The mountains stay pretty much the same

Several years ago, I asked a friend why he didn’t hunt anymore. He said he stopped hunting because the mountains kept getting steeper and harder to climb. I made a decision that day to never get to the point that the mountains would seem any steeper each year.

I am now about the same age my friend was when I asked him that question several years ago. So far, the mountains seem to be about the same angle they have always been — namely, straight up and down.

I guess my exercise program is working pretty well, but I have noticed that a bunch of teenagers that ride their mountain bikes on the same trails that I do have been passing me up and seem to be a little irritated with me on single track trails. They also call me dirty names, like “grandpa.” However, that isn’t because the mountains are getting any steeper. I’m just not in as big a hurry as those kids. I like riding a little slower and enjoying my surroundings more than they do.

I also like to stop at various points and take large gulps of fresh mountain air while looking over the ridges and valleys I can see. Sometimes after I stop for a minute, some kid rides by and wants to know if I’m all right.

Scouting for game before the hunting season starts is better. I’m usually by myself or maybe with one other person who is closer to my age than those mountain biking kids. I can walk and spend as much time as I want looking for game or signs of game with out anyone calling me grandpa or yelling at me to get out of the way.

I have also started using trekking poles while I am scouting for game or hunting, but that’s is because many outdoorsmen are advocating the use of walking or trekking poles while traveling through the backcountry. Besides, they give your hands, arms and shoulders good exercise while wearing a day pack and carrying a rifle over one shoulder.

If I am carrying food, a camp stove, extra clothes, a first-aid kit, energy bars, a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and other necessities such as water, binoculars, topographic map and compass into a base camp, I use a larger backpack to get what I need into camp and then I switch to a day pack for hunting once my camp is set up. Those trekking poles really help me stay stable while I climb up the mountain, getting the larger pack into the base camp. Still, the mountains are the same as they have always been. Straight up and down.

I do like to sleep in a little more than I did when I was younger, but that is because I camp pretty close to the area I plan to hunt, and the walk to where I want to be when game starts moving isn’t as far as it was when I was younger, so I don’t have to start as early as I did a few years ago in order to be ready once it gets light enough to hunt. Besides, getting out of the sleeping bag at 4 a.m. on those cold October or November mornings and waiting somewhere until it is light enough to hunt is pure lunacy.

If it is raining, I don’t bother to get up before 6 or 6:30 a.m. I don’t mind hunting when it is raining because I have good rain gear. I usually have a pretty good idea where to find game when it is raining and wet, but I’m not going to try and navigate around the area when it is dark, rainy and wet, even with trekking poles.

I’m convinced that my plan to stay active all year long where I do a workout and exercise regimen three days each week, hike, scout for game and ride a mountain bike from June to October, hunt during October and sometimes November also, start winter activities like skiing, snow shoeing, from January to March or April, and keep up my weekly workouts during May is working to keep me in good enough condition. After all, the mountains are always pretty much the same no matter what season it is or what age I am. They remain straight up and down.

Smokey Merkley was raised in Idaho and has been hunting since he was 10 years old. He can be contacted at mokeydo41245@hotmail.com.

Crossing private land to access public land for big game hunting is a privilege, not a right

Respect for private land by hunters is critical to ensure continued access to private property remains today and into the future.

Often, big game hunts in Idaho require hunters to cross private land to reach their hunt unit that is usually on publicly owned land. Many private landowners allow the public to cross their land, because they are often hunters themselves and support providing access to others so they can hunt on public lands and pursue the wildlife that lives there.

Responsible hunting ethics on private land

To ensure that private landowners and their land are respected, ultimately resulting in private lands remaining open to hunting access, hunters are reminded to:

  • Always ask for permission to hunt on private land, and, if you’re unsure if it is acceptable to cross private land to access public land, ask first! Idaho trespass law specifies that, “no person shall enter or remain on private land to shoot any weapon or hunt, fish, trap or retrieve game without written permission or other lawful permission.”
  • If access is granted by the landowner, hunters should stay on designated roads and trails.
  • If you must open a closed gate, legally, the gate must be closed once you’ve passed through it. Leaving a gate open can allow livestock to escape into areas where they don’t belong.
  • Never cut a fence or remove fence rails or wires. Destroying or damaging improvements on private land is illegal and is punishable by law.
  • Know your target. Many landowners are running livestock both on private and public lands. Never shoot unless you are absolutely sure of your target and what lies beyond.

