Magic Valley Blog

Little Salmon River Chinook Salmon - They are Here!!!

It's mid-May and Chinook Salmon are being caught in the Little Salmon River. During the last three days, creel clerks have observed 12 adult Chinook Salmon being caught on the Little Salmon River. Rapid River Hatchery has caught 30 fish in the trap, this week.

Get ready for a great fishing weekend with Little Salmon River flows around 1,400 cfs and clear water.

Bigger Fish and Better Angler Success

As Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout this spring, they are doing something different that will lead to better success for Idaho anglers. A good share of the hatchery rainbow trout stocked in Idaho’s largest still-water fisheries this spring will be twelve inches instead of the standard of ten inches. Watch this video to learn why this is happening.

Fish and Game’s rainbow trout hatchery program exists for one sole purpose: putting fish in Idaho waters for anglers to catch. But during the last ten years, the cost of raising fish has skyrocketed. While the cost of fish food has increased by more than 150 percent, funding for the hatchery program has remained stagnant. In 2011, managers reduced fish production of put-and-take rainbow trout by 18 percent to keep the program within budget. At the same time they started tracking fish that anglers caught as part of a program called “Tag-You’re-It”.

Fisheries researchers tagged thousands of fish over a four year period, and tracked the tags with the help from anglers.

“We tagged a bunch of fish and put those fish out there, and essentially let the anglers do the work in returning that information to us through our hotline and our website,” said Senior Fisheries Research Biologist John Cassinelli. “So that has given us this large database.”

That database showed that twelve inch rainbow trout are more likely to be caught than ten inch trout. This knowledge has allowed researchers to reorganize the hatchery rainbow trout program in a way that puts larger trout in the creels of Idaho anglers without increasing the cost of the hatchery program.

The science and math show that for every limit of six rainbow trout anglers catch, Fish and Game must stock roughly 18 ten inch trout.  When 12 inch trout are stocked in the same waters, only 11 fish are needed for each six fish limit, on average.

Regardless of how many trout managers stock, the true measure of success for the hatchery program is how many trout anglers catch. As the program expands over the next 16 months, managers will be putting more twelve inch rainbows into most of Idaho’s large still-water fisheries. 

Check out the fish stocking page for monthly updates on fish stocking region by region.

 

 

Pocatello Wellness Pond - A New Fishing Hole/Recreational Area Opening September 2015

Pocatello will receive a new urban fishing water this coming fall with the opening of the Portneuf Wellness Complex. The 7-acre pond will be stocked with fish and ready for anglers when the park opens to the public.

Last week, our staff were busy placing docks and working on other access improvements.

To see more of this exciting project, go to Facebook and search "Portneuf Wellness Complex. This will be a jewel for all Southeastern Idaho.

Catfishing in April on the Snake River

James R. writes: Fishing in the Snake River and look over and see my pole going crazy. I jerked-up and the catfish gave me a heck of a battle.

Dp - April and May is prime-time for catfish fishing in the Snake River in the Weiser/Brownlee area. Use worms or cut bait and fish on the river bottom. Who knows how big the fish may be on the end of the line.

Castle Rocks State Park Fishing Pond - Coming the Spring of 2015

Ground breaking for the Castle Rocks Park fishing pond.

Idaho Parks and Recreation along with Idaho Department of Fish and Game are teaming-up to bring you one of the most scenic fishing ponds in Idaho.  Ground was recently broken in the park for a fishing pond that will be stocked with rainbow trout by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game.

 

Wallace Keck, Park Superintendent and Doug Megargle Regional Fish Manager are collaborating on the project as a way to provide better customer service for anglers visiting the park and living near the town of Almo.  This will also allow the Fish and Game to stock fish in an area where they are more likely to be harvested by anglers.  It will also help to protect Yellowstone cutthroat trout found in Almo Creek by providing more angler opportunities in the pond.

Cascade Reservoir Fishing Condition Report January 23, 2015

This week's ice conditions improved from last week with ice reported between 6-8" everywhere around the lake with some spots with 10+ inches. With that being said we also had a warm spelled sweep through the area on Sunday with rain and warm temps causing the snow that was on top of the ice to melt.  Since we have had cold temps the last couple of days that has frozen solid adding another layer of ice to what was already accumulated.  Since there is no snow on the ice, the conditions are very slick so caution should be had.  There have been a large number of people taking ATV’s and Snowmobiles out on the ice, although caution should be used when taking heavier equipment out on the ice.

The pressure this past week peaked on Saturday which saw a lot of anglers scattered throughout the entire lake both North and South.  But with the warm spell on Sunday the fishing pressure dropped quickly with very few anglers being seen on Sunday as well as through the first part of this week.  Even with the increased pressure on Saturday catch rates were still relatively slow.  Once again perch angler reports of mostly smaller fish and very few quality sized fish coming out.  The trout fishing on the South end of the lake near the city boat ramp and Blue Heron boat ramp has proved to be somewhat productive with some nice size trout being taken early this week.

This coming Saturday (1/24) the Hardwater Classic ice fishing derby is being held so pressure through the later part of this week into the weekend should increase significantly.  Hopefully with this increased fishing pressure more quality size fish will be found and anglers will have a better idea as to where to focus their effort.  Until then the best of luck to anyone out in search of perch through the ice.

Related to ice fishing, here is a picture from South Korea of what real ice fishing competition looks like.

Cascade Reservoir Ice Fishing Conditions and Report 1/16/15

This week’s ice conditions have improved greatly since the previous week.  On the North end of lake(Boulder Creek, Poison Creek) there was a consistent 5-7” of ice extending out a few hundred yards from shore.  There are reports that ice on the South End(Sugarloaf, City Boat Ramp) is also in the 4-6” range.  With cold temperatures that ice depth should increase.  Angling pressure on both ends of the lake over the last week was fairly low with a majority of the pressure occurring over the weekend.  The most pressure was found on the north end of the lake, due in large to better ice conditions.  There was very little effort seen on the south end of the lake over the weekend.  Fishing success varied amongst groups of anglers but the majority of people were encountering tough fishing.  The majority of fish being caught were small (4-6”) with a few bigger fish being found.  There have been reports of some nice perch being caught, although this has not been reflected in the creel data gathered.  Hopefully as more people start fishing the success will pick up.

2015 Spring & Summer Chinook Salmon Return Estimates

Get your salmon fishing pole tuned-up and your boat ready to hit the water. Biologists have made their preseason forecasts for the 2015 Chinook salmon returns to Idaho.

Early indications show more adult Chinook salmon returning in 2015 than we saw in 2014 - which ranks as one of the best Chinook fishing seasons in years.