There have been a few fall Chinook that have passed out of Anderson Ranch Reservoir and caught downstream in Arrowrock Reservoir. However, the fish in your picture are not fall Chinook or coho. The fish in the bottom of the picture is clearly a rainbow trout while the upper fish appears to be a kokanee.
IDFGused to stock coho in many reservoirs across the southern part of Idaho but after several years of evaluation of return-to-creel results, we found few were being caught by anglers. Coho were replaced in our hatchery systems with other strains of rainbow trout and more kokanee production - fish that are caught by anglers. Our goal is to achieve a 40%+ harvestnumber for fish stocked at 9 - 12" in length.
Fall Chinook have been stocked numerous times over the years as a fish management tool to control excess numbers of kokanee. They are an aggressive predator on kokanee and, as a benefit, provide an outstanding fishery for anglers interested in catching larger fish. Deadwood Reservoir is another location where both kokanee and fall Chinook can be caught.
In the late winter and spring, steelhead can be found in the upper sections of most rivers open to steelhead fishing. This is usually February - April, but check the closure dates. In February-April, steelhead will be found in the Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Salmon River near Riggins, and the upper Salmon River from Salmon to Stanley. The Snake River bellow Hells Canyon dam is also popular at this time of year.
In the fall, steelhead begin to appear in Idaho in September. Lower sections of the Clearwater, and Snake rivers are best. Fishing picks up in October and November and steelhead can be found in the Salmon River near the towns of Riggins and as high as North Fork and Salmon.
Sunapee (which are a type of char and related to lake trout, brook trout and bull trout) were stocked in several lakes in the Sawtooths over 50 years ago. Over the years we've had anglers catch Sunapee and bring them to our offices for identification. We don't advertise this unique fishing opportunity because of the risk of over exploitation.
This past year, the Forest Service started collecting water samples from various lake outflows in the Stanley Basin area and running eDNA analysis in an attempt to identify the various fish species in each waterbody. This process is new and evolving. In a very basic sense, unique DNA markers or sequences from aquatic organisms can be isolated and identified, so we can tell what fish species exist in a water just by analyzing a water sample and analyzing DNA.
InHell RoaringLake, it showed a positive eDNA sequence for lake trout. This was baffling because lake trout have never been stocked in the lake and have not been stocked upstream. Our records did show Sunapee being stocked in a lake just upstream of Hell Roaring Lake andboth watersare connected by a surface stream. BecausegeneticeDNA markers haven't been developed for Sunapee, and they are a close relative of lake trout, we suspectareminant population of Sunapee are being detected in the sample.
Stay tuned because our fisheries staff will conduct focused sampling on Hell Roaring Lake in 2016 to verify the fish community.
Yes, we have considered many options for how we operatethe steelhead trapping and translocation program as it seems to receive an inordinate amount of scrutiny. For Idaho's share, we try to find a balance between meetingbroodstock needs, and providing harvest opportunitydownstream of Hells Canyon and in other locations. Currently, we purposefully delay the opening date of the Hells Canyon trap to meet the needs of fishermen downstream of Hells Canyon.After November 1, we usually begin trapping efforts to capture fish for the Boise River.As for the notion that we are doing this simply to sell tags and that translocated fish only last a couple of days, I don't agree.We operate the translocation program to provide a unique fishery to a large number of people that might not find the time to travel to do so.Plus, this program reminds people of what was once in the Boise River and other systems that no longer provide anadromous fishing opportunity.Sure, the fact that these anglers buy tags is a bonus, but it certainly is not the reason why we choose to provide this fishery. As for residence time, it is true that a lot of the harvest and effort occur within the first few days. However, we see steelhead-relatedfishingeffort for several weeks after the last stocking event andstocked steelhead live for several months after being translocated.Last weekend, we received a report of one angler catching 2 steelhead in the Boise River in one day, around three months post translocation. These reports are not uncommon. As for utilizingSalmon River fish, I don't see thatthis option is feasible. As youprobably know,almost Salmon River trapping locations arelocated muchfarther upstream and steelheaddo not begin to show up at the facilities until the spring at which time they are in much worsecondition to the point that translocating wouldn't provide decent fisheries.
Hello, thank you for your question about yellow perch.
Lost Valley Reservoir is managed as a coldwater trout fishery. Yellow Perch can be a problem for producing quality trout fishing, especially when the become overabundant and small.
Idaho Fish and Game does salvage fish in some cases. But, collecting enough yellowperch and transfering them somewhere else to improve the trout fishing would be extremely expensive. It would be very difficult to net enough perch to reduce the population close to zero. Transfering that many fish would take a lot of boats, trucks and manpower. This effort would need to be repeated every year to keep up with the perch population as they come back, and then you never really are rid of them.
