HUNTING/FISHING — Idaho Fish and Game put out the following notice of new rules affection hunters and anglers in 2012.
Several new rules, including a mentored hunting program and changes to fishing rules, take effect January 1; all of them are subject of legislative review.
A new mentored hunting program will allow a person 8 and older to participate in a mentored hunt program without being required to hold a hunter education certificate.
A Hunting Passport is a special authorization that allows the person to take wildlife only when they are accompanied by a mentor and participating in the Mentored Hunting Program. They may participate in the program only for one year, and the Hunting Passport expires December 31 of the year it was issued.
A person with a Hunting Passport at least 8 years old may hunt small game and most upland game birds, but a person must be at least 10 to hunt turkey or sandhill crane and at least 12 to hunt big game.
The mentor must be at least 18 and must possess a valid Idaho hunting license, and he or she may mentor no more than two others at a time.
For anglers, the state has shifted to a three-year cycle, which means new rules in 2013 will be effective through 2015.
In addition, the limit on trout will go down to two per day in some streams and urban ponds in the Clearwater, Southwest, Southeast and Upper Snake regions on January 1.
Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted the rule in November. The goal is to increase opportunity for more anglers to catch stocked fish and to reduce the boom and bust cycle with the stocking program.
Affected waters are Big Elk Creek, Crooked Creek and Red River in the Clearwater Region.
In the Upper Snake Region the limit is removed on rainbow trout and hybrid trout in the South Fork Snake River tributaries. The limit on brown trout is two, with none under 16 inches. In Henrys Lake Outlet, the 400 yard section from the USGS gauge to the Henrys Lake Dam opens to fishing.