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|Friday, 18 April, 2014|
Non-member fishermen line up outside the door and around the block of the Fish & Wildlife Office on April 11. (Roselynn Wahtomy photo)
By ROSELYNN WAHTOMY
FORT HALL – A long line extended from the Fish & Wildlife office on Friday, April 11 where non-member fishing permits were being sold.
Selling started at 8 a.m. but early birds set up lawn chairs and some parked their RV’s to be there early enough to lineup. The cost for the permits was $250 and the first 25 seniors 65 years and older got them for $100.
Sales on daily permits started on Monday and are sold at the office and the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Event Center.
This year over 200 season and around 200 daily permits will be sold.
Hunter Osborne, Resident Fisheries Manager responds, “The non-member fishing permit season is a privilege extended from the Tribes to non-members usually from mid-April through October. It is annually approved by the Fort Hall Business Council as a Revenue Program, in which the funds generated are budgeted back to the Fish and Wildlife Department for staff, habitat, scholarship and services line items.”
Osborne explained Fish & Wildlife staff and Tribal Fish and Game officers throughout the season heavily regulate permit holders as they are subject to random interviews while fishing.
“All permit holders must carry a valid permit, fish in limited areas on the Bottoms, practice catch and release only, these are only a few of the regulations,” he said.
Opening day for non-member fishing was April 12.
Non-member Chase Murphy is going fishing on the reservation for the first time and was drawn to the area through positive word of mouth of local fisherman.
Mark Villano of Pocatello has been fishing on the Fort Hall Reservation for many years. In years past he has spent the night to ensure getting a permit, but because of the increase of permits available this year he came about 8:30 a.m.
He enjoys the close proximity of the area as opposed to traveling to South Fork.
“The quality of fish are unbelievable,” he said. “We appreciate the Tribes letting us fish out here. It’s the coolest thing.”