Trespassing law in Idaho

  • Never trespass on private lands. It is the responsibility of the hunter to know Idaho’s trespass law. A person who commits criminal trespass could be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Private land is typically identified by a place of residence, the land is cultivated, or it’s fenced or enclosed in a manner that reflects a private boundary.
  • If private property adjoins or is contained within public lands, the fence line adjacent to public land is to be posted with conspicuous “no trespassing” signs or bright orange or fluorescent paint at the corners of the fence adjoining public land and at all navigable streams, roads, gates and rights-of-way entering the private land from the public land. It must be posted in a manner that a reasonable person would be put on notice that it is private land.
  • If private property is unfenced and uncultivated it is to be posted with conspicuous “no trespassing” signs or bright orange or fluorescent paint at all property corners and boundaries where the property intersects navigable streams, roads, gates and rights-of-way entering the land, and is posted in a manner that a reasonable person would be put on notice that it is private land.

Partnering with private landowners – Access Yes!

Fish and Game partners with private landowners under the Access Yes! program to improve access to private land, or when hunters need to cross private land to access public lands. Properties that are incorporated into the Access Yes! program can be found on the department website. Hunters need to be aware of any landowner requirements or restrictions when going onto private land, which can also be found on the Access Yes! webpages.

By acting responsibly and respecting private property, hunters will help to ensure access to private property today, and into the future.

Saga of human-raised bull elk continues: Animal back in Fish and Game custody

A young bull elk, given a second chance at freedom when returned to the wild country of Bear Valley, Idaho, in mid-August, is back in captivity. On Sunday, Idaho Fish and Game officers found the young bull about three miles from its original release site where they contained and transported the bull to a Fish and Game holding area.

A renewed search is now underway to find an accredited facility that will take the young bull. A nationwide search conducted just after the bull’s capture in mid-August found no takers.

The bull elk was illegally removed from the wild as a calf in the spring of 2018 and raised in captivity by a resident of Sweet, Idaho. Months later, a Fish and Game investigation led to the release of the young bull, which left the area during the winter. But it returned to Sweet this spring, and that’s when Fish and Game began receiving phone calls from area residents concerned for the safety of their children as the 400-pound ungulate roamed the town, unafraid of humans. With the fall rut approaching, things could only get worse.

Officers made several trips to Sweet in efforts to locate and capture the elk. On Aug. 19, the elk was finally caught and transported to Bear Valley, north of Lowman, Idaho. With plenty of elk in the Bear Valley area, it was hoped that the young bull would integrate into one of the local herds. But after two weeks in the wild, the young bull appears uninterested in its own kind, instead approaching curiosity seekers who have driven to Bear Valley in the hopes of spotting the animal.

It’s now obvious that the young bull is too habituated to humans to make the journey back to its wild roots. Instead it will live out its days in captivity.

Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming along serene trails in national parks and other public lands nationwide. It’s part of a new Trump administration order — hotly opposed by many outdoors groups — that will allow e-bikes on every federal trail where a regular bike can go.

Sales of the bikes, powered by both pedals and battery-driven small motors, are booming, and some aging or less fit people have sought the rule change. It will allow them to whirr up and down biking trails in the country’s roughly 400 national parks and other federally managed backcountry areas.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the order without fanfare last week, classifying e-bikes as non-motorized bikes.

The e-bikes “make bicycle travel easier and more efficient, and they provide an option for people who want to ride a bicycle but might not otherwise do so because of physical fitness, age, disability or convenience,” National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said in a statement Friday.

Welcoming the change in Bar Harbor, Maine, on Friday, Gordon Goodwin, 69, said he and his wife look forward to riding the 57 miles of carriage paths that meander throughout Acadia National Park.

