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.
|Hunt Number||Hunt Area||Tags Available||1st Choice Applications||1st Choice Success||Percent Drawing||Tags Issued||Number Hunters||Harvested||Harvest Success (%)|
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.
Idaho Fish and Game plans several public meetings around the state to discuss 2015 proposed big game seasons and rules.
Interested individuals can visit with department personnel concerning the proposed seasons and provide comments by attending any of the meetings listed below.
Panhandle Region 1 – open house meeting held from 4 to 7 pm:
- Monday, March 2, Panhandle Regional Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., Coeur d’ Alene.
Clearwater Region 2 – all meeting will be held from 5 to 7 pm:
- Monday, February 23, Grangeville Senior Citizens Center, 108 N. State St.
- Tuesday, February 24, Latah County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building, 1021 Harold St. Moscow.
- Wednesday, February 25, Fish and Game Clearwater Hatchery, 118 Hatchery Roe Dr.
- Thursday, February 26, Clearwater Regional Office, 3316 16th St., Lewiston.
Southwest Region 3 – all meetings will be held 5 to 7 pm:
- Tuesday, February 24, Fish and Game McCall Office, 555 Deinhard Lane
- Wednesday, February 25, Council American Legion Hall, Highway 95.
- Thursday, February 26, Southwest Region Fish and Game Office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa
Biologists will also be available for discus the proposals and collect public comments at the 2015 Idaho Sportsman Show, March 5-8, at Expo Idaho, 5610 N Glenwood St., Boise.
Magic Valley Region 4 – all meetings will begin at 7 pm:
- Tuesday, February 24, Hailey Community Campus, Rooms 301 & 302, 1050 Fox Acres Rd., Hailey
- Wednesday, February 25, Burley Inn Minidoka Room #2, 800 N. Overland, Burley
- Thursday, February 26, Magic Valley Regional Office, 324 S. 417 E., Highway Business Park, 2.5 miles north of the Flying J, Jerome
Southeast Region 5 - all meetings will begin at 6:30 pm:
- Monday, February 23, Malad, Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main Street
- Tuesday, February 24, Soda Springs, Senior Citizens Center, 60 South Main Street
- Wednesday, February 25, Montpelier, Bear Lake Senior Citizens Center, 115 S. 4th
- Thursday, February 26, Preston, Larsen-Sant Public Library, 109 S. 1st East
- Monday, March 2, Blackfoot, City Hall Council Chambers, 157 North Broadway
- Tuesday, March 3, Pocatello, Southeast Region Fish and Game Office, 1345 Barton Road
Upper Snake Region 6 – all meetings will begin at 7 pm:
- Monday, February 23, Upper Snake Fish and Game Office, 4279 Commerce Circle
- Monday, March 2, Madison Middle School, 575 West 7th South in Rexburg
Salmon Region 7 – all meetings will be held from 5 to 8 pm:
- Wednesday, February 25, Salmon Fish and Game Office, 99 Hwy 93 North, Salmon
- Thursday, February 26, Challis Community Event Center, Board Room, Clinic Rd, Challis
In addition, 2 web-chats are scheduled on Wednesday, March 4, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. These will be attended by biologists from across the state to answer questions.
Comments taken at the meetings and online will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the March 23-24 meeting in Boise, when big game seasons are set.
Collisions with wildlife are possible no matter where you drive in Idaho, but in certain parts of Southeast Idaho, extra caution is highly advised.
Those places are in this Idaho State Journal article.
While Idaho’s 2013-2015 Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure will continue to be valid through 2015, a new 2016-2018 brochure is in the early stages of development.
Anglers have the opportunity to shape that rule book by sharing their ideas at one of several upcoming open houses hosted by Idaho Fish and Game staff; see list below. Attendees can also learn the latest and provide input regarding 2015 Chinook salmon seasons and limits.
If you're unable to attend one of the public meetings, you can submit your comments online.
Anglers are encouraged to talk with our Fisheries Biologists at scheduled meeting times listed below or call our Regional Fish Managers at the listed telephone numbers:
Panhandle Region 1 – Jim Fredericks, Regional Fish Manager - 208-769-1414
- Coeur d’Alene: February 17, Lake City Center Sportsman’s Breakfast, 6:30 am
- Coeur d’Alene: February 17, Regional Office 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., 8 am to 5 pm (open house)
- Sandpoint: February 19, Annual State-of-the-Lake Meeting, Ponderay Events Center, 7 – 9:00 pm
Clearwater Region 2 – Joe DuPont, Regional Fish Manager - 208-799-5010
- Orofino: February 19, IDFG Clearwater Hatchery, 118 Hatchery Roe Drive (located northwest of Ahsahka Bridge), 6:00 pm
- Riggins: February 23, Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main Street, 6:00 pm MT
- Lewiston: February 25, Regional Office, 3316 16th Street, 6:00 pm (open house)
- Moscow: February 26, Fairground Exhibit Building, 1021 Harold Street, 6:00 pm
Southwest Region 3 – McCall – Dale Allen, Regional Fish Manager - 208-634-8137
- McCall: February 19, Regional Office 555 Deinhard Lane, noon to 7:00 pm; Salmon Season talk beginning at 7:00 pm (open house)
- Riggins: February 23, Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main Street, 6:00 pm MT
- McCall: February 24, Regional Office 555 Deinhard Lane, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (open house)
- Council: February 25, Council Grange Hall, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Southwest Region 3 – Nampa – Joe Kozfkay, Regional Fish Manager - 208-465-8465
- Nampa: February 17 Regional Office 3101 So. Powerline Road 8 am to 8 pm (open house)
- Boise: February 18 Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, Open House 5 to 7 pm - Salmon season presentation at 7 pm; Nampa and McCall staff
Magic Valley Region 4 – Doug Megargle, Regional Fish Manager - 208-324-4359
- Hailey: February 24, Blaine Co. Community Campus 1050 Fox Acres Road, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
- Burley: February 25, Best Western Inn 800 N. Overland, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
- Jerome: February 26, Regional Office 324 S. 417 E., 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm (open house)
Southeast Region 5 – David Teuscher, Regional Fish Manager - 208-232-4703
- Pocatello: February 24, Regional Office 1345 Barton Road, 10:00 am to 6:30 pm (open house)
Upper Snake Region 6 – Dan Garren, Regional Fish Manager - 208-525-7290
- Driggs: February 19, Driggs County Courthouse, 6:30 pm
- Ashton: February 23, Ashton Community Center, 6:30 pm
- Idaho Falls: February 24, Idaho Falls IDFG Regional Office, 6:30 pm (open house)
Salmon Region 7 – Greg Schoby, Regional Fish Manager - 208-756-2271
- Salmon: February 25, IDFG Regional Office, 6:00 pm (open house)
- Challis: February 26, Challis Community Center, 6:00 pm