Magic Valley Region - Draft Proposals for 2019-2021 Fishing Seasons and Rules

Overview

Fishing seasons in Idaho are established within administrative regions.

The Department is asking for public comment on draft proposed changes to the fishing seasons and rules brochure. The final proposed changes will be presented for the Commission's approval at the November meeting.

General Fishing Seasons for the Magic Valley Region

All Waters Open All Year Except as modified in Magic Valley Region Special Rule Waters (pages 23-26 of the fishing seasons and rules brochure).

Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limits for the Magic Valley Region are defined on page 22 of the fishing seasons and rules brochure.

Magic Valley Region

Draft Proposed Changes Follow

The draft proposals are listed below. There are three total proposals: one daily bag limit change and two Special Rule Waters changes listed below. Please address the changes you'd like to in the appropriate space. General comments within the region can be listed above the Contact Information space.

Open House Opportunity

September 19, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Mountain
Community Campus: Minnie Moore Room
1050 Fox Acres Rd

Hailey, ID 83338
September 20, 12: 00 pm – 7:00 pm Mountain
Magic Valley Regional Fish and Game Office
324 S. 417 East
Suite #1

Jerome, ID 83338

Other Seasons and Rules Comment Periods

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Public comment period closes at end of day on October 7, 2018
DAILY BAG LIMIT PROPOSALS
1) Modify the harvest regulations on bass in the Big Wood River below Magic Reservoir Dam

Currently, bass in the Big Wood River below Magic Reservoir are managed under the Magic Valley Region general rules (6 bass, none under 12 inches). New language would be:

Big Wood River

Section: From Richfield Canal Diversion upstream to Magic Dam

  • Bass limit is 6, any size may be kept

Rationale: Magic Reservoir and the tailwater downstream to the Richfield diversion are managed primarily for trout. Smallmouth bass first appeared in Magic Reservoir over 20 years ago, the result of an unauthorized introduction. Bass limits in the reservoir are 6 fish of any size. Bass are now occurring more frequently in the tailwater reach downstream to the Richfield diversion, where they fall under the regional general rules (6 bass, none under 12 inches) . This proposal will help with consistency of regulations between the reservoir and the river below the reservoir.

 

 

SPECIAL RULE WATERS PROPOSALS
2) Modify the bag and size limit of trout and remove bait restrictions on the 1.5 mile section of Billingsley Creek from the old railroad grade upstream to Tupper Grade

Currently, this section of Billingsley Creek is managed with a 2 trout limit, none less than 20 inches and no bait allowed. The proposal would place this section of Billingsley Creek under the general bag limit for trout in the Magic Valley Region (6 fish, no size restrictions; only 2 of the 6 trout can be cutthroat in rivers and streams).

Rationale: This regulation was implemented over 10 years ago when the owners operating the private trout hatchery near Tupper Grade had extensive entrainment from their facility. In addition, public access was available when the property was privately owned, and after Idaho State Parks took ownership. Entrained Brown and Rainbow trout were concentrated in one location near the hatchery outlet. These fish grew to large sizes and provided a trophy trout fishing opportunity. Since then, public access has been restricted and hatchery supplementation has ceased in response to the lost public access. Based on current circumstances, having trophy trout regulations in place is confusing to anglers who attempt to fish this reach, but can’t gain access. We propose to remove trophy trout regulations and revert to general rules.

 

 

3) Modify the catch-and-release season on three sections of Silver Creek

Currently, two of these sections of Silver Creek (downstream from the bridge near milepost 187.2 on Highway 20 west of Picabo) have a catch-and-release season from December 1 through the last day of February and are closed to fishing from March 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. The third (From the bridge near milepost 187.2 on Highway 20 west of Picabo upstream to the road right-of-way fence on the west side of Kilpatrick Bridge) is currently closed to fishing December 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

This proposed season change would occur on the following sections of Silver Creek:

Section: From Highway 93 upstream to the County Road Bridge north of Picabo;

  • December 1 through March 31 – trout limit is 0, catch-and-release
  • April 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend – closed to fishing
  • Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through November 30 – trout limit is 6

Section: From the County Road Bridge north of Picabo upstream to the bridge near milepost 187.2 on Highway 20 west of Picabo;

  • December 1 through March 31 – trout limit is 0, catch-and-release
  • April 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend – closed to fishing
  • Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through November 30 – trout limit is 2, none between 12 and 16 inches

Section: From the bridge near milepost 187.2 on Highway 20 west of Picabo upstream to the road right-of-way fence on the west side of Kilpatrick Bridge

No fishing from rafts or boats; float tubes are allowed

  • April 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend – closed to fishing
  • Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through March 31– trout limit is 0, catch-and-release, fly fishing only, no bait allowed, one barbless hook per fly.

Rationale: Anglers requested an extension to the winter catch and release season on Silver Creek. During public scoping, these anglers asked for additional early spring opportunity citing a March hatch that is always missed. Including the section from highway 20 upstream to Kilpatrick expands winter fishing opportunity and would standardize seasons for much of Silver Creek while still protecting trout from harvest in winter. Additionally, pelican predation impacts on Silver Creek’s trout population have been a public and IDFG concern for approximately five years. IDFG has actively hazed pelicans for three years generally from late March through mid-July to disrupt pelican feeding and reduce predation impacts. Allowing more spring angling opportunity may help dissuade pelicans from using Silver Creek.

 

 

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