Make the Fourth of July a fishing holiday with IDFG

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COEUR D’ALENE — The Fourth of July holiday is a day of great celebration in the U.S. Fireworks, family, and fishing are all great choices for activities during the Fourth of July holiday! And, because of the Idaho Fish and Game Price Lock program, buying your 2017 fishing license means the price of your next year’s license won’t go up!

The Idaho panhandle offers outdoor opportunities in abundance. The weather forecast looks great for outdoor fun, so taking off Monday, July 3 and expanding the holiday fun is something to seriously consider.

Fishing is fun, close, and inexpensive. If you are not sure where to start, I suggest taking advantage of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) website. Search for Idaho Fish and Game, or fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Once on the website, click on the fishing tab. On the drop down, go to Fishing Planner. I doubt there is a state in the country that makes it as easy to find fishing information. And the “Family Fishing Waters” section lists many great choices on places to go, and what fish are present in each water. The “Family Fishing Waters” section lists 18 places in the Panhandle that are good spots for fishing fun on the Independence Day holiday weekend. There are suggestions for other parts of the state as well, and each region has a tab to get fishing information.

Waters with the Family Fishing designation have been identified as fishing spots close to home that are geared toward family fishing and the high likelihood of catching fish. The fishing regulations are uniform on Family Fishing Waters and are easy to understand, even if you don’t fish often.

Of course, one rule applies to all waters in the state. Everyone 14 years old and older is required to have a fishing license. Licenses are available at many retail stores and you can even buy them online. Licenses purchased online can be stored on your mobile phone! As long as you carry your phone, you have your license with you.

Buying your 2017 fish license guarantees the price of your 2018 license won’t go up, thanks to the Price Lock program. That’s true for each of the next five years, provided you continue to buy your annual license. If you don’t buy a license during one of those years and then buy in a later year, the price will go up to reflect the new fee schedule adopted by the Idaho Legislature. Save money by buying a license and going fishing this year!

In the Bonners Ferry area, Brush Lake, Robinson Lake, Dawson Lake and Smith Lake are good places to try for a wide variety of fish species.

Round Lake at Round Lake State Park produces some large brook trout and rainbow trout fairly close to Sandpoint.

Check out the website and give fishing a try for inexpensive family fun for the Fourth!

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