A Deep Dive into Idaho's Trout Limits

A Deep Dive into Idaho’s Trout Limits

Fishing is a beloved pastime for many Americans, and Idaho, with its rich aquatic resources, is a prime destination for anglers. However, to maintain the health and diversity of fish populations, it’s crucial to understand and adhere to the state’s fishing regulations. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the latest information on fishing licenses and regulations in the USA, with a special focus on Idaho’s trout limits.

Understanding Fishing Licenses in the USA

Before you cast your line, it’s essential to have a valid fishing license. In Idaho, any angler over the age of thirteen, whether resident or non-resident, must possess a valid Idaho fishing license to fish in Idaho waters. The cost of an annual adult fishing license is around $30, junior licenses (ages 14-17) cost $16, and youth (under 14) fish for free. Licenses can be purchased online, at any Fish and Game office, or from an Idaho license vendor.

A Deep Dive into Idaho's Trout Limits

Idaho’s Trout Limits: An Overview

In Idaho, the daily bag limit for trout is six fish. However, there are specific regulations for different trout species and regions.

Rainbow Trout Limit

The daily bag limit for rainbow trout is three fish. Anglers may only harvest a maximum of twenty rainbow trout per season. The size restrictions for rainbow trout vary by region. For instance, rainbow trout harvested in Snake River must measure less than twenty inches in length, while those harvested in the Salmon Region must measure longer than twenty inches. In the Southwest Region, it is illegal to harvest rainbow trout unless the rules of a particular body of water specifically allow it.

Cutthroat Trout Limit

In the Magic Valley and Northeast Regions of Idaho, the cutthroat trout limit is two fish per day. In other regions, cutthroat trout are included in the general trout daily bag limit of six fish. Some bodies of water prohibit the harvesting of cutthroat trout altogether. It’s worth noting that Idaho has emphasized cutthroat as a species worthy of focus, and current policies reflect an increased interest in their conservation.

Brook Trout and Bull Trout

Brook trout are in their own category, and the daily bag limit for this species is twenty-five fish. Bull trout, on the other hand, are excluded from the general trout category and must be released upon capture.

Idaho Fishing Season

Most Idaho waters are open to fishing year-round. However, some areas have specified closure times for the harvesting of rainbow trout, or all trout species. Other areas have closure periods for all fishing. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the Idaho Fish & Game’s Fishing Seasons and Rules 2022-2024 guidebook for specific closure listings before you plan your trout fishing trip.


Fishing in Idaho offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the thrill of the catch. However, to ensure the sustainability of this activity, it’s crucial to understand and adhere to the state’s fishing regulations. By doing so, you’re not only ensuring a great fishing experience for yourself but also contributing to the conservation of Idaho’s rich aquatic resources.

Remember, the information provided in this guide is subject to change, so always check the latest regulations before you go fishing. Happy angling!

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