I got a call this week from Joe Kozfkay, Fish and Game's Southwest Region fisheries manager, asking me to remind folks about bass fishing rules at Lake Lowell.
In short, it's a two-bass limit, none between 12 and 16 inches, and harvest season is July 1 through Dec. 31.
Kozfkay said lots of people were keeping bass before the harvest season opened, and many aren't aware of the special rules, so anglers are probably still keeping fish that should be released.
F&G conservation officers have written a lot of tickets out there, and what a drag for all involved.
Bass fishing has been really good at Lake Lowell, and one of the reasons it's good is because special rules protect those slow-growing largemouth and let them attain decent size. It makes my stomach turn thinking about how many spawners went home in coolers that should have been left in the lake.
It's a good reminder to check the rules before you go fishing.
Remember, an officer has to quickly determine whether you unintentionally broke a law, or you're a scofflaw or serial poacher pretending to be a hapless angler who forgot to check the rules.
Don't put yourself in that position. If you're unsure of the rules, you're usually safe if you release what you catch.
A lot of great fishing trips are in your future this summer, and you don't want the outing marred by an expensive ticket and an unpleasant conversation with an officer.
You can find rules booklets at any F&G license dealer, or online at fishandgame.idaho.gov. You also can download a copy to your cell phone or tablet.