Posts tagged: idaho
HUNTING — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game's proposed changes for the 2014 big game hunting seasons are available online for public review and comment.
The proposals are listed by region.
Panhandle hunters will see proposals to increase opportunity for hunting antlerless whitetails as well as proposed increases in antlerless elk controlled hunts.
Other proposals would turn up the heat on Panhandle predators, with increases in opportunity for bears and mountain lions to reduce impacts on elk. In Unit 4A, for example, IFG proposes letting hunters take up to two bears and use electronic calls in the process.
Only those seasons and hunts for which changes are proposed are listed. All others will remain the same as they were during the 2013 hunting season.
Public comments received by March 9 will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at their March 20th meeting in Boise where big game seasons will be set.
HUNTING — Idaho is looking to raise resident hunting and fishing license fees for the first time since 2005, but the plan in the works from the Department of Fish & Game would give loyal hunters or anglers who buy a license every year a break: They could “lock in” their fees at 2013 rates by buying a license every year, continuously, reports Betsy Russell, the S-R's reporter in Boise. The fee-increase bill hasn’t been introduced, but the piece letting Fish & Game discount licenses was introduced today in the House Resources Committee.
For more, see Betsy Russell's Eye on Boise.
PUBLIC LANDS — A new report sheds light on the grim future of national forests, BLM lands and federal wildlife refuges if certain Idaho Legislators were to get their way.
Report: Federal government spent $392M to manage lands in Idaho in 2012
As Idaho officials mull a method to assume management of federal lands within the state's border, a report from the Congressional Research Service said that the federal government spent $392 million to manage the 32 million acres it controls in the Gem State in fiscal year 2012, considerably more than Idaho's estimate that it could make $50 million to $75 million annually in timber receipts.
FISHING — Do you have a question about fishing in Idaho? Here's your chance for a direct answer.
Idaho Fish and Game Department fisheries managers and enforcement staff will be at their computers tonight (June 12) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (MDT) for a live chat about fishing across the state.
Go to Idaho Fish and Game website to learn how to join the online conversation.
PREDATORS — Federal wildlife officials are postponing a much-anticipated decision on whether to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states.
In a court filing Monday in Billings, Mont., government attorneys say “a recent unexpected delay” is indefinitely holding up action on the predators. No further explanation was offered.
Gray wolves are under protection as an endangered species and have recovered dramatically from widespread extermination in recent decades.
More than 6,000 of the animals now roam the continental U.S. Most live in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, where protections already have been lifted.
The protections are still in effect for most of Washington.
A draft proposal to lift protections elsewhere drew strong objections when it was revealed last month.
Wildlife advocates and some members of Congress argue that the wolf's recovery is incomplete because the animal occupies just a fraction of its historical range.
State and federal wildlife biologists and groups respresenting agriculture and hunting interests say wolves have recovered dramatically fast and must be managed to control the impact they have on livestock and big game herds in certain areas.
FISHING — Idaho will open a spring Chinook salmon fishing season on Saturday, May 4, on parts of the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers, according to rules adopted today by the state Fish and Game Commission.
Fish counts from Bonneville Dam suggest that the 2013 return of Chinook salmon to Idaho may be significantly lower than forecast but large enough to support fisheries. Projected returns for the Clearwater River are farther below forecast levels than returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers.
Fish and Game tailored the 2013 fisheries proposals to meet hatchery broodstock needs, focus fishing efforts in areas where hatchery fish are most abundant, and still allow fishing in river reaches that anglers have grown accustomed to fishing in recent years.
The proposal for the Clearwater River approved by the commission achieves these goals by limiting fishing to four days per week and reducing the length of river open to fishing in each of the recently fished sections.
Only the Lochsa River is closed entirely to fishing.
Salmon returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers do not appear to be as far below forecast levels as those to the Clearwater. Fisheries in the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers are similar to fisheries in recent years. These areas will be open seven days a week, and river sections recently fished will not be shortened – except the Shorts Bar to Vinegar Creek stretch of the lower Salmon River, which is closed.
Read on for details on Idaho areas open and closed to fishing.
WILDLIFE — A reader submitted this photo snapped Wednesday off I-90 between Wallace and Mullan. She said the eyes appeared blue like those of a husky, but the animal ran away as though it were wild.
What's your guess? Wolf, wolf hybrid or husky?
Click “continue reading” for my opinion and the consensus from several Idaho Fish and Game Department wildlife biologists who work with wolves.
Click “continue reading” for my opinion and the consensus from several Idaho Fish and Game Department wildlife biologists who work with wolves.
HUNTING — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission today (March 28) voted to extend the current wolf hunting season in the Middle Fork and part of the Dworshak-Elk City wolf management zones.
The commission extended the wolf hunting season through June 30 in the Middle Fork units 20A, 26 and 27 and in the part of the Dworshak-Elk-City Zone's Unit 16 north of the Selway River.
These seasons were scheduled to end Sunday.
PUBLIC LANDS — Idaho state lawmkers supporting House Concurrent Resolution 22 say they don’t intend to sell off the federal land, but to manage it more efficiently.
Many people in the realm of recreation are not fond of the idea of the state — not widely acclaimed as a perfect public land steward — taking over land currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.
The resolution’s premise is that the federal government broke its promise to the states to dispose of all its lands and give the states 5 percent of the revenue.
Most legal scholars agree that the federal government had the right to change its mind, but there is a minority view that the states’ claim may be held as constitutional. That view passed the Utah Legislature last year, catching the interest of lawmakers in Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Read on for the details in an Associated Press story originating from the Idaho Statesman.
