Southwest 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 Southwest Region

All Waters Open All Year Except as modified in Southwest Region Special Rule Waters (pages 19-20 of the fishing seasons and rules brochure).

Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limits for the Southwest Region are defined on page 18 of the fishing seasons and rules brochure.

Southwest Region

Draft Proposed Changes Follow

The draft proposals are listed below. There are five total proposals: four daily bag limit changes and one Special Rule Waters change 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 20, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Mountain
Southwest Regional Fish and Game Office - McCall 555 Deinhard Lane
McCall, ID 83638
September 19, 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm Mountain
Fisheries Research Office - Nampa 1414 E. Locust Ln
Nampa, ID 83686

Joe Kozfkay (Regional Fisheries Manager) will give a presentation on rules proposals and changes to the Fisheries Management Plan, followed by an open discussion to accept comments.

Other Seasons and Rules Comment Periods

Providing Effective Feedback:

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A comment can express simple support or dissent for a regulatory action. However, a constructive, information-rich comment that clearly communicates and supports its claims is more likely to have an impact on regulatory decision making.

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Public comment period closes at end of day on October 7, 2018
DAILY BAG LIMIT PROPOSALS
1) Remove bass bag, size, and possession limits on the Salmon River and all Salmon River tributaries
Southwest Region - McCall Proposal

Currently, bass in the Salmon River drainage (including all tributaries) have a daily bag limit of 6 fish (Bass limit is 6, any size may be kept). We propose to add the following language under Salmon River in the Special Rule Waters section:

Salmon River

No bag, size or possession limits on bass

Rationale: Similar to Clearwater Region, Smallmouth Bass are expanding their distribution in anadromous waters of the Salmon River basin. Under current harvest rules (6 fish, no size limit), bass exploitation rates in rivers are typically very low. Removing bag limits in streams and managing bass for high yield would have little effect on overall abundance or size structure.

 

 

2) Remove Indian Creek Reservoir from Special Rule Waters and manage under the General Fishing Season for the Southwest Region.
Southwest Region - Nampa Proposal

Currently Indian Creek Reservoir is managed as a catch-and-release bass fishery January 1-June 30 and has a bass limit of 2 fish July 1-December 31 with a slot size restriction of no bass between 12 and 16 inches. We propose to remove the special rules and apply the Southwest Region general bass limit (6 bass, none under 12 inches)

Rationale: For nearly the last 20 years this reservoir rarely has sufficient water for consecutive years to allow bass growth into the slot (12-16 inches); therefore, anglers would be better served by the general limit (6 bass, none under 12”).

 

 

3) Modify all waters within the Wilson Springs Ponds access area to have the same daily bag limits for trout and remove the catch-and-release, no-bait, and barbless hook requirements from the Trophy Pond.

Change to:

Wilson Spring Ponds (Section: All waters within the Wilson Springs Access area, Including Wilson Drain)

  • Trout limit is 2

Rationale: Applying a trophy trout regulation in one of the four ponds in the Wilson Springs Access area has never worked due to the proximity to other waters with different regulations and the unwillingness or inability of anglers to know which water they are fishing. Focused enforcement efforts have not improved compliance to the degree necessary to maintain a quality or trophy trout population. This proposal would simplify the management of the Wilson Ponds Access area and will provide one additional water for harvest opportunity in a heavily used community pond complex.

 

 

4) Modify kokanee bag limits on Deadwood Reservoir and tributaries from 25 to 15 per day.

Rationale: Deadwood Reservoir has served as the state’s primary source of early-run kokanee eggs for many years. Staff has observed that when kokanee numbers in Deadwood are depressed, kokanee sizes and angler interest increase substantially. Increased fishing effort in years when kokanee abundance is already low may reduce numbers of adults ascending the river and available for egg collection. This occurred during 2016 and staff believes it is likely to occur in 2018. Reducing bag limits would help ensure egg take in years when kokanee abundance is low.

 

 

SPECIAL RULE WATERS PROPOSALS
5) Reduce bag and possession limits on steelhead in the Boise River

Segregate the Boise River out as its own waterbody within the Steelhead and Salmon Rules and Information section (page 42) and change language to read:

Boise River from its mouth upstream to Barber Dam.

Bag limit is 2 per day and 6 in possession.

Rationale: Approximately 300-1,000 steelhead are transported from Hells Canyon to the Boise River annually. Very high levels of angler effort are generated, and harvest of available fish is relatively rapid. Due to these factors, a reduced bag limit would serve to spread harvest to more anglers and extend the number of days with good catch rates.

 

 

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