Fishing

Bambi Waidelich

It’s a near-miss lunker. Jason Waidelich had the catch of a lifetime on the Boise River this month when he hooked a rainbow trout that weighed a whopping 19.25 pounds.

Rocky Barker

Removing the four lower Snake River dams could be enough to bring salmon stocks back from the brink of extinction. That’s one conclusion from reporter Rocky Barker’s series on the fish in the Idaho Statesman, which wrapped up this month.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Many of the fish that return to Idaho from the Pacific Ocean are struggling. Idaho Fish and Game has called this year’s salmon fishing “disappointing.” And the Department just closed steelhead fishing statewide except for catch-and-release. So we asked why the fish aren’t coming home.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

So you came all the way to Idaho to watch the total solar eclipse on August 21. Now that the two-minute event is over, what do you do next?

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game suggests why not go fishing?

You've seen plenty of maps of the path the eclipse will take over Idaho. This new map from IDFG shows the best places to see the eclipse, and the 60 closest fishing spots nearby. The map covers the path of totality, the line of complete blockage of the sun by the moon.

David Chang / via Instagram

Take one look at famous fine dining chef David Chang's Instagram feed and you can tell the guy has a thing for high-and-low brow combinations. In one picture this May, Chang was eating some greasy potato chips accompanied by a luxurious tin of caviar.

Turns out, the chef is a big fan of an Idaho food captured in this photo – but no – we aren't talking about potatoes. 

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

The reputation of what is generally considered Idaho's premier and nationally renowned fly fishing destination has taken a beating after three years of drought, but Silver Creek could get its groove back this season as abundant water fills its channels.

With the fishing season opening this weekend, anglers hope the resurgence draws brown and rainbow trout to bite artificial flies dancing on the stream's mirror-smooth surface. The area, which attracted luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway in the 1940s, also is a prime spot for birders and nature enthusiasts.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It’s that time of year, when the quiet Nampa Fish Hatchery starts delivering thousands of mostly rainbow trout around the state for anglers to catch. But high water means some of that prime fishing will have to wait.

Each year, Idaho Fish and Game stocks more than 22 million fish from 12 different hatcheries into lakes, reservoirs and ponds. Most of the 18 species of fish are rainbow trout and kokanee salmon.

Creative Commons Courtesy: @thekevinchang

Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are once again preparing to push a plan to raise hunting and fishing fees, despite previous resistance from state lawmakers who have refused to advance similar proposals.

Director Virgil Moore announced earlier this week that his department has had to cut services because of a drop in funding. The agency relies on revenue from licenses, tags and permits to cover operational costs and does not receive general state tax dollars. However, those fees haven't increased in roughly 12 years.

Idaho Fish & Game Headquarters Office Sign
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

Online sales of hunting and fishing licenses resumed Tuesday following a three-month shutdown due to a computer breach at the vendor that handles those sales, Idaho officials announced.

Idaho Fish and Game officials said additional security features include requiring online buyers to create an account with a password.

Dallas-based Active Network reported a computer breach in late August with the possibility that millions of records in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, including Social Security numbers, might have been compromised.

Idaho Fish & Game Headquarters Office Sign Director
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game says people can still buy hunting tags and fishing licenses at participating stores and Fish and Game offices, but not online. That’s after the software company that manages online and in-person sales told Fish and Game it had been hacked.

Amy Meredith / Flickr Creative Commons

In an unprecedented move, Montana officials last week closed a 200-mile stretch of one of the most popular fisheries in the West. The Yellowstone River has been contaminated with a parasite that’s killed thousands of whitefish, the same parasite that continues to impact some Idaho rivers. 

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho anglers looking to catch chinook this fall are in luck. 

Compared to last year, fewer chinook salmon are expected to return to the Snake River basin this fall. But Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners still plan to open a fishing season on parts of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. The season opens September 1.

Altogether, a total of 32,000 hatchery and wild chinook are expected to complete the journey to Idaho. Last year 59,000 fish were counted.

snake river, canyon
ChadH / Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management is considering what to do about reports of overcrowding on the South Fork of the Snake River.

The Post Register reports the Upper Snake Field Office of the BLM will be holding a series of focus group and gathering input in other ways during a 30-day public comment period.

Proposed solutions include limiting the number of people who float the river, limiting boat access, limiting outfitter use and requiring campsite reservations.

Sarah H. / Flickr Creative Commons

After sustained temperatures over 100 degrees last week, the shallow water and lack of oxygen in west Boise's Redwood Pond caused bass, bluegill and other species to die. At its deepest point, the pond is only about 14 feet.

A group of teens from around Idaho will cast their lines in C.J. Strike Reservoir this Sunday, in the hopes of catching the biggest fish. The fifth annual fishing competition is part of The Bass Federation’s youth programming.

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