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Idaho Fish and Game

Rainbow trout

South Fork incentive program means anglers can get bucks for 'bows


The South Fork Angler Incentive Program continues on the South Fork of the Snake River, and Fish and Game biologist Brett High was recently on the river capturing fish and putting coded wire tags in the snouts of rainbow trout and rainbow/cutthroat hybrids. 

The 777 marked trout are worth between $50 to $1,000 dollars each. Fish are wire tagged several times each year with hundreds being marked each time. About 1,000 rainbows and hybrids were tagged each in year in 2016 and 2017 in the South Fork of the Snake River. 

The tags are invisible from the exterior of the fish, so rainbow trout heads must be turned into the Idaho Falls Fish and Game Office at 4279 Commerce Circle for scanning to see if they have a wire tag. Heads will be scanned on the first Friday of every month, but anglers can turn in fish heads at the office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The incentive program encourages anglers to harvest rainbow trout from the South Fork of the Snake River in an attempt to prevent them from out competing native cutthroat trout. There is no size or harvest limit for rainbow trout caught in the South Fork of the Snake River.