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IDFG touts eclipse fishing opportunity; midday darkness may advantage anglers

Many visitors will travel to Idaho to catch the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, but there’s more for them to catch in Idaho. 

Idaho Fish and Game has prepared a special guide for visitors so they can go fishing during their visit. A special webpage shows a map of the path of the eclipse, and nearly 100 fishing opportunities along that same path.

Find it online at

The goal is to provide a way for people to find cool places to fish before or after the eclipse. The online map is divided into four regions of the state that will be in its path. 

Each region has different character, from the canyons, plains and peaks in Southwest Idaho to the mountain meadows in Eastern Idaho. 

Within each region, there are four types of fishing waters highlighted: family fishing waters that are easily accessible and have simple fishing rules, destination lakes and reservoirs, backcountry hike-in lakes, and “gateway” waters that are destinations, as well as trailheads to nearby backcountry lakes. 

The interactive maps provide details on each fishing spot, including ease of access, nearby services, and more. Fishing the eclipse is an economical activity for visitors. Daily fishing licenses start at $11.50 for residents and $12.75 for nonresidents. Nonresident youth ages 13 and under can fish for free if accompanied by an adult with a fishing license. 

While the eclipse is the focal point of this special map and web page, all anglers and travelers can use it to find great fishing destinations in Idaho for day trips, weekends or vacations.

Eclipse notes from 1905

This week at, Martin Koenig, Idaho Fish and Game Natural Resource Program Coordinator, wrote a bit about how an eclipse might affect fishing:

“A complete solar eclipse is a pretty rare event, so it is tough to say how it might affect the fishing,” Koenig wrote. “However, check out this old letter published in the journal Nature from back in 1906. The author describes his experience while fishing during an eclipse in 1905 in Devonshire, England.”

Koenig’s post included a link to this entry in the journal, which published the following item by a person called A. Mosley, dated April 19, 1906:

“During the partial solar eclipse observed in England on August 30, 1905, I was taking a holiday, and fishing in Slapton Ley (Devonshire). All the morning the sport had been indifferent, but as the eclipse neared its maximum the fish suddenly became ravenous, and I took more in that hour than all the rest of the day. My experience was also that of all the other boats out there at the time.

“The explanation, I presume, would be that the fish imagined night was approaching, and therefore prepared for supper; and as every fisherman knows, the last half-hour, when dusk is gathering, is the time that fish are mostly on the feed, and will readily take any bait.”


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