Outdoors Blog

Idaho’s Free Fishing Day set for June 11

A roundup of press releases that have accumulated in my inbox recently:

Free Fishing Day on June 11

Idaho’s Free Fishing Day will be held Saturday, June 11. Any angler — resident or not — can fish without a license that day.

All other fishing rules remain in effect.

At some locations around Southwest Idaho, equipment will be available for use and fishing experts will be available to help.

‘Outdoor Idaho’ examines harmful algae in North Idaho lakes

From Idaho Public Television:

From the air, North Idaho’s lakes appear as magnificent pools of blue, shimmery water. But if you look at a microscopic level, you’ll find signs that Idaho’s lakes, like waterways around the world, are in trouble.

A microscopic organism threatens the water quality of these lakes, putting the recreation economy of the entire region at risk. Outdoor Idaho “Health of Our Lakes” follows scientists and lake managers as they investigate the increasing levels of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae in Idaho’s northern lakes.

Outdoor Idaho “Health of Our Lakes” airs at 8 p.m. Thursday and repeats at 7 p.m. Sunday on Idaho Public Television.

At Fernan Lake, under health warnings for more than 100 days each year, scientists from the MILES project at the University of Idaho help lake managers and residents understand why this lake is declining. At Lake Coeur d’Alene, the cleanup of heavy metals improves water quality but also allows for more algae growth. Scientists and students from North Idaho College find out if “floating treatment wetlands” can prevent toxic algae blooms in Hayden Lake. And members of the Coeur D’Alene Tribe teach kids and adults alike about protecting these northern lakes during “Water Potato Days.”

As Laura Laumatia, Lake Management Plan Coordinator for the Coeur D’Alene Tribe says, “You can have all the wealth and all the infrastructure in the world, but if you don’t have clean water, then you don’t have life.”

“Who doesn’t love Idaho’s northern lakes? Let’s hope all this attention keeps them healthy for another 100 years,” says Outdoor Idaho host and executive producer Bruce Reichert.

Life-jacket event aims for world record

People in cities worldwide will participate in the fifth annual Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day on Saturday. The goal is for people to put on life jackets and inflate inflatable life jackets in an attempt to spread awareness of the value of life jackets and the variety of styles available.

The Idaho event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Legacy Park in McCall.

Idaho State Parks and Recreation is launching a safe boating campaign called “Invest in Life — Wear It! Idaho.”

Salmon seasons updated

From Idaho Fish and Game:

The Clearwater River from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge near Lewiston upstream to the Cherry Lane Bridge will close to all Chinook salmon fishing at the end of fishing hours (10 p.m. MDT) on Friday.

The closure is because the harvest quota for adult Chinook salmon has been met in this river section. Harvest quotas in different reaches of the Clearwater River drainage were developed using public input to help ensure all communities throughout the watershed have opportunities to harvest salmon.

Chinook salmon seasons continue on the Clearwater River upstream from the Cherry Lane Bridge and the North Fork Clearwater; as well as the South Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, Lower Salmon, the Little Salmon, Lochsa, and Snake rivers.

Meanwhile, the Fish and Game commission set the summer chinook season for the upper Salmon River and South Fork of the Salmon River to open June 18.

Chinook bound for those rivers are entering the Columbia River and aren’t expected to reach Idaho until June. It’s too early to get a good indicator of how many will be returning, according to F&G’s anadromous fish manager Pete Hassemer.

City of Boise reminds: Don’t carve in sandstone cliffs in the Foothills

From the City of Boise:

Boise Parks and Recreation wants to remind Foothills users about summer safety and general guidelines regarding appropriate use of Boise’s open space reserves.

As temperatures warm up, tall grasses will begin to dry out and become a fire hazard. Boise’s foothills are very fire prone and open flames of any kind are highly discouraged during the summer months. Vehicles with hot engines can cause fires if parked over dry grasses.

Additionally, please help us reduce vandalism on the reserves. Sandstone cliffs throughout the Foothills are habitat for wildlife and any carving into cliffs is considered vandalism. Vandalism on public property is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Most recently, there has been illegal dumping of substantial quantities of yard waste in Foothills East Reserve, 1220 E Shenandoah Drive. Foothills East Reserve is a 30-acre natural area and a public space used by many in the community.

Dumping debris on public property is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Boise’s latest label: Playful

From the City of Boise:

Boise is being honored with a 2016 Playful City USA designation for the 1st time. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.

“The City of Boise embraces the notion that cities are critical drivers for achieving play outcomes and cross-sector collaboration as keys to success. We are committed to ensure that all kids get the active play they need to become healthy and successful adults,” Mayor Dave Bieter said in a press release.

A total of 257 communities were honored.

Moose, goat, sheep tags distributed

From Idaho Fish and Game:

Results of the drawings for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat controlled hunts are now available.

Hunters can find out if they were successful in drawing tags by going to the Idaho Fish and Game website and entering their hunting license numbers.

Results are also available at Fish and Game offices. It is the responsibility of hunters to find out whether they were successful in any controlled hunt drawings they entered. All applicants will receive either a tag or a refund check by mail no later than June 10.

Help monitor butterflies

From Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge:

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is seeking volunteer citizen scientists to join the monarch butterfly conservation effort by monitoring milkweed plants and butterflies at Lake Lowell. Monarch numbers have greatly declined in recent years. A nationwide effort is underway to better understand monarch breeding sites and migratory paths. This information will help land managers conserve these beautiful creatures, and you can help!

Volunteer citizen scientists can either monitor an assigned Refuge milkweed patch weekly or at their own convenience. All training will be provided, including how to identify milkweed, monarch eggs, larvae, and adults; what data to collect; and how to submit the data. A training date is set for Friday, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Refuge Visitor Center (13751 Upper Embankment Road in Nampa).

Monitoring will take place throughout the summer months.

Local residents are encouraged to keep an eye out for monarch butterflies anywhere in Southwest Idaho and contact deerflat@fws.gov with any sightings. Photographs and tag readings are preferred. Contact Wendy Irwin at 208-467-9278 or deerflat@fws.gov for more information or to sign up as a citizen science volunteer.