HUNTING — The number of bull permits offered in Idaho’s Unit 11 is expected to drop following recent elk surveys that show a decline in both bulls and calves there, according to Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.
The unit south of Lewiston is sometimes called Waha for the small community there, or simply Craig Mountain, after the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management area. It is a trophy bull-hunting destination and its abundant elk population has supported a popular cow hunt. People must win a permit in the state’s controlled hunt lottery to hunt there.
Winning a bull permit may be harder to do this year. Bull numbers have taken a sharp dive since the last survey in 2009.
“Bull numbers fell to 222 from 367, which is a substantial decline,” said Jay Crenshaw, regional wildlife manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston. “But to put that in perspective, in 2002 when we flew, we had 220 bulls, so we kind of fell back to 2002 levels.”
Read on for more of Barker's report.
FISHING — Procrastinators lose in the quest to bunk in a Forest Service cabin along the St. Joe River, float a prized Idaho wilderness river or backpack through certain prized wilderness areas.
This is the season for thinking ahead to summer adventures that require a special permit or reservations.
However, not every choice destination is onboard with the national online system.
Entering the lottery for reserving the Red Ives Cabin on the St. Joe River requires a letter of application to the ranger district.
Red Ives cabin reservations are assigned in a lottery drawing. Applications are accepted early January through Feb. 28. The application is available from Forest Service offices or online at www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf; click on the Red Ives Quick Link. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March.
More than 500 applications were received for the 2012 season but only 50 applicants could be selected for reservations. Info: (208) 245-2531.
HUNTING — As wildlife biologists try to wrap up winter surveys, the Idaho Fish and Game has scheduled public meetings around the state to discuss proposals for 2013 big game seasons and rules.
Some of the proposals likely to emerge include:
Comments taken at the meetings will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the March 19 meeting when big game seasons are set.
The Panhandle Region has scheduled an open house meeting, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on March 7 at the Coeur d’Alene Inn, Best Western Plus on Appleway at US Highway 95 in Coeur d’Alene.
Clearwater Region meetings are as follows:
PUBLIC LANDS — In another example of their self-centered approach to the outdoors and the world, Idaho lawmakers are suggesting they are going to waste state time and money making a stab and taking over federal lands within Idaho's borders.
You're not expecting public support on this, are you?
Click “continue reading” to see the Associated Press report on Monday's Statehouse meeting in Boise.
WILDLIFE – Idaho residents have a rare chance to support the state’s wildlife when they file state income tax returns.
Check the square to donate any amount of your refund to the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. State wildlife management for fish and animals is funded by license sales to hunters and anglers. No general taxes go to wildlife programs for fish, game or nongame.
The only two ways to support animals that are not hunted, fished or trapped is by donating on your Idaho income tax form or buying an Idaho wildlife license plate.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — The notion of diversity on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission is chilling the statehouse, as Eye-on-Boise blogger Betsy Russell reports.
PUBLIC LANDS — The 9thCircuit Court ruled 3-0 this morning in favor of Idaho and against a challenge some conservation groups have made to the state's roadless rule, which helps designate where motorized vehicle use can be allowed on public lands not otherwise protected.
The Idaho Roadless Rule was formalized in 2006 in a collaborative process with other conservation groups, including Trout Unlimited, and public hearings that created management plans for various tracts within the 9.3 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the state.
It was a good-faith effort.
Here's the reaction from Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, who spearheaded the adoption of the rule while he was governor of Idaho.
Click “continue reading” for the reaction from Idaho Conservation League officials who were pleased with the court decision.
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.
Ask Idaho Fish and Game: New Fishing License
Q. I just purchased a 2013 Idaho fishing license; can I use it to fish to the end of 2012?
A. No. To fish in December 2012, you must have a valid 2012 fishing license. The 2013 license is not valid until January 1.
But a resident 2012 season fishing license is still available for $25.75. A resident can buy a one-day license for $11.50 plus $5 for each additional day when purchased at the same time. But a one-day license holder can't buy a salmon or steelhead permit. Resident anglers must first buy a full season fishing license to buy a salmon or steelhead permit for $12.75.
A nonresident daily fishing license is available for $12.75 for the first day and $6 for each additional day, or a three-day license and permit for steelhead is available for $37.50.
See more information on Idaho fishing rules.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — Idahoans care deeply about fish and wildlife, and whether they engage in it or not they strongly support hunting and fishing, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
That's one of the points made at the beginning of the three-day Wildlife Summit held over the weekend at venues acrosss the state.
Read on for insight from the beginning of the summit reported Saturday by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — More than 800 hunters and anglers, birders and wildlife watchers and others interested in wildlife conservation have signed up to participate in the Idaho Wildlife Summit that starts Friday and runs through Sunday (Aug. 24-26).
“It is extremely gratifying to see so many Idahoans care enough about their wildlife to be involved with the Wildlife Summit,” Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said in a media release.
The three-day event will convene at the Riverside Hotel in Boise and six concurrent satellite sites in Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Salmon, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. People also may participate online in real time.
The agency hopes to involve as many people as possible in helping to set the direction for how wildlife is managed in Idaho, to find common ground, and ultimately to build a broader base of support for wildlife conservation.
Part of the conversation involves the question: Where will the funding come from to manage game and non-game critters alike? Currently virtually all of the funding for Idaho's wildlife management comes from hunter and anglers.
Participation is free, but registration is required because of limited seating.
The Boise venue is at capacity, but an overflow room, which will feature a live video feed, is available.
Click here for more details and background.