Fish for burbot and win prizes by participating in the Kootenai River Angler Science Program
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: November 21, 2023

If you missed it last year, get in on the action this year. Fish for burbot in the Kootenai River and enter a free raffle to win some great prizes!

Fish and Game is inviting burbot fishermen to participate in the Kootenai River Angler Science Program to gather information that will help make burbot fishing even better. The best part? Simply for participating anglers will receive free swag and be entered into a free raffle for a chance to win some great prizes! Now we’re talking!

What you can win

By simply participating in the program, you will receive a customized hat and sticker. In addition, you will be entered into a free raffle for the following prizes:

  • 1 Yeti Tundra 45 cooler
  • 15 customized hoodies
Raffle prizes for the 2023 Kootenai River Angler Science Program

Raffle prizes for the 2023 Kootenai River Angler Science Program

How you can participate

  • Complete and return a creel packet – Anglers must pick-up, complete and return a creel packet by May 1, 2024 to receive free swag and be entered into the free raffle. Whether you catch any burbot or not, you are eligible for the swag and raffle prizes. Just make sure to fill out your contact card and logbook and turn in your creel packet by the deadline. Check out this flyer for full details including where you can pick-up and return creel packets, and give the video below a quick watch to learn how to complete the packet.
  • Talk with Fish and Game creel clerks­ – Fish and Game is conducting a creel survey on the Kootenai River in winter 2023-24 to coincide with the Angler Science Program. If you happen to see a clerk while out on the river, make sure to chat with them and share your fishing experience.
  • Report tagged burbot – whether you participate in the Angler Science Program or not, please keep your eye out for tags located in the backs of burbot.

By reporting tags, you are helping Fish and Game better understand burbot catch rates, harvest rates and survival rates, which helps us improve the fishery.

Select tags carry a reward value of $100, so maybe this winter will be your lucky year! If you see a tag, please report the tag number and location of where you caught the fish to Fish and Game. Reporting can be done over the phone (1-866-258-0338), online or as part of the of the Angler Science Program creel packet.

A brief history lesson

For some, winter is a time to hibernate in the comfort of a warm home, enjoying a hot drink by a crackling fire. For others, winter offers a unique opportunity to try their hand at landing the native and once rare burbot in the Kootenai River.

Referred to by some as the Kootenai leopard or ling cod, burbot in the Kootenai River are once again being pursued by anglers thanks to hard work of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Idaho Fish and Game and other partners.

Fishing for burbot in the Kootenai River closed in 1992 because of a declining population. The population has since increased and the fishery reopened in Jan. 2019. As the fishery is relatively new, Fish and Game staff are closely monitoring how the fishery and the burbot population are doing. Although Fish and Game runs an extensive annual monitoring program on the river from Dec. through March, we need your help to collect additional information.

Please contact the Panhandle Regional office at (208) 769-1414 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Kootenai River Angler Science Program.

Follow us on the Panhandle Region Facebook page for regular updates and news.

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