Commission to Meet in Boise in March
Big game hunters might want to set aside some time next month when the Idaho Fish and Game Commission will set seasons for this fall’s deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, gray wolf and mountain lion hunts.
The commission will meet March 21 and 22 in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters 600 S. Walnut St., Boise. A public comment session will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21.
In addition to big game seasons, the commission agenda includes a legislative update, and commissioners may consider proposed Chinook fishing seasons in the Clearwater, Snake, lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.
Upland Game Rules Book Hot off the Press
The new upland game, turkey and furbearer seasons and rules books are back from the printer and will available later this week.
The 2012-2013 & 2013-2014 Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey seasons and rules brochure includes some changes that affect some spring turkey controlled hunts.
The new rules books include several changes to turkey seasons.
In the Southeast Region, general fall turkey seasons in units 73, 74, 75, 77 and 78 have been replaced with a controlled hunt with 150 permits. In addition, permit numbers were reduced in Unit 71:
· Spring controlled hunts 9015 and 9016 were each reduced to 50 permits, from 75.
· Fall controlled hunts 9021 and 9022 were each reduced to 75 permits, from 100.
And hunt 9021 was shortened by a month to run from September 15 to November 30. The season had been from September 15 to December 31.
General fall turkey seasons in units 22, 23, 24, 31, 32 and 32A in the Southwest Region have been replaced with two controlled hunts: one in units 22, 32 and 32 A with 125 permits, and one in unit 30 with 20 permits.
The application period forspring turkey controlled hunts began February 1 and will run through March 1. The application fee is $6.25 per person for residents and $14.75 for nonresidents.
Hunters may apply for controlled hunts at any hunting and fishing license vendor, Fish and Game office; with a credit card by calling 1-800-55HUNT5; or online athttp://fishandgame.idaho.gov. An additional fee is charged for telephone and Internet applications.
If drawn a hunter must also purchase a turkey controlled hunt permit and turkey tag. Hunters must have a valid 2012 Idaho hunting license to apply.
Other upland game changes:
· Increased the possession limit for upland birds and game species to three times the daily limit, up from twice the limit.
· Returned the opening day of the chukar, gray partridge and quail seasons to the third Saturday in September. This year that would fall on September 15 and run through January 31, 2013.
· Increased the daily bag limit to eight each for chukar and gray partridge.
· Changed the opening day for the cottontail and snowshoe hare seasons to August 30 statewide to match forest grouse seasons.
Changes in furbearer seasons and rules include:
o Increase the otter quota to 30, from 15.
o Extend the otter season 15 days to March 31 to match the beaver season.
o Increase the otter quota to 20, from 15.
o Convert beaver control trapping permits 201 and 202 to a general season.
o Increase the otter quota to 15 from five.
· Magic Valley:
o Open the Lime Creek drainage and Basalt Creek in Camas County and Clover Creek in Gooding County to beaver trapping.
The seasons and rules also are available online at:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67.
Light Goose Season, Part 2, Opens this Month
The second part of the hunting season opens on blue, Ross’s and snow geese on Tuesday, February 18, and runs through March 10 in the southwestern and south-central parts of the state.
Only Areas 2 and 3 are open. The daily bag limit is 10 geese, and the possession limit is 20.
Area 2 includes Ada, Boise, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls and Washington counties.
Except, Fort Boise and Payette River wildlife management areas and that portion of the Roswell Marsh Wildlife Habitat Area south of State Highway 18, and the Snake River Islands Unit of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in the Southwest Region will be closed during the spring light goose season.
Area 3 includes that portion of the Upper Snake Region within Bingham County in Game Management Unit 63 south of Highway 20 and west of the west bank of the Snake River, and that portion of the Southeast Region within Bingham and Power counties in units 68 and 68A west of the west bank of the Snake River and American Falls Reservoir bluff. (See red area on map on page 7 of the Waterfowl seasons and rules brochure.)
Light goose season is closed in Area 1, which includes all parts of the state not included in Areas 2 and 3.
For more details visithttp://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/waterfowlGoose.pdf.
To hunt waterfowl, hunters must have a 2012 Idaho hunting license and a federal Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program Validation. In addition, all hunters 16 and older must have a federal Migratory Bird Stamp.
Only nontoxic shot may be used. For a list of approved shot go to: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/nontoxic.htm.
Commission Increases Steelhead Limits in Upper Salmon
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday morning, February 16, increased the bag limits for steelhead in part of the upper Salmon River, effective immediately.
The daily limit is six steelhead, 18 in possession and 40 for the spring 2012 steelhead season. The increase affects river sections 15 through 19 on the upper Salmon River from Long Tom Creek – about three-quarters of mile upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River – to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Hatchery.
All other seasons and rules remain unchanged.
Steelhead anglers must have a valid 2012 Idaho fishing license and steelhead permit. Steelhead anglers may use only barbless hooks, and may keep only steelhead marked with a clipped adipose fin. All other steelhead must be released unharmed.
Consult 2011-2012 fishing rules brochure for exceptions and special restrictions.For more information on steelhead fishing in Idaho, check the Fish and Game Websitehttp://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
Parvovirus Found in Wolf Killed in Hailey
On January 22, a Hailey-area homeowner killed a wolf that had been observed near his house for at least two days and was acting sick or injured.
Immediately after killing the wolf, the homeowner notified Idaho Fish and Game. Two Fish and Game officers arrived and retrieved the dead wolf, a juvenile female. The animal was emaciated and had green fluid diarrhea.
Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Mark Drew preformed a standard necropsy, including submitting tissue samples to test for rabies as well as parvovirus – a common canine virus. Test results were negative for rabies. On February 14, lab reports came backpositive for parvo, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, and ultimately death from dehydration.
Parvovirus is highly contagious, and is often fatal in canids, including wolves. Pups between six weeks and six months are more susceptible than adults. Domestic dogs can be vaccinated against parvovirus.
This was not the first time parvo has been found in wild wolves.
In August 2009, six juvenile wolves were found dead on national forest land north of Fairfield. Necropsies on the partially decomposed wolves eventually determined the cause of death to be canine parvoviral enteritis.
Idaho Fish and Game works closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the State Department of Agriculture on monitoring diseases of human health and livestock concern found in wildlife.
Register Now for Junior Naturalist Program
The program is designed to stimulate children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder, to help them learn about their natural environment and to become stewards of the earth. It will be held over Spring Break, meeting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, March 26-30, and also after school on Monday afternoons, from April 2-April 30.
Participants will learn through observing, exploring and questioning; explore the basics of water, trees, plants, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, birds, fungi and weather; study sustainability; participate in a volunteer environmental activity; and earn junior naturalist certification.
Program fee is $75. Contact Sara Focht at MK Nature Center at 287-2906 email@example.com for registration information.
Editors: Because of the Presidents’ Day holiday, the weekly news release package is being sent out Friday, February 18, rather than Monday, February 20.
Ask Fish and Game: Stocking Fish
Q. When does Fish and Game start stocking fish, and how can I find out where they are being stocked?
A. Fish and Game stocks some waters all year round. Other waters are stocked at various times during the year. For a current stocking report contact the regional Fish and Game office, or go online to:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/stocking/. Also check the regional fishing reports at:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=232.