The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recently approved changes to the state’s fishing rules for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. The new rules will go into effect on Jan. 1.
Among the new rules is a new statewide 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.
The commission also approved free fishing days over the
For the Southeast Region, the commission increased the minimum size of bass that can be harvested under general rules from 12 to 14 inches.
New rules were also established for the Bannock Reservoir, which is the fishing pond at the newly constructed Portneuf Wellness Complex in Pocatello. Starting Jan. 1, the reservoir’s daily bag limit will be decreased to two fish. The bag limit can be a combination of any species.
Kokanee Creek, the small waterway that flows into the Bannock Reservoir, will be closed to fishing.
Other changes specific to Southeast Idaho fisheries include:
• American Falls Reservoir and Snake River between American Falls Dam and Gem Lake Dam: New bass daily bag limit will be two bass of any size.
• Oneida Reservoir and the Bear River downstream of the dam: Elimination of the 12 inches minimum on bass that can be harvested. Anglers will now be able to harvest six bass of any size.
Though there were only five changes specific to the Southeast Region, the commission made extensive changes to numerous waterways in the Upper Snake Region.
A summary of these changes include:
• Regionwide: Remove the 12 inches minimum harvest rule for bass.
• Regionwide: Increase the daily bag limit on Kokanee from 6 to 15.
• Henrys Fork: Change the downstream section boundary from Del Rio Bridge to the South Fork Snake River. This would change the daily trout bag limit from six to two in this lower section. Also, the minimum 16 inches size restriction for trout within the entire reach will be eliminated.
• Henrys Fork (Vernon Bridge to Ashton Dam): Replace the winter “closed fishing” season with a “catch-and-release” season. Also, eliminate the 16 inches minimum size limit during the summer harvest season.
• Henrys Fork (Highway 20 Bridge to Riverside Campground): Eliminate the trout 16 inches minimum size limit.
• Henrys Fork (Riverside Campground upstream to Harriman Park): Change the “closed to fishing” season to a “catch-and-release” season for trout requiring barbless hooks and no use of bait. This will result in a year-round catch-and-release fishing season on this stretch of water.
• Warm River and tributaries: Clarify the boundary as the “bridge near Parker (Scheuller) cabin” is closed to fishing. On all other sections of Warm River and tributaries, there will be no harvest of cutthroat trout. From Memorial Day weekend through Nov. 30, the trout limit will be 6, with no harvest of cutthroat trout. Dec. 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend will be catch-and-release only.
• Snake River from Osgood diversion upstream to the confluence of the Henrys Fork and South Fork Snake River: Trout limit would be reduced from six to two, with no harvest of cutthroat trout. Previously you could keep two cutthroat trout).
• South Fork Snake River tributaries: Allow harvest of any size brown trout (which will be included in the daily trout bag limit). Change the “closed to fishing” season to June 1 to June 30 (previously the season was April 1 to June 30).
• Teton River: Eliminate the winter catch-and-release season (open all year). Allow unlimited harvest of rainbow trout and trout hybrids (current trout limit is 6) with no harvest of cutthroat trout.
• Teton River tributaries: Eliminate the winter catch-and-release season (open to fishing July 1 to May 31); then close the tributaries June 1 through June 30. Allow unlimited harvest of rainbow trout and trout hybrids (currently the trout limit is 6) with no harvest of cutthroat.
• Little Lost River and tributaries, Medicine Lodge Creek and Fall River: Eliminate the catch-and-release seasons and allow year-round fishing with a two trout limit; no harvest of cutthroat trout.
• Becker Park Pond (Ryder Park Pond): The current rule is two trout. It will change to two fish, any combination of species.
• Jim Moore Pond, Horseshoe Lake and Teardrop Lake: The daily trout bag limit would be reduced to two trout on all three waters. Current rule is six trout.
• Palisades Reservoir tributaries: Close all Palisades Reservoir tributaries to Kokanee harvest.