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Priest Lake Fishery

In a past answer to a question regarding the future plan of the Priest Lake fishery it mentions restoring native populations of trout and kokanee. Does Idaho Fish and Game consider Kokanee a native fish to Priest Lake?

Answer

Sometimes in our zeal to manage these popular fish, we look past the fact that kokanee are a land-locked sockeye salmon and are not native to most lakes in Idaho.  The only exceptions are a couple of lakes in the Stanley Basin and Warm Lake in the South Fork Salmon River drainage that genetic testing as shown could have naturally residualized sockeye salmon as the basis for their kokanee population.

Kokanee were introduced to Priest Lake over 50 years ago.  As in most lakes and reservoirs in Idaho, their population has wildly fluctuated over the years.  We are currently in the process of trying to reduce some of the predatory influences (lake trout) in order to increase the kokanee population.

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