Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Idaho Adopts Year Round Fishing Season

One of my first posts upon returning to the world of blogging, dealt with Idaho Department of Fish and Game's (IDFG) proposed rules changes, and specifically the change to a year-round general season. Several months have passed and the department has adopted that particular change and several others.

I am glad to see Idaho go with the year-round season as I enjoy early spring fishing and even the occasional winter excursion. Once the new booklet comes out, I may start planning some spring trips to new locations.

However, there is one change that I am a little worried about: the extended ice-fishing season on Henry's Lake. IDFG Biologists have said in the past that the current ice fishing season does not have a great effect on the lake's trout population. But many fly anglers who frequent the lake are against any kind of ice fishing season, especially an extended one. Fish and Game seemed to take this into account, but still decided to go forward with the extended season.

From the IDFG news release:
Upper Snake Region Commissioner Cameron Wheeler said there is no question that Henrys Lake is a highly-studied water. The decision comes down to a social issue; he said he would go with the biology and support the increased fishing opportunity. "This is not taken lightly. This is an extremely difficult decision."

Given that the biology seems to indicate this is a reasonable course--along with the fact that Henry's Lake has a tight harvest restriction--I am willing to go along with this particular change, though I reserve the right to change my mind. To oppose the rule simply because its not fly fishing would be elitist, something I try to avoid (unless I am talking about music).

However, if the trout population suffers (for any reason at all), IDFG can expect to hear it from the Henry's Lake crowd, many of whom are fly fisherman that are opposed to the extended season because ice fisherman can catch and keep some very large trout. This one is worth keeping an eye on.

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