Watershed Guardians 102 S. Main St. #634 Pocatello, ID 83204 US

(208) 232-0825

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Furbearer Comments Needed

Comments Due December 12!!! Open House on Barton Road December 10th!

Every two years, Idaho Fish and Game takes comments on the upcoming trapping season.  These comments are for all furbearers such as otters, fishers, marten, lynx, bobcats and beavers.  While we are not an anti-trapping organization per se , we are very interested in beavers because....watershed.   The proposed regulations are shown below and they propose changes in numbers, methodologies, or locations of beaver trapping should occur.  You  can see our opinion below the "Trappers' Agenda" and base your comments on those....as always, it's best to write your own words, stories, etc.  You don't need long comments!  The link for comments is here:

  http://idfg.idaho.gov/comment. 

 


      

Trapper's Agenda

 

Public comment sought on Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer seasons

   By Brian Pearson, Conservation Public Information Specialist Monday, November 25, 2019 - 3:43 PM MST    People can submit comments online, through the mail, or at open houses around the stateThe  Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comments on  proposed changes to the 2020 and 2021 upland game, turkey and furbearer  seasons.Proposed changes to seasons include:

Furbearer

  • In the Magic Valley Region, lift beaver closures in Hunter Creek (Elmore County) and Little Smoky Creek (Camas County).  
  • In the Magic Valley Region, implement beaver closures on public  lands within the Little Wood River drainage above Little Wood Reservoir  (Blaine County).  
  • In the Southeast Region, remove controlled beaver trapping unit  permits for 205 (Logan River), 206 (Cottonwood Cr), and 207 (Cottonwood  Cr). Delete language under exceptions relative to these controlled  hunts.Increase the individual river otter bag limit from two to three  otters statewide. 
  • Extend the closure of the river otter season from March 15 to March  31 in the Clearwater, Southwest, Magic Valley, Southeast, Upper Snake,  and Salmon Regions.  
  • Increase the Panhandle Region river otter harvest quota from 40 to 45.  
  • In the Southeast Region, remove river otter closures on the Portneuf River downstream from Lava Hot Springs. 
  • In the Upper Snake Region, lift river otter trapping closures on:  South Fork Snake River (Palisades Dam to Heise Cable); mainstem Buffalo  River; mainstem Warm River; and mainstem Henry’s Fork River from Big  Springs to Del Rio Bridge.  
  • Remove marten trapping closures from Bear Lake and Franklin counties.  
  • Move the start date of beaver, mink, muskrat, and river otter trapping from October 22 to October 15 in the Southeast Region.  

Season proposals are available for review and comment on the Fish and Game website at http://idfg.idaho.gov/comment. Furbearer and upland game proposals are split, with upland game proposals listed by region.Interested individuals may also provide comments by attending one of  several open houses where they can view the proposals and speak directly  with local biologists. Open houses currently scheduled include:Cambridge: Monday, Dec. 2, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Cambridge Community Library, 120 Superior St., 208-634-8137Jerome: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (MST), Magic Valley Region office, 324 South 417 East, 208-324-4359Ponderay: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (PST), Ponderay Events Center, 401 Bonner Mall, Suite E, 208-769-1414.Lewiston: Monday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST), Clearwater Region office, 3316 16th St., 208-799-5010Nampa: Monday, Dec. 9, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (MST), Southwest Region office, 15950 N. Gate Blvd, 208-465-8465Idaho Falls: Monday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (MST), Upper Snake Region office, 4279 Commerce Circle, 208-525-7290


Pocatello: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MST), Southeast Region office, 1345 Barton Road, 208-232-4703.


