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Idaho anglers: new license, new rules Jan. 1

In this Feb. 4, 2014 photo, a group of steelhead fishermen have the Clearwater River to themselves, as the make their way down river in Lewiston, Idaho. Steelhead anglers fishing the Clearwater River have seen restrictive regulations, low bag limits and a disappointing return of B-run fish this fall and winter. Those conditions have kept efforts low, but anglers willing to face them have experienced some darn good fishing at times. (Steve Hanks / Lewiston Tribune)
In this Feb. 4, 2014 photo, a group of steelhead fishermen have the Clearwater River to themselves, as the make their way down river in Lewiston, Idaho. Steelhead anglers fishing the Clearwater River have seen restrictive regulations, low bag limits and a disappointing return of B-run fish this fall and winter. Those conditions have kept efforts low, but anglers willing to face them have experienced some darn good fishing at times. (Steve Hanks / Lewiston Tribune)

FISHING -- Idaho fishing licenses expire this week and 2016 licenses are required starting Friday, Jan. 1.

A few recently adopted rules also will take affect on Jan. 1. The state's 2016-18 Fishing Pamphlet is online and should be available at license dealers this week. 

Statewide changes include a new possession limit, which will be three times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season. Currently, the possession limit is equal to the bag limit.

Free Fishing Day will be on June 11, 2016; June 10, 2017 and June 9, 2018. These dates are the Saturday after the first full week in June and correspond with national outdoor recognition events.

Other changes to rules will apply to specific bodies of water including:

Panhandle Region

  • Lake Pend Oreille - The rainbow trout daily bag limit will be reduced from 6 to 2; only 1 over 20 inches.
  • Clark Fork River - Trout limit is 0 from Dec. 1 - Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Removed the 6 kokanee bag limit, which reverts it to the regional bag limit of 15 kokanee.
  • Clark Fork River tributaries and Pack River and tributaries - No bait will be allowed during the existing catch-and-release season which is Dec. 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.
  • Spirit Lake - The kokanee daily bag limit will be raised from 15 to 25 fish.
  • Hayden Lake - Minimum length on largemouth bass that can be harvested will increase from 16 inches to 20 inches.

Clearwater Region

  • Mann Lake - Daily bag limit on bass will change from general (6) to 2 bass; none under 16 inches.
  • Deyo Reservoir- Daily bag limit on bass will change from general (6) to 2 bass; none under 16 inches.
  • Spring Valley Reservoir - Daily bag limit on bass will change from general (6) to 2 bass; none under 16 inches.
  • Dworshak Reservoir - From Grandad Bridge upstream to end-of-flat-water; bait will now be allowed year-around.
  • Clearwater River, South Fork - Rainbow trout limit will change from 6 adipose fin-clipped fish to a daily bag limit of 2 rainbow trout with or without an adipose fin.
  • Palouse River and tributaries - Daily bag limit for trout will be reduced from 6 to 2.
  • Clearwater River, North Fork - Steelhead season; eliminate the July 1 catch-and-release season and open a harvest season for steelhead from Sept. 1-Dec. 31.



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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