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Setting Fishing Rules For 2016

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Troy Pearse           08-Feb-15  

Subject: Setting Fishing Rules For 2016
From: Troy Pearse
Email: ttpearse@gmail.com
Date: 08-Feb-15

Setting Fishing Rules For 2016 - 2018 And Providing Input On Angler Access Needs

Over the next few months, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be collecting public input and ideas for fishing rules that will be in effect from 2016 - 2018 and also asking where anglers need new or better access facilities.

Beginning in February, fish and game staff around the state will hold a series of meetings and open houses to visit with sportsmen and document their ideas for fishing rules for the next three-year period. Fish and Game will also provide opportunities for public input through our web site and other social media. Fisheries staff will evaluate all the ideas before developing formal rule change proposals later this spring. After the Fish and Game Commission reviews the proposals in May, there will be another round of public input before the rules are finalized in November. The new rules would go into effect on January 1, 2016.

While Fish and Game has no formal proposals at this time, there are some specific issues we want to discuss with the public. One involves possession limits for fish. Currently, in most Idaho waters anglers can only possess a single day's limit of fish while in the field regardless of how many days they spend on a fishing trip. This limits the opportunity to harvest fish for those on an extended trip. Some anglers have asked for possession limits that would allow two or more daily bag limits.

"We want to understand whether there is a real demand for increasing possession limits, and what concerns anglers might have", said Dave Parrish at Fish and Game. "If the demand is there, biologists will still need to determine whether there are biological concerns if some additional harvest occurs."

Additionally, Fish and Game is asking for input from anglers on specific locations where more or better boating and fishing access is needed in Idaho. The Department currently maintains over 320 fishing access areas across the state at a cost of nearly $2 million per year.

"It's an important program", says Parrish, "and we've got great access in most of our fisheries. We want the anglers to help us find the places that lack access or need maintenance".

An opportunity to comment online will soon be available on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. Anglers are encouraged to talk with our fisheries biologists at scheduled times listed below or call our Regional Fish Managers at the listed telephone numbers:

Panhandle Region - Jim Fredericks, Regional Fish Manager: 208-769-1414 - Coeur d'Alene: February 17, Lake City Center Sportsman's Breakfast, 6:30 am - Coeur d'Alene: February 17, Regional Office 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., 8 am to 5 pm (open house) - Sandpoint: February 19, Annual State-of-the-Lake Meeting, Ponderay Events Center, 7 - 9:00 pm

Clearwater Region - Joe DuPont, Regional Fish Manager 208-799-5010 - Orofino: February 19, IDFG Clearwater Hatchery, 118 Hatchery Roe Drive (located northwest of Ahsahka Bridge), 6:00 pm - Riggins: February 23, Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main Street, 6:00 pm MT - Lewiston: February 25, Regional Office, 3316 16th Street, 6:00 pm (open house) - Moscow: February 26, Fairground Exhibit Building, 1021 Harold Street, 6:00 pm

Southwest Region / McCall - Dale Allen, Regional Fish Manager 208-634-8137 - McCall: February 19, Regional Office 555 Deinhard Lane, noon to 7:00 pm (open house); Salmon Season talk - Riggins: February 23, Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main Street, 6:00 pm MT - McCall: February 24, Regional Office 555 Deinhard Lane, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (open house), in conjunction big game season setting open house. - Council: February 25, Council Grange Hall, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (open house) in conjunction with the big game season setting open house.

Southwest Region / Nampa - Joe Kozfkay, Regional Fish Manager 208-465-8465 - Nampa: February 17, Regional Office 3101 So. Powerline Road 8 am to 8 pm (open house) - Boise: February 18, Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, Open House 5 to 7 pm -Salmon season presentation at 7pm; Nampa and McCall staff

Magic Valley - Doug Megargle, Regional Fish Manager 208-324-4359 - Hailey: February 24, Blaine Co. Community Campus 1050 Fox Acres Road, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm - Burley: February 25, Best Western Inn 800 N. Overland, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm - Jerome: February 26, Regional Office 324 S. 417 E., 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm (open house)

Southeast Region - David Teuscher, Regional Fish Manager 208-232-4703 - Pocatello: February 24, Regional Office 1345 Barton Road 8:00 am to 5 pm (open house)

Upper Snake - Dan Garren, Regional Fish Manager 208-525-7290 - Driggs: February 19, Driggs County Courthouse, 6:30 pm - Ashton: February 23, Ashton Community Center, 6:30 pm - Idaho Falls: February 24, Idaho Falls IDFG Regional Office, 6:30 pm (open house)

Salmon - Greg Schoby, Regional Fish Manager 208-756-2271 - Salmon: February 25, IDFG Regional Office, 6:00 pm (open house) - Challis: February 26, Challis Community Center, 6:00 pm

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