The paths, offering stunning views of lakes, mountains, forests and the ocean, are popular with bicyclists, but e-bikes have had to stay on the park’s roads instead.

“We’re stoked. We’re really stoked,” Goodwin said. “There’s just too much traffic on the main park roads that you can’t enjoy them. It’ll be great to get in the park and see nature and all that stuff.”

But more than 50 hiking, horse-riding and other outdoor and conservation associations, including the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Pacific Crest Trail Association, objected in a July letter to the Interior Department. They say the administration is fundamentally changing the nature of national parks with little or no public notice or study.

“If you’re hiking on a trail in Utah and you’re rounding a bend and something’s coming at you at 20 mph, that really changes the experience,” said Kristen Brengel, a vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, a nonprofit that advocates for the national park system.

“It’s pretty jarring” to those who take to public lands to escape city noise and stress for nature, Brengel said. “You’re adding significant speed and a throttle to those trails.”

E-bikes are the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle industry, with U.S. sales jumping 72 percent to $144 million last year, according to the NPD Group, which tracks bike sales. The motorized bikes are popular with commuters and aging baby boomers who might not otherwise get out on a bicycle.

The bikes, which can cost $2,000 or more, combine the frame of a regular bike with lightweight batteries and electric motors.

In parks and other public lands as on city streets and sidewalks, people moving on vehicles powered by electric or gasoline engines frequently jostle for the right of way with people on foot or traditional bikes. In the National Park Service, officials over the decades have tried to carefully sort out rules and systems to minimize conflicts.

In their letter, the outdoor groups complained the decision to allow motorized bikes on bike trails breaks with policies dating back to the early 1970s confining cars, dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and all other motorized vehicles to roads and designated areas or trails on public lands.

Interior’s order allows motorized bikes that can go up to 28 mph to be classified as regular bikes.

“Parks are already having a shortage of staffs and rangers,” said Randy Rasmussen, whose organization, Back Country Horsemen of America, opposes the rules. “And now what: they’re supposed to be out there with radar guns? It’s unenforceable.”

He suspects riders going faster than permitted will create dangerous encounters with spooked horses.

The Interior statement said riders must use the motor only to boost their pedaling on the trails, and not zip along on motor power alone.

Bernhardt’s order gave agency officials 30 days to come up with public guidance on how the new policy will be carried out by the National Park and National Wildlife Refuge systems, and on land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

The National Park Service said in a statement that public comment would be sought as it works to develop a revised rule on bicycle use.

Ashley Korenblat, an advocate for preserving public lands and CEO of Western Spirit Cycling in Moab, Utah, saw several upsides.

E-bikes could lead to fewer cars at congested national parks, she said. The bikes are quiet, not much faster than regular bikes and allow people who otherwise couldn’t physically ride to go cycling.

“You can bring grandma and a 7-year-old and the whole group will be able to stay together,” said Korenblat.

Adam Gariepy, manager of the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop, said Friday he’s “tentatively happy” about the new rules. But he has reservations because some e-bikes like his can reach around 28 mph, he said. That speed could be dangerous on trails that have a mix of bicycle riders, horses and carriages, hikers, families and pets.

“It’s a two-edged sword. It’ll be great for older folks who are afraid of the hills and want to continue riding. But there should be some speed limit with them,” he said.

Park Service Deputy Director Smith said the parks “should be responsive to visitors’ interest in using this new technology wherever it is safe and appropriate to do.”

But Brengel, the parks conservation association official, noted the order comes in a season when thousands of volunteers with trail groups have been in the parks all summer improving trails.

“You put a policy out like this, and it’s a slap in the face,” she said.

Associated Press writer Brady McCombs contributed from Salt Lake City.

‘Something really special’: Challis native summits Mount Borah for wedding

Challis native McKinsey Bruning, née Van Pelt, grew up with the Salmon River in her backyard, “born and raised doing all things outdoors.”

Despite that, she’d never climbed nearby 12,662-foot Mount Borah.

