Ask Zimo: You must have a permit to stock fish in private ponds

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comMarch 6, 2014 

Q: I have a question about fish stocking.

My father-in-law wants to stock a private pond with bass. There are already some in there, but he would like to put in some more.

Do you know of anyone that I could get in contact with to help with the process of stocking the pond?

He wants to do it right, so if it requires talking to someone to change habitat to help them survive, he’ll make the necessary changes.

JESSE COOK, via email

A: I checked with Idaho Fish and Game, and here’s the response from fishery biologists.

If you have a private pond and want to stock fish, the first thing you need is an Idaho private pond permit.

This permit is good for five years. An application can be downloaded from F&G’s website (, and it needs to be submitted to the regional F&G office where the pond is located. If the pond is in the Treasure Valley, that’s the Nampa office.

Ponds will be inspected, and screens may be required, to make sure fish from the ponds can’t escape into the wild.

The permit holder will also receive an approved list of the kinds of fish that can be stocked in the pond.

The best way to get fish for private ponds is to buy from private suppliers operating licensed fish hatcheries.

That’s the least complicated way to obtain fish, and you can get a list of local fish producers from Fish and Game or the Idaho Department of Agriculture, the agency that licenses commercial producers.

If the type of fish you want is not available locally, Fish and Game can issue scientific collecting permits and live fish transport permits to allow individuals to collect public fish for private ponds.

The process is approved on a case-by-case basis.

It may seem like a lot of trouble or hoops to jump through, but fish stocking in the state is strictly enforced by Fish and Game to prevent any invasive or non-native fish ending up where they don’t belong and causing problems.

The wrong species of fish ending up in the wrong place can wreak havoc on desired game fish populations.


Q: My son and I are just getting started in black powder shooting.

Do you know if there is a local club for muzzleloading, and if there are any classes or instruction available locally on muzzleloading?

WILLIAM U., via email

A: The best thing to do is head out to the Blacks Creek Rifle Range, southeast of Boise, during the informal muzzleloader shoots every third Sunday of the month.

That’s where you’ll meet members of the EE DA HOW Long Rifles Club, who are knowledgeable about blackpowder shooting.

The range is at 2420 E. Kuna Mora Road. Go to or call 342-9614 for directions.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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