Salvaging fishdoes make sense in some cases. In the case of yellow perch and Lost Valley Reservoir, it is just not an economical solution for the perch management there.
Greetings, thanks for your question about adipose-clipped trout!
Idaho Fish and Game does not typically adipose-clip hatchery rainbow trout. You may see some adipose-clipped hatchery trout in some waters (Salmon River near Stanley, for example), but they are not very common. The Department may adipose-clip troutwhen needed in certain circumstancesor for a particular evaluation or study (stocked brown trout on the Boise River, for example).
The majority of hatchery trout are not typically adipose-clippped, so the trout you caught at Lucky Peak were probably typical hatchery trout.
Steelhead fishing is probably best in October-November and again in March-April. While steelhead can be caught in the winter between December and February, catch rates are usually much lower until water temperatures come back up.
In the fall, steelhead fishing usually first picks up in the lower Clearwater River and the Snake Rivernear Lewiston. The lower Salmon River between Riggins and Hammer Creek (Whitebird grade) and the Little Salmon River (Riggins)also can fish well in October-November. In spring, steelhead move higher upstream as spawning season approaches. Steelhead fishing in March/April is best higher upstream in the Clearwater (Kooskia) and SF Clearwaters (Stites). The upper Salmon River between Challis and Stanley is best in March and April.
There is not a simple answer to this question. First off, spring flow conditions for smolts in the lower Snake River comes from several drainages including the Salmon (Clearwater, upper Snake, andImnaha are the other large contributors). Second, the flow amounts smolts encounter on their outmigration are not solely determined by snowpack amount, but also how fast the snowpack melts (the shape of the runoff). A large snowpack that melts too early doesn't help smolts get to the ocean. A maximum "flush" would occur with a very large snowpack that came off (melted) quickly. This would not be best for smolt survival because flows would be so high that there would betoo much spill over the damsand gas super-saturation would do more harm than the benefits of high flow. If looking at just snowpack, more is better up to some limit or extreme. There will always be some drier years. As long as we don't see more of those but rather we can hover around the "average" years the smolts have a good chance of surviving to the ocean.
Thanks for your question about the upcoming changes to the trout possession limit. When the new fishing rules take effect in 2016, anglers will be able to have 3 daily bag limits in possession, whereas before it was just one. This usually meant fisherman traveling for the weekend or on vacation were only able to bring home one limit of trout (usually 6). IDFG received lots of public comment from anglers that were unhappy with the one-day possession limit rule, since they could only bring back 6 trout, despite being away fishing for several days. This does not change the daily bag limit, which is still 6. So anglers are still limited to harvesting only one limit per day. There was also interest to make trout possession limits consistent with the salmon/steelhead fishing rules to reduce confusion.
During June - August 2015, IDFG asked for public input on this change with several options. Several statewide and local press releases were issued announcing the online fishing rule survey at the IDFG website. Public open house meetings were held at the Pocatello Southeast Region office (and all other offices). Also, since this change required amending the IDAPA code, proposed changes were also published in the administrative bulletin. I understand that you must feel frustrated that you didn't get a chance to comment. Despite advertising the open houses and the online survey that was available for several weeks, we don't always reach everyone.
We recognize that reduced stocking at Blackfoot Reservoir has resulted in a decreases in catch rates. Restoring stocking numbers at Blackfoot Reservoir is a high priority. However, if we are unable to get back to stocking 80,000 catchable-sized rainbow troutin Blackfoot Reservoir, a reduction in the daily bag will be considered.
We would be happy to talk to you more about this change or Blackfoot Reservoir specifically, so please feel free to contact us. Here's our information:
We don't have great information on this, but we do have some idea about how these fish typically move.IDFG has tagged some of the steelhead and salmon that have been released into the Boise River. By keeping track of where tagged fish are released, and where they were caught by anglers, we can get some idea of the movement patterns. Most of the salmon and steelhead released tend to move upstream after a day or two of being stocked, so they tend to spread out if they were caught immediately. Some anglers claim to have found Boise River steelhead in odd places like irrigation return drains that connect to the Boise River,and even as far downstream as Star or Middleton. This suggests there are some steelhead turn around and try to "leave" the river, but most seem to stay and move upstream. In some years, anglers have reported catching steelhead as late as March, showing that some spend the entire winter before being caught. However, this is not typical and most steelhead are caught within a monthof being transferred to the Boise River.
In Idaho we require seperate permits to fish for steelhead and salmon. So, the Steelhead permit is good for fishing in the spring and fall steelhead seasons. You need to record all steelhead caught and kept over 20" in length on your permit.
The Salmon permit is good for fishing in the spring and summer (spring Chinook salmon) and fall (fall Chinook and coho salmon). Salmon over 24" that are kept must be recorded on your permit by removing a date notch and recording the river section where the fish is caught.