“I wanted to save it for something really special,” Bruning said. “I was actually going to climb it a couple years ago, but I just didn’t feel ready mentally, so I’ve been saving it.”

While McKinsey and her family love to hike, camp, hunt, fish, swim and boat, climbing was her mom Cindy’s passion. Cindy Van Pelt was an avid climber who traveled the world climbing mountains. Cindy died of breast cancer in 2000, “when I was a little girl,” McKinsey said.

But on Friday, McKinsey, 29, made her way to the summit of Idaho’s tallest peak for a very special occasion — her wedding.

McKinsey and her now-husband Jordan Bruning, 30, set out on the trail at 5:30 a.m. wearing headlamps in the darkness for the first hour. They were joined by Alex Amar, a childhood friend from Challis who’d become ordained and flown in from Alaska to officiate the wedding, and McKinsey’s brother, Matt Van Pelt, who’d come in from Arizona to witness the ceremony.

After several hours of hiking, and a brief respite about three-fourths of the way up to help Amar fend off altitude sickness, McKinsey and Jordan were married at the summit in a simple ceremony.

“It was my idea,” McKinsey said of the mountaintop nuptials. “We’ve been together 11 years. We didn’t want something fancy and big. We wanted something intimate and something that had a lot of meaning behind it — something that just kind of portrayed what we love to do.”

McKinsey’s something borrowed was an orange and magenta Patagonia anorak that her mother had worn while summiting the mountain with Matt two decades ago.

McKinsey and Matt

McKinsey Bruning and her brother Matt Van Pelt recreate the pose from a photo Matt took more than two decades ago with their mother Cindy at the summit of Mount Borah.

While at the summit McKinsey and Matt recreated the triumphant pose a photo Matt had taken with their mom from their Mount Borah hike.

Once the ceremony was over, and with thunderclouds closing in, the wedding/climbing party hurried down the mountain to avoid the rain. And while they did get rained on a little bit, it did nothing to dampen their day.

McKinsey and Jordan, who live in Pocatello, met through a mutual friend from Challis while in college at Idaho State University. McKinsey, who graduated from ISU in 2013, is a stay-at-home mom for the couple’s two children, daughter Hartley, 8, and son Cache, 7. Jordan, a Twin Falls native, is a welder who commutes to work at Bayer in Soda Springs.

Hartley and Cache didn’t accompany their parents on the hike but got to participate in the weekend festivities when their uncle Matt, a pilot, flew them over Mount Borah on Saturday morning.

“They were super-excited,” McKinsey said.

ISU Outdoor Adventure Center serves veterans by offering rafting trip

POCATELLO — For the fifth consecutive year, the Idaho State University Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (CW HOG) offered a free trip to veterans for a five-day rafting adventure down the Green River through the “Gates of Lodore” in Dinosaur National Monument.

Ten veterans from throughout Idaho — from Pocatello, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Boise — joined the group of 23 that included staff, ISU students and community members on the early-August float trip. They floated 50 miles through stunning canyon country in Colorado and Utah.

“The veteran population is one that deserves to be served and have these experiences,” said Bob Ellis, CW HOG instructor/outdoor recreation coordinator. “The trip was great. We had great weather, and a little low water because it was later in the season, which makes for some challenges. But we love traveling with the vets because they love to help out, that is their nature.”

CW HOG receives grant funding from the Veterans Administration to essentially offer this annual trip for free to veterans. The veterans have to provide a $100 deposit, but it is refundable upon completion of the trip.

“We want everyone to know we are doing this for the veterans because they are an important population for us,” Ellis said.

The veterans on the trip included some ISU students, but it is open for veterans statewide. For some, the trip can be life changing. Chad Elliott, a veteran and ISU alumnus from Ammon, said the trip was exceptional.

“Because of Justin, Bob, and Kerry (CW HOG staff) I have a renewed strength to live life to the fullest,” Elliott said. “The rafting trip opened my eyes to greater possibilities and I am honored and blessed to know there are still people out there who want to unselfishly support our country’s veterans. I look forward to going on the rafting trip next year.”

