Idaho Game Fisheries
Idaho Fish Hatcheries
Idaho Game Fishery Economic Facts
Drainage Areas & Fisheries

Idaho's fisheries are divided into 8 large-scale regions that are shown on the map at right. Click on each region for information on fish. These units are managed by the Idaho Department of Fish & Game under Title 36 of the Idaho Code which mandates the preservation, protection and perpetuation of such wildlife. Fish & Game has responsibility for 83 species of fish in Idaho, including 14 species of native game fish and 28 species that have been introduced. Fish populations occur throughout the 26,000 miles of rivers and creeks, 225,000 acres of lakes, and 239,000 acres of reservoirs found in the state.

Fishery Types
Fisheries are divided into one of four categories determined by the dominant type(s) of fish found within their waters: cold water, warm water, anadromous, and mixed. Populations of special concern (such as introduced or endangered species) are monitored in each fishery, and are reported as unique categories.

Cold Water:
Fisheries supported by resident populations of salmonid game fish including trout, char, nonanadromous salmon (kokanee, coho, chinook), and whitefish (family Salmonidae).

Warm Water:
Fisheries supported by warm water or cool water game fish including bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish, northern pike, tiger muskie, walleye, and yellow perch (families Centrarchidae, Ictaluridae, Percidae, and Esocidae).

Fisheries supported by a combination of cold water and warm water fish species

Fisheries supported by anadromous salmonids (steelhead trout, chinook salmon, and sockeye salmon). See below for detailed information.

Introduced Species:
Introduced fish, such as brown trout, lake trout, brook trout, landlocked coho and chinook salmon, bass, sunfish, perch, crappie, catfish, walleye, northern pike, and tiger muskie, provide sport fisheries where habitat conditions are unsuitable for native species.

Species of Concern:
A small group of fish species have been designated as "Species of Special Concern" because of limited range in Idaho, low populations, or threats to their existence.

Primary species of concern for Idaho's fisheries include rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout, steelhead trout, chinook salmon, kokanee salmon, sockeye salmon, whitefish, and white sturgeon (all native fish). Idaho Coho salmon were declared extinct in 1985.

Different fish populations exist in Idaho's different drainages, as a result of the hydrologic and geologic history discussed above. Human influence and the introduction of species has also affected the balance of fish populations.

Anadromous Fish:
Idaho's anadromous fish (steelhead trout, chinook and sockeye salmon) are of particular importance, and their management involves cooperation with other state, federal, and tribal agencies. This is because these fish are ocean-going species. They spend their adult lives in the pacific ocean, then travel to the streams and rivers of Idaho to spawn. Juveniles live in the streams and rivers for a short while until they themselves make the long journey to the Pacific via the Columbia River drainage system. Changing water conditions and the construction of numerous dams along the migratory routes of these fish appears to be casing a drastic decline in their population numbers. In fact, the decline is so pronounced that extinction for wild members of these species is a very real threat.
Source Information
Written and compiled by Jacqueline Harvey 1999. see region 2