Congratulations to Elisa Rose of Kellogg for landing this remarkable bluegill. Elisa released the 11.5 inch monster, but landed a new Catch-and-Release State Record in the process. You can find out more about the new Catch-and-Release record program and see a list of all current records at the IDFG website.
Did you ever stop to think about the journey fish make to keep their populations viable? Idaho's ocean-going salmon and steelhead journey 1,000's of miles, negotiate thousands of feet in elevation change and run a gauntlet of swimming, flying, fishing predators to return to Idaho - where they spawn and the cycle repeats. This is important not only for fish populations to survive, but it's also important on a broader scale because fish returning to Idaho headwater streams bring with them ocean nutrients which are important to Idaho ecosystems.
Even our local resident fish journey many miles and contribute to other wildlife and plant communities in ways we are only beginning to understand.
It's not uncommon for a dam that's over 100 years old to require maintenance. Within the next few weeks Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game in cooperations with Idaho Parks and Recreation will be notifying anglers, park users and landowners that lake levels at Winchester Lake will be falling this spring so we can repair a safety siphon and excavate an explorative hole in front of the spillway. Findings from the test hole will dictate whether additional work is necessary. If more work is needed, the lake could remain drawn down from several weeks to the entire summer. All work is being coordinated with the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources and their Dam Safety experts.
There could also be traffic delays on State Highway 95 alternate Route to Winchester, Idaho.