CW HOG is pursuing funding to potentially expand free or low-cost offerings to veterans for winter activities such as skiing or yurt trip.

As noted above, veterans weren’t the only members of the group of adventurers. The trip included current ISU students, including Sierra Anderson, from Twin Falls, who is a senior in ISU’s nursing program.

“The trip was a blast and I have been on many rafting trips and this was one of my favorites,” Anderson said. “I totally recommend anyone to take on this adventure and try something new with the Outdoor Adventure Center. It was very well planned and I felt like I was with experts and was safe at all times.”

“Rafting on the river,” she continued, “is an experience that you cannot describe and it is never too late to have an adventure of a life time in the rivers of unknown.”

ISU students can sign up for one free outing this summer. A deposit is required, but will be refunded after participating. Space is limited, so students should sign up early for the first-come, first-served trips. Restrictions and limitations may apply. Participants may be required to provide their own equipment, but equipment rentals are available at a student rate. Trips planned this fall include stand up paddle boarding, Hagerman whitewater rafting, rock climbing at Massacre Rocks, caving, kayak touring, a Yellowstone tour, rock climbing at Castle Rocks, Lava Hot Springs trip, overnight yurt trip and West Yellowstone cross-country ski trip.

The Outdoor Adventure Center rents outdoor equipment ranging from rafts and kayaks to backpacks and mountain bikes.

For more information, visit isu.edu/outdoor or call 208-282-3912.

ISU Outdoor Adventure Center serves veterans by offering rafting adventure

POCATELLO — For the fifth consecutive year, the Idaho State University Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (CW HOG) offered a free trip to veterans for a five-day rafting adventure down the Green River through the “Gates of Lodore” in Dinosaur National Monument.

Ten veterans from throughout Idaho — from Pocatello, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Boise — joined the group of 23 that included staff, ISU students and community members on the early-August float trip. They floated 50 miles through stunning canyon country in Colorado and Utah.

“The veteran population is one that deserves to be served and have these experiences,” said Bob Ellis, CW HOG instructor/outdoor recreation coordinator. “The trip was great. We had great weather, and a little low water because it was later in the season, which makes for some challenges. But we love traveling with the vets because they love to help out, that is their nature.”

CW HOG receives grant funding from the Veterans Administration to essentially offer this annual trip for free to veterans. The veterans have to provide a $100 deposit, but it is refundable upon completion of the trip.

“We want everyone to know we are doing this for the veterans because they are an important population for us,” Ellis said.

The veterans on the trip included some ISU students, but it is open for veterans statewide. For some, the trip can be life changing. Chad Elliott, a veteran and ISU alumnus from Ammon, said the trip was exceptional.

“Because of Justin, Bob, and Kerry (CW HOG staff) I have a renewed strength to live life to the fullest,” Elliott said. “The rafting trip opened my eyes to greater possibilities and I am honored and blessed to know there are still people out there who want to unselfishly support our country’s veterans. I look forward to going on the rafting trip next year.”

CW HOG is pursuing funding to potentially expand free or low-cost offerings to veterans for winter activities such as skiing or yurt trip.

As noted above, veterans weren’t the only members of the group of adventurers. The trip included current ISU students, including Sierra Anderson, from Twin Falls, who is a senior in ISU’s nursing program.

“The trip was a blast and I have been on many rafting trips and this was one of my favorites,” Anderson said. “I totally recommend anyone to take on this adventure and try something new with the Outdoor Adventure Center. It was very well planned and I felt like I was with experts and was safe at all times.”

“Rafting on the river,” she continued, “is an experience that you cannot describe and it is never too late to have an adventure of a life time in the rivers of unknown.”

ISU students can sign up for one free outing this summer. A deposit is required, but will be refunded after participating. Space is limited, so students should sign up early for the first-come, first-served trips. Restrictions and limitations may apply. Participants may be required to provide their own equipment, but equipment rentals are available at a student rate. Trips planned this fall include stand up paddle boarding, Hagerman whitewater rafting, rock climbing at Massacre Rocks, caving, kayak touring, a Yellowstone tour, rock climbing at Castle Rocks, Lava Hot Springs trip, overnight yurt trip and West Yellowstone cross-country ski trip.

