Upper Snake 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 Upper Snake Region

All Waters Open All Year Except as modified in Upper Snake Region Special Rule Waters (pages 33-34 of the fishing seasons and rules brochure).

Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limits for the Upper Snake Region are defined on page 32 of the fishing seasons and rules brochure.

Upper Snake Region

Draft Proposed Changes Follow

The draft proposals are listed below. There are four total proposals: four daily bag limit changes are 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, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm Mountain
Upper Snake Region Fish and Game Office
4279 Commerce Circle
Idaho Falls, ID 83401

Other Seasons and Rules Comment Periods

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Public comment period closes at end of day on October 7, 2018
SPECIAL RULE WATERS PROPOSALS
1) Remove Palisades Lakes (alpine lakes in the Palisades Creek Drainage) from the Special Rule Waters and manage under the General Fishing Season for the Upper Snake Region

The existing regulation has a 2 trout limit. Under the General Fishing Season regulations, Palisades Lakes will have a 6 fish limit for trout. Staff proposes that Palisades Lakes will be removed from the Special Rule Waters for the Upper Snake Region.

Rationale: Exploitation studies show that anglers harvest less than 1% of the population in these lakes, so increasing the bag limit isn’t likely to increase harvest to a level of concern. Additional harvest opportunity may benefit the few anglers that choose to harvest fish in these remote lakes.

 

 

2) Remove the size restriction on Brown Trout in the South Fork Snake River

Currently the Brown Trout limit is 2 fish, none less than 16 inches. We propose to remove the size limit so that any size brown trout can be harvested.

Rationale: Brown Trout abundance is increasing in the South Fork. The current rule is designed to allow Brown Trout at least one or two years of spawning before they are available for harvest. Recruitment isn’t limited on the South Fork, which makes the need for a protective regulation on Brown Trout unnecessary. Additionally, the current harvest rule places all harvest pressure on the larger fish in the population. Allowing harvest of any size fish may increase overall harvest while reducing pressure on the larger fish.

 

 

3) Remove the ice fishing restricted area on Ririe Reservoir

Currently, ice fishing is restricted to the area from the dam to the posted boundary about 1 mile upstream. We propose to remove this restriction and open the entire reservoir to ice fishing. Ririe Reservoir would be removed from the Special Rule Waters for the Upper Snake Region.

Rationale: This regulation was put in place as a protection measure for wintering wildlife. The fishery in Ririe Reservoir can sustain ice fishing in areas outside of the one-mile boundary. The rule is also inconsistent in that if the lake isn’t frozen, anglers can boat from one end to the other and fish the entire reservoir.

 

 

4) Remove Swauger Lake (an alpine lake in Custer County) and Fishpole Lake (an alpine lake in Custer County) from the Special Rule waters and manage under the General Fishing Season for the Upper Snake Region

Currently, both of these alpine lakes have a 2 trout limit with a minimum size limit of 20 inches. We propose that Swauger and Fishpole Lakes to be removed from the Special Rule Waters for the Upper Snake Region.

Rationale: These rules were put in place to grow trophy trout, and thereby offer a diverse angling experience for mountain lake anglers. After several years, population monitoring shows that the size structure of trout populations has not responded as intended, and as such, the rules are unnecessary.

 

 

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