearwater River tributaries where they were stocked as smolts (juvenile salmon).    
answered 3/11/2015

Q: Do I have to take both the Bowhunter Education Course and Hunter Safety Education Course

If I am strictly bowhunting, do I have to take both the Bowhunter Education Course and Hunter Safety Education Course or just the Bowhunter education course.

A: 

To purchase an archery permit, all bowhunters must possess a valid hunting license and show proof they have completed an approved bowhunter education course or show evidence of having been licensed for an archery-only hunt in Idaho or another state, or complete an affidavit to that effect. To buy a hunting license, all hunters must show proof that they have completed a hunter education course if they were born on or after January 1, 1975, unless they have held a hunting license from Idaho or another state.   Bowhunter Education ProgramWho is required to have Bowhunter Education? To buy an archery permit, all bowhunters must possess a valid hunting license and show proof they have completed an approved bowhunter education course or show evidence of having been licensed for an archery-only hunt in Idaho or another state, or complete an affidavit to that effect. 
answered 3/10/2015

A: 

Notifications for the Spring Turkey hunt will be posted on our website by March 20. Our goal is to complete the drawing prior to that date. However, hunters can submit applications that are postmarked on the last day of the application period so we have to wait to receive and enter all mailed in applications prior to loading the data to the draw system. Once the data is loaded into the draw system we run several edit checks to verify the eligibility of all applicants. For example we have to make sure that only those youth who will be 15 years of age or younger at the start of a youth only controlled hunts are eligible to draw youth only hunts. Thanks.
answered 3/10/2015

Q: Feral or free roaming cats

Is it legal to kill feral cats out hunting? or that kill birds in my yard, if i know they are not owned by anyone? Can I kill them if they harass my animals i.e. chickens, dogs, and ducks

A: 

A more appropriate solution would be to catch the cats in question in a suitable live trap, and transport them to your local humane society.  I would also advise talking to your neighbors about your proposed actions before trapping.  Live traps are available at many feed and farm stores, and are also good for trapping other pests that may threaten your livestock.
answered 3/9/2015

Q: From Utah, coyote hunt

I am from Utah, but will be camping on a ranch owned by the family of my friend. I have a valid Utah hunting license, but am unsure if I can hunt coyote while up in Idaho. Help?

A: 

At a minimum you will need to purchase an Idaho non-game hunting license to hunt coyotes in Idaho. If you plan to hunt other small game such as upland game birds or waterfowl in the fall you can purchase the small game hunting license which also allows you to hunt coyotes. Please contact our license section at 208-334-2592 if you have additional questions about licensing in Idaho.
answered 3/8/2015

Q: What the heck is going on? A person's pet, hunting partner was beaten to death?

What is going to happen to the lady who beat the falcon to death... The families that live in the area should know who this person is so we can keep our animals a safe. State Animal Cruelty Laws: Anti-cruelty laws exist in all U.S. states and territories to prohibit unnecessary killing, mutilating, torturing, beating, neglecting and abandoning animals, or depriving them of proper food, water or shelter. Animal cruelty cases may be investigated by a local humane society, SPCA or animal control agency or, in areas where these organizations are not present, by police or sheriff’s departments. When an investigation uncovers enough evidence to warrant prosecution, charges may be filed by the local district or state’s attorney. Often, only the most serious cases generate sufficient sympathy and evidence to warrant prosecution, and gaining convictions may be very difficult.