The Outdoor Adventure Center rents outdoor equipment ranging from rafts and kayaks to backpacks and mountain bikes.

For more information, visit isu.edu/outdoor or call 208-282-3912.

American firearm owners: the largest army in the world

On Dec. 7, 1941, my father was in Honolulu, Hawaii. He and a friend were sitting on the upper floor of the building they were in, when they saw what they initially thought were a large number of airplanes engaged in some kind of military exercise.

As it turned out, the airplanes were headed to Pearl Harbor, Kaneohe Marine Air base and Hickam Field to destroy America’s Pacific Fleet and prevent any American aircraft from responding to the attack. As the bombs fell and the smoke rose from Pearl Harbor and the other military installations on Oahu, Dad realized Japan had attacked our military forces.

My father and his friend were quickly drafted into a nightly patrol corps that patrolled the streets and neighborhoods of Honolulu and other communities on the island of Oahu.

America entered the Second World War, and the rest is history.

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher asked us if we knew why Japan didn’t finish what they started and didn’t send their troop ships and carriers to invade California. The prediction from our military leaders at that time was that we might not have been able to stop them until they reached the Mississippi River.

However, those military leaders and analysts forgot something that the Japanese knew all too well.

After the war, the remaining Japanese admirals and generals were asked that question. Their answer was that almost every home in America had guns and that Americans knew how to use them.

Admiral Yamamoto who commanded the Japanese Fleet had visited and studied in America. He had always been impressed with the number of firearms in American homes and the skill that Americans had with their firearms. He knew that the Second Amendment to our Constitution gave the American public a tremendous capacity to repel foreign invaders.

Admiral Yamamoto had originally cautioned against attacking the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, saying that he believed that all they would accomplish was “to wake a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

It has been conservatively estimated that there are 2,308,000 hunters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan and Idaho combined. The hunters in those five states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. The number of hunters in Texas would be the largest standing army in the world all by itself. In addition, many American citizens don’t hunt, but still enjoy owning, shooting and competing with firearms.

The point of all this information is that every country around the globe knows that America is the most powerful country in the world. We have been able to fight the wars that we had to fight and still have more firepower at home than the standing armies of the rest of the world. Those countries of the world who choose to be against our way of life may hate us but won’t invade us because so many of us own firearms and know how to use them and constitute a force more numerous than their own armies.

Our friends, on the other hand, know we love peace and try to be good neighbors, as well as standing as a formidable deterrent to those who would invade our friends.

Today, there is a push by NATO to restrict the right to keep and bear arms in America. Our enemies are also recommending restrictions of our Second Amendment rights, and some of those enemies have been elected to Congress.

Right now, the public trust still rests in the hands of the people, where it rightfully belongs, giving us the power to remove politicians that don’t share our dream and tell NATO to mind their own business, and we will take care of America just as we have every time tyrants have dared to cast their eyes toward America.

It is hard work to stay vigilant at all times, but America will always be safe from foreign and domestic invasion as long as the public trust stays in the hands of the people and the Second Amendment is not infringed.

Smokey Merkley, who grew up in Pocatello, was a member of the Health and Kinesiology Department at Texas A&M University. He taught self-defense and marksmanship with rifles and wrote text books about self-defense and rifle marksmanship. He was also a Texas Department of Public Safety certified concealed handgun Instructor. After retiring from Texas A&M, he returned to Pocatello. He can be contacted at mokeydo41245@hotmail.com.

Project WILD workshop for teachers coming to Pocatello in September

POCATELLO — How would you like to be a “WILD teacher”? A “WILD teacher” is one who has participated in a Project WILD workshop presented by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Participants learn about wildlife and discover fun and exciting ways to teach wildlife conservation and ecological concepts in the classroom. Plus, it is a great way to earn a credit through an Idaho university.