Coeur d’ Alene: Thursday, Dec. 12, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (PST), Panhandle Region office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., 208-769-1414.Salmon: Thursday, Dec. 12, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST) Salmon Regional Office, 99 Highway 93 North. (208) 756-2271. (Note: This  open house will also be an opportunity to comment on Fish and Game's  proposed moose plan, which will be released in December.)Other meetings will be added to the list as they are scheduled. If a  meeting is not listed in your area, visit the nearest Fish and Game  office where copies of the proposed seasons and comment forms are  available.Written comments may also be mailed to "2020 & 2021 Upland Game  Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707." Comments can be submitted  through Wednesday, December 13.All comments received will be summarized and presented to the Idaho  Fish and Game Commission for consideration before seasons are set at the  January 23, 2020 meeting in Boise.Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and RulesUpland Game HuntingIdaho Seasons and RulesPanhandle RegionClearwater RegionSouthwest RegionMagic Valley RegionSoutheast RegionUpper Snake RegionSalmon Region  

Watershed Guardians' position

Changes to Controlled Trap Zones and Take limits

Our primary Watersheds of Concern  (WOCs) are Mink Creek in Bannock County,  Toponce Creek in Caribou County, Eightmile Creek in  Bear Lake County, Dempsey Creek in Bannock County and Jackson Creek in Bannock County.

  • The landowners on Jackson Creek have literally begged IF&G to close their stream from Bonnneville Road to the USFS boundary.  That should have been done years ago. NOW is the time. 
  • Dempsey Creek has had willing landowners from Dempsey Creek Road up to the Cattle Guard.  This area should be limited to 1 beaver per year.
  • A bridge constructed on Eightmile Creek on Caribou National Forest has reduced the likelihood of beaver problems on this road.  Beaver should be allowed on this drainage and the trapping limited to 5 beaver until such time as 2 breeding pairs are obtained per kilometer on this drainage up to the headwaters.
  • Toponce Creek continues to see numbers dwindle, particularly the South Fork of Toponce Creek.  We would like to see the corrals relocated, non-lethal mitigation structures installed at the culvert crossings and the take limited to 5 beaver or until such time as two breeding pairs of beaver per kilometer are obtained on this reach to improve native cutthroat trout fishery.
  • Our monitoring data on Mink Creek shows that the population has decreased on the South Fork nearly 50% since 2013 and the populations have been exterminated on the East and West Forks of Mink Creek for 4 years.  We proposed closing the South Fork from West Fork confluence to the headwaters or until there is a density of 2 breeding pairs per kilometer.  Flooding near the Mink Creek highway excepted.  The East Fork and West Fork of Mink Creek are currently closed to trapping..

Record Keeping

In 2016, then IF&G director Mark Gamblin made a committment that his office would report and track the number and location of depredation trapping in various streams.  We have requested this information as well as the regular trapping season reports MONTHS ago, and have yet to see a report.  How can the public be expected to make reasonable assessments of beaver populations without this data?  Depredation data must be made available BEFORE the beginning of trapping season and regular season trapping report data should be made within a reasonable time after the close of the season.

Non Lethal Control Funding

It is our understanding that Idaho Fish and Game has spent a considerable sum of money on both GIS software for identifying beaver habitat suitable for re-introduction and construction of BDAs.   While we applaud IF&Gs apparent interest in addressing conflict issues with the relocation site identification, it must be understood that GIS information is time - sensitive.  I cannot be put on the shelf.  Relocation sites must be identified NOW  as part of the first step in implementing a complete re-introduction program.  To the extent that BDAs support this goal, we support IF&G's investment in these structures.  To the extent that they are subsidizing grazing or irrigation storage deficiencies, we do not.  Please use the BDAs as a precursor to introducing beaver.

Extending Seasons

Due  to milder winters and greater access provided by high-powered snow machines and GPS technology, we do not support extending the trapping season....AT ALL.  Instead, we advocate that the trapping season be shortened by two weeks on either end of the season from the current (2018-2019) rules.

Improve Trapping Reports

The current trapping reports require only that the county in which beaver are trapped be entered on the reports.  From a game management perspective, this is nearly useless.  Other states such as New Mexico, Nevada and Washington require that the stream on which the beaver are trapped be recorded.   This is not rocket science.  Record the stream.

General Comments

We appreciate the work that Idaho Fish and Game Region VIII has done to improve the management of beaver in the region.  However, in terms of a long-term strategy it falls short.  Fisheries suffer, wildlife suffers, water quality suffers and water supply suffers.  These are not expensive solutions.  With ink in your pen, you can make massive improvements to our watershed for generations.  We hope you can find your way to consider our oppinions on the management of beaver in our watershed.