The fishing dock at the Portneuf Wellness Complex in Pocatello

The fishing dock at the Portneuf Wellness Complex in Pocatello.

Idaho Fish and Game’s fishing and boating access program, while possibly lesser known than other department programs, focuses on creating and maintaining water-based public access for fishing, hunting, and trapping at over 300 locations statewide. That includes over 60 locations on 33 different water bodies in the southeast corner of the state.

Partnerships, whether with private or government entities, are the cornerstone to this program in the Southeast Region and ensure the abundance of recreational access enjoyed by the area’s sporting public. These partnerships are diverse and help to leverage the improvement of accommodations at access sites. As an example, Bannock County recently partnered with Fish and Game to fund the construction of custom docks at several boating access sites around the region.

Many of our local boatable waters have aging docks or could benefit from better designed/constructed docks to facilitate safe access for the public. Fish and Game has played a major role in the endeavor to improve sportsman access to fish and wildlife resources through sites offering comfortable and functional accommodations, like sound docks to launch and moor boats.

While docks are an important part of providing accommodations for boaters, they also enhance shoreline fishing opportunities in many places. Fish and Game fabricates a custom dock that provides great service to sportsmen and demonstrates pride in the program. The original Fish and Game dock design started in the Panhandle Region quite some time ago. For nearly a decade, over 60 similarly designed custom docks (with some modification) have been fabricated in the Southeast Region from the ground-up. Tweaks to the original design are reflective of the water bodies in the Southeast Region, which are mostly irrigation reservoirs and large rivers (like the Snake River) that can fluctuate drastically in response to water use and availability. The design of this product has been a proven winner and performed well at many locations on the numerous rivers and reservoirs in the region, including the “Big One” (American Falls Reservoir) where a solid product is needed to handle the high winds that frequently sweep across the lake.

When you buy a hunting or fishing license, your dollars — along with federal funds — help Fish and Game work with its partners to maintain access to many world-class fishing and hunting opportunities through the Fishing and Boating Access Program. Outstanding partnerships, on a number of levels, make this program what it is and helps the public enjoy the rich and diverse resources for which Idaho is known.