Fish and Game’s next workshop, WILD About Early Learners, is geared for educators who work with youth in PreK through second grade. This workshop will run from 4 to 9 p.m. Sept. 13 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14. The workshop will be held at the Fish and Game office in Pocatello at 1345 Barton Road.

The fee for WILD About Early Learners is $40. Optional university credit is available for $60-$75 through most Idaho universities. An outside assignment is required for those who are taking the workshop for credit. This workshop is also STARS-approved!

To register online, visit bit.ly/2HwPTwv. You can also register by contacting Lori Adams, Project WILD coordinator, at 208-863-3236 or lori.adams@idfg.idaho.gov.

Workshop participants will receive three Project WILD activity guides with over 150 wildlife-related activities, all of which are correlated to Idaho State Education standards. Participants will be exposed to modified Project WILD activities to fit the needs of a younger audience — incorporating science, art, math, vocabulary, music and movement, home connections and more.

Project WILD workshops are ideal for all types of educators — schoolteachers, 4-H leaders, scout leaders, docents, interpreters for zoos, homeschool educators — anyone who is involved in sharing conservation education with others. And Project WILD isn’t just for the science educators. Even if you teach math, art or PE or run the library at your school, there is something for you in Project WILD!

September trout stocking schedule for the Southeast Region

Fall isn’t just for hunting. Personnel from Idaho Fish and Game’s hatcheries in the Southeast Region will be releasing more than 21,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at various locations during September.

Some notable stocking highlights include:

  • Bear River (Oneida Narrows reach below the dam) — 2,250 rainbow trout. This is a very scenic stretch of river just north of Preston.
  • Crowthers Reservoir — 1,100 rainbow trout. Tucked away on the northern edge of Malad City, this reservoir is a nice local fishing spot whether you are fishing alone or taking your favorite little anglers.
  • Devil Creek Reservoir — 5,150 rainbow trout. This reservoir provides some of the best trout fishing in the region!
  • Edson Fichter Pond — 1,000 rainbow trout. During the September stocking events, 250 of these fish will be huge 16-inch rainbows! Just minutes from downtown Pocatello, this site offers local anglers a convenient escape close to home.

Here is the stocking schedule:

  • Alexander Reservoir: Sept. 9 to 13 (3,000 fish)
  • Bannock Reservoir at the Portneuf Wellness Complex: Sept. 9 to 13 (500 fish)
  • Bannock Reservoir at the Portneuf Wellness Complex: Sept. 23 to 27 (500 fish)
  • Bear River, below Alexander Dam: Sept. 16 to 20 (250 fish)
  • Bear River at Oneida Narrows at Red Point and first bridge below Oneida Dam: Sept. 9 to 13 (750 fish)
  • Bear River at Oneida Narrows at Red Point and first bridge below Oneida Dam: Sept. 23 to 27 (1,500 fish)
  • Crowthers Reservoir: Sept. 16 to 20 (1,100 fish)
  • Crystal Springs Pond: Sept. 2 to 6 (375 fish)
  • Crystal Springs Pond: Sept. 23 to 27 (375 fish)
  • Deep Creek Reservoir: Sept. 23 to 27 (1,000 fish)
  • Devil Creek Reservoir: Sept. 23 to 27 (5,150 fish)
  • Edson Fichter Pond: Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 (750 fish)
  • Edson Fichter Pond: Sept. 16 to 20 (250 fish)
  • Johnson Reservoir: Sept. 23 to 27 (750 fish)
  • Montpelier Rearing Pond: Sept. 9 to 13 (250 fish)
  • Montpelier Rearing Pond: Sept. 23 to 27 (250 fish)
  • Montpelier Reservoir: Sept. 23 to 27 (900 fish)
  • Portneuf River, below Pebble and above Lava: Sept. 23 to 27 (1,250 fish)
  • Portneuf River, below Center Street Bridge in Lava: Sept. 9 to 13 (330 fish)
  • Portneuf River, below Center Street Bridge in Lava: Sept. 23 to 27 (330 fish)
  • Snake River at Tilden, Twin Bridges, Rose, Firth, and Shelley: Sept. 16 to 20 (2,000 fish)

The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.