Ask Zimo: See the Birds of Prey Area with a view from the river

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comFebruary 13, 2014 

Q: Do you have any information about boat trips at the Birds of Prey near Swan Falls?

Several years ago, I know that there were a couple of individuals who offered trips. I plan short day trips for the Boise Senior Center, and we haven’t done this for quite awhile, and since we have many new people that have moved into the area, I thought this would be a great outdoors trip.


A: The Snake River Canyon is an awesome place, especially in spring, with the influx of nesting eagles, hawks and falcons. A float trip or jet-boat tour would be just the thing.

This is such a fantastic area so close to Boise and the Treasure Valley. The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area was established in the early 1970s. It is a sanctuary for raptors, including 15 species that nest in the area, like golden eagles, prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks and northern harriers.

Seeing the canyon and its walls and rims is a lot different looking from the river. It opens up a whole new world.

I found a couple of outfitters that do tours on the river below Swan Falls Dam. Idaho Guide Service runs day trips on the Snake River from Swan Falls Dam to Celebration Park April through June.

Prices range from $70 to $90 per person. Go to idahoguideservice or call 734-4998 for information.

Or, from May and through summer, you can try an airboat tour going from Walters Ferry up to the dam. Cost is $70 per person.

For information, call Hells Canyon Adventures at 422-3568.


Q: After I catch my daily trout limit, can I continue to fish via catch and release?


A: You can continue to fish for trout after you reach your daily bag limit, but you’d better be careful with the fish you catch, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

If for some reason the next trout you catch and release dies because of being hooked too deep or some other problem, you could be cited for being over your bag limit.

There may also be special regulations on certain waters where you can’t continue to fish, such as at Henrys Lake. So double-check Idaho’s fishing regulations.

Another thing: There is nothing preventing you from continuing to fish after reaching your trout limit, if there are other fish in the reservoir or river.

Some stream anglers continue to fish for whitefish after they limited out with trout. Anglers can also switch to bass, crappie and perch in reservoirs where they are found along with trout. The important thing is if you hook into a trout, release it unharmed.

Fish and Game says there are exceptions when it comes to some other fish. Once you catch your limit of salmon or steelhead, you have to quit fishing for them.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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