IFG seeks comments on proposed changes to fishing rules
Feedback from fishermen on the proposed changes is important in helping fishery managers understand fisherman preferences and shape fishing seasons for the next three years.
The Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public comments on potential changes for the updated Fishing Regulatory Booklet for the next three-year cycle (2022-2024). Anglers can find a full list of proposals and their explanations on the Fish and Game website on the “Public Comments” web page. Comments will be taken until 11 p.m. MDT on Sunday, August 29.
“Fisherman surveys like this are one of the many steps we take when we consider changing the fishing rules. It’s a way to make sure our fishing program delivers what the fishermen want.” , notes Lance Hebdon, head of the Fisheries Bureau of Fish and Game.
The proposals are organized by region, like the fishing regulations booklet. Anglers should review the proposals and answer short survey questions to show which options they prefer. Additionally, some anglers may be randomly selected to receive an email survey invitation on certain topics.
In the Panhandle, the proposed changes include the removal of the 100 yard fishing closure on Pend Oreille Lake at the mouths of Gold, North Gold, Granite and Trestle creeks.
In their rationale for the proposed change, IFG officials said the regulations have been in place since the existence of the bull trout and cutthroat trout fisheries.
“The rule was to protect bull trout and cutthroat trout from harvest at the mouths of these tributaries,” officials said. “However, these fish are already protected by catch and release regulations, so this area closure is not necessary.”
It is also proposed to review the definition of the boundary of the Pend Oreille river.
The proposal calls for redefining the boundaries of the river to include the US 95 Bridge at Sandpoint downstream to the Idaho-Washington border, including tributaries and swamps down to the flat waterfront.
On its website, Idaho Fish & Game notes that the current upstream limit of the Pend Oreille River is defined as the Sandpoint Rail Bridge. With a second railway bridge under construction next to the existing railway bridge, the description becomes confusing.
“In addition, moving the boundary downstream to the Highway 95 bridge will provide additional water where fishermen will be allowed to fish from a boat with unlimited rods,” ministry officials note. in the rationale for the proposed change. “Trolling in this area is popular with walleye anglers and will allow more walleye harvesting opportunities, which supports our management objectives for Pend Oreille Lake.”
The Fish and Game Commission will consider all input on these proposed changes when it meets in November to set general fishing seasons and limits from 2022.