Idaho Fish and Game closes offices until April 15, hunting and fishing seasons remain open

Idaho Fish and Game offices will close due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 27, except by...
Idaho Fish and Game offices will close due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 27, except by appoint for limited services until April 15, unless extended by Gov. Brad Little’s order. (Source: KMVT)(KMVT)
Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 7:06 PM MDT
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Idaho Fish and Game offices will close to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic starting March 27.

A spokesman for Fish and Game explained in a>news release

the offices will be closed except by appoint for limited services until April 15, unless extended by Gov. Brad Little’s order.

The move is the latest in a series of steps taken by Fish and Game officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Idaho,

“We are still going to be having limited staffing at the offices, and there are some things people need to come and see us for,” said Terry Thompson, the communications manager for Idaho Fish and Game’s Magic Valley region. “They need to have black bear, or mountain lion, or wolf heights checked in, or for an outfitter tag, bear baiting permits.”

Thompson says if people do need to come to the office, there will be someone there to help them, but they need to call ahead and make an appointment as the doors will be locked.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 Fish and Game has also”>announced

it will only be taking credit debit cards and checks as payment starting March 30. Officials are encouraging people to buy licenses, tags or permits, or when applying for controlled hunts to do so online”>online


At this time, there are no changes to Idaho Fish and Game”>seasons and rules

due to COVID-19. And despite what people may have seen on social media, Idaho Fish and Game has not suspended hunting or fishing season.

“There is a Facebook post going around, it’s actually a prank, and people don’t know that until they actually click on it,” Thompson said.

The false article has been making the rounds on Facebook, with the headline “Idaho Fish and Game suspends hunting and fishing until June 1, 2020”, and has been shared more than 1,000 times. When people click the link, it takes them to a site called Prank Mania, indicting "you’ve been pranked with a false information."

“We have not closed any hunting or fishing seasons,” Thompson said. “Some of our surrounding states have closed, but as of right now here in Idaho, we are not foreseeing the need to do that.”

Currently, all Fish and Game state hatcheries are closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And Fish and Game”>recently

announced the previously issued closure has been extended to the include the campground near the Hayspur Hatchery in Blaine County until further notice.

“People are being told to stay in place and we definitely want to support that,” Thompson said. “They still have the opportunity to get out and walk and recreate. And our message is If you choose to go fishing just maintain that social distancing, be respectful of others, and probably equally as important is to respect the communities that you may pass through on your way to go fishing.”

Thompson reiterated, it’s important for anglers to take into account the health and well-being of Idaho’s communities.

“We definitely don’t want people stopping at stores and businesses from out of the region, mainly because we need to be good neighbors," he said. "And we need to protect our families, our neighbors, and residences of Idaho. So just be respectable from that standpoint.”

Current changes or cancellations at Fish and Game facilities or to Fish and Game events due to COVID-19 can be viewed below, or accessed in their entirety with additional information”>here


Changes at Idaho Fish and Game Facilities:

The following changes have taken place at Idaho Fish and Game facilities.

- Fish and Game offices will be closed March 27 through April 15

- Some services available by appointment Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Call an office to schedule an appointment for the following:

- Sale of items that cannot be bought online, or by telephone, such as bear bait permits and outfitter tags

- Checking in harvested black bears, mountain lions, and wolves per big game regulations

- Farragut Public Shooting Range and Blacks Creek Range will be closed March 27 through April 15.

- Fish and Game offices will no longer accept cash payments starting March 30.

- Only debit cards and checks will be accepted at offices.

- No public access at fish hatcheries

- Does not apply to adjacent public fishing waters

- Until further notice

- No public meetings at Idaho Fish and Game offices

- Until further notice

- Including third-party reservations

- Regional offices remain open

- MK Nature Center (Boise)

- Visitor center closed until further notice

- Organized tours have been canceled

- The grounds will remain open every day, sunrise to sunset

- License desk will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m

Changes to Idaho Fish and Game Events

The following events, will be modified or canceled. Click each event for more information.

- Fish stocking will continue, however, schedules will not be forecast and locations and times are subject to change.

- Hunter education classes will be online only with limited exceptions

- Until further notice

- Field day is temporarily waived until further notice

- Trapper Ed and Wolf Trapper Ed classes canceled

- Through May 11

- Fishing trailer events are canceled

- Until further notice

- Project Wild classes are canceled

- Rod loaning programs are canceled

- Until further notice