A: 

This incident was investigated by Fish and Game Conservation officers.  The results of that investigation have been turned over to the county prosecutor who will ultimately decide whether to file charges.
answered 3/7/2015

A: 

The ony difference between a "newby" biologist and a bald biologist is the "newby" is arrogant enough to predict how fish and wildlife will respond to changing environmental conditions.  I'm a "gray-haired" biologist so I'm not going to give you a definitive answer to your question. What I will say is, Mother Nature has contingencies for all environmental changes and variation.  Typically, when the water warms early, the fish mature and spawn earlier than on a normal year.flow and temperature year.  Just a guess - this is probably a programmed response to the risk of rivers warming and flows dropping earlier than an average flow and temperature year.  With that said, all it takes is a cold-front to slow the maturation process and put conditions back to what we consider "normal" in our short-term vision of the world. Peak of spawning (time when most steelhead will spawn) may shift a week or two, but there will still be steelhead spawning in April and early May.  Again, variable spawning timing is one way to make sure some segment of the steelhead population will successfully reproduce.  
answered 3/6/2015

Q: ringtail cat

Why wasnt the male released in the last known area of the female.

A: 

Hello, The ringtailed cat was released close to the area where it was captured so that we could better understand where they go across the landscape. We know very little about them as the two ringtails in the last year were the first to be captured live in the state. We did discuss releasing him near the female but our goals were less about reproduction and more about habitat use. We had thought about potential breeding last year after we captured the female during denning season but due to our ability to regularly monitor them closely in a reproductive situation we decided to release him close to where we found him. That is a great question and is definitely something that came to mind. We never expect to have these rare species drop into our lap like they have in the last year but the information we are gathering is providing a great deal of new information on what they do here in Idaho and if we have the ability in the future we would like to deploy a gps collar or two so we can see if the individuals overlap in their territories, but budgets and time constraints have limited us and what we can alot towards the many questions we have about these uncommonly encountered mammals. Thanks again for your inquiry. Ross Winton Regional Wildlife Biologist Magic Valley Region
answered 3/5/2015

Q: Is a license needed for Coyote Hunting in Idaho

I am a non resident and am coming to Idaho for a few days. Do I need a hunting License in Idaho to hunt coyotes, and if so can I buy a 3 day license. How much are they, and are there discounts for military?

A: 

Yes, you are required to have valid Idaho hunting license to hunt coyotes.  You can use a 3-day small game hunting license or a a nongame hunting license, each cost $35.50. As for nonresident military, the only discount we have would be for disabled vets with 40% or higher disability rating.
answered 3/5/2015

Q: If you smash the barb down on the hook is it legal to use as a barbless hook?

If you smash the barb down on the hook is it legal to use as a barbless hook?

A: 

Definitely, it's acceptable to mash the barb and use the hook while fishing in a "barbless only" water.  I have a two-sided tackle box.  On one side I keep all my barbless gear.  On the other is all the barbed equipment. When you mash the barb down, the best way to test is to run the hook through a piece of cloth (I use my hand drying towel).  If the hook snags when its withdrawn from the cloth, then you need to pinch the barb again.  If it comes out clean - you're ready to fish.
answered 3/5/2015

A: 

The proclamation booklets state results will be posted no later than March 20. Our goal is to complete the drawing as quickly as we can after all of the mailed in applications have been entered. We do have some edit checks to complete to verify all applicants are eligible in the draw based on several different rules and therefore it takes some additional time to complete the drawing. Thank you for your question.
answered 3/5/2015

Q: Steelhead hatchery returns

When will the current Steelhead hatchery returns for 2015 be updated on the website? The link on the website only contains 2014 data.

A: 

The normal start-up for steelhead trapping is late February and early March so trapping has just recently started. Some programming needs to be finished so our web reports can link (in near-real-time) to the database containing the hatchery information. We hope to have that up and running as soon as possible. 
answered 3/4/2015

Q: Fishing on Idaho - Oregon border.

If I have a Idaho fishing license, but I launch my boat on the Oregon side of Brownlly resevour do I need an Oregon fishing license to fish there?

A: 

  Provided you are on the water and your boat isn't tied to the Oregon shore while you are fishing - all you need is an Idaho fishing license.  Idaho has a reciprocical agreement with Oregon stating we recognize these reservoirs as being jointly managed and for the benefit of Idaho and Oregon's fishermen. As such, they can be fished with either an Idaho or Oregon fishing license.
answered 3/4/2015

Q: Sawyer's Pond improvements?

