Few things can match the sheer excitement of catching a giant trout.
Anglers in Challis and Salmon can now catch this excitement, as Clear Springs Foods recently donated 1,400 giant hatchery trout to be stocked in local fishing ponds.
Over 160 super-sized trout, which average 9.5 pounds, were already stocked by personnel from Fish and Game’s Mackay Hatchery in Hayden, Kids Creek, and Blue Mountain Meadow ponds Friday, August 2. Approximately 80 trout were released in Hayden, with 40 going in Kids Creek and 40 in Blue Mountain ponds. The remaining trout, which average between two and five pounds, will be stocked later this summer and fall.
Alex Bittner, age 11, caught this monster after fishing for an hour at Hayden Pond.
The giant rainbows were used in the production of trout raised at Clear Springs Foods’ hatchery in Mackay. Referred to as brood stock, these hatchery trout are nearing the end of their usefulness in producing the next generation, but will provide anglers some thrilling fishing.
"A huge thank you to Clear Springs Foods for their generosity,” said Kayden Estep, Fish and Game fisheries biologist based in Salmon. “Catching one of these monsters will be a summer highlight, especially for the kids.”
Fish and Game’s Fishing and Boating Access employees removed much of the aquatic vegetation from Hayden and Kid’s Creek ponds, making it easier to catch fish.
Pond fishing is a great way to introduce kids to the sport, using simple set-ups like worm/marshmallow combinations or commercial baits like Power Bait or Crave, either near the bottom or below a bobber. The trout limit is 6, all species combined.
For more information on where fish are stocked locally, how many and when, visit the Stocking Report page on Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish/stocking, or call the Salmon Regional office at 756-2271.