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'Snagging is a big problem right now,' Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer Larry Willmott said. "It's illegal and unethical – and true sportsmen know it."
Steelhead become vulnerable to snagging when moving through shallow sections of the rivers or when congregating in shallow areas to spawn.
"The majority of anglers are good folks that obey the laws and follow a strong code of ethics,” Willmott said. Unfortunately, there are a few that intentionally break the law."
It is unlawful to take or attempt to take a game fish by snagging, or to keep a game fish that has been snagged. Snagging means the taking or attempt to take fish by use of a hook or lure in any manner other than enticing or attracting a fish to strike with, and become hooked, in its mouth or jaw. In other words, the fish must do the striking, not the angler. Any game fish that is hooked other than the mouth or jaw must be released unharmed immediately.
Anyone who witnesses any illegal fishing or hunting activity are encouraged to contact the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999, the local Fish and Game office or the local Fish and Game conservation officer. Callers may remain anonymous, and rewards are offered for any information leading to a citation.
"Collect as much information as possible and report it as soon as you can," Willmott said. "The more information we have, the easier it is to apprehend and bring these violators to justice."
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