I had read last fall that there were planned upgrades and changes coming to Sawyer's Pond in Emmett this spring/March? Since then, I have heard nor seen no mention of it? I check the email's sent out and see about other planned projects that are upcoming but no further mention of Sawyer's? Can you provide any updates on this?

A: 

We will be making improvements at Sawyers Pond starting around the first of April 2015.  Our Construction Crew is currently working to replace a boat ramp and install new outhouses and docks at Crane Falls Lake near Bruneau, Idaho.  Once that project is complete, we will be moving to Sawyers Pond to begin the renovation.
answered 3/4/2015

Q: Buying a license on behalf of my spouse

My husband and I are both Idaho residents, but he works in North Dakota. Am I able to purchase his sportsmans package etc. for him? He is only home on the weekends when he is here.

A: 

We do allow a spouse to purchase a license for a spouse. Please obtain a photocopy of his valid Idaho driver's license and bring that in when you come to purchase his license.
answered 3/3/2015

Q: Licenses (What's needed to hunt deer or elk?)

Having never hunted in Idaho it would appear to hunt deer or elk one has to get the big game hunting license and then also get the appropriate deer or elk tag on top of that. Just checking.

A: 

Yes.  Depending on your method of hunting, an appropriate hunting license, tags with appropriate validations (archery or muzzleloader) are  required to hunt deer and elk.  For more information, review the "Licenses, Tags and Permits" section of any of our Seasons and Rules booklets.  A quick call to one of our 9 offices would also help answer your questions.        Some of the advantages of hunting in Idaho include:  Over-the counter tags for world class big game are available.  Even if you don’t draw a controlled hunt in Idaho or another state – you can purchase general season tags until the quota is reached; Extra deer and elk tag are also available if quotas haven’t been reached by August 1; Great access - 70 percent public land and access to hundreds of thousands of acres of private lands; Discounted license and tag for youth hunters to name a few.
answered 3/2/2015

Q: One species (limitations on controlled hunt applications)

First how do you get a proposal looked at? I would like to hunt for moose (before I get too old) but if I put in I can not put in for any other controlled hunt. My chances are pretty much nil, so why do you get penalized for this. Can you change this?

A: 

The rule that requires hunters to either pick applying for a trophy species (moose, mountain goat, or bighorn sheep) or deer, elk, and pronghorn was implemented to improve drawing odds for moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep.  By reducing the number of people that apply for any one species, the better chance an individual has to draw.  Allowing everybody to apply for any and all species would reduce everybody's chance of drawing any given species..  While drawing odds for any of the trophy species are relatively difficult, Idaho is often reported as having some of the best odds of drawing in the west for one of these species. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission did review potential changes to the controlled hunt system a few years ago, but were primarily focused on addressing what could be done to improve drawing odds, including the option of only allowing an individual to apply for 1 species.  Ultimately, the Commission did not make any changes in part due to the wide diversity of opinions held by sportsmen over what type of controlled hunt drawing system was desired.  
answered 3/2/2015

Q: Controlled Hunt tags

If I were to draw for a big game hunt such as a Moose, can I still hunt General Deer for that year? Also if i draw for an Elk can i still hunt general Deer?

A: 

The answers to both of your questions are yes.  Please review a copy of our Big Game or Moose, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goat Seasons and Rules booklets for more information.  A quick call to one of our 9 offices could also help you with your questions.       While any person applying for any moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goat hunt is prohibited from applying for any big game controlled hunt in the same year, there are exceptions.  They may apply for a controlled depredation hunt for deer, elk or pronghorn; a controlled black bear hunt; leftover deer, elk or pronghorn controlled hunt tag; an nulimited controlled hunt; or extra deer, elk, pronghorn or turkey hunt.   
answered 3/2/2015