Every three years, Idaho Fish and Game staff conduct a population survey on the Big Wood River. Three sections of the river will be surveyed: north of Ketchum, near Gimlet, and near Hailey. Monitoring population trends allow fisheries biologists to assess the overall health of the population and evaluate the effectiveness of regulations.
Biologists use electrofishing equipment to temporarily stun fish so they can be netted and placed in a live well. After fish have been captured, a count of how many fish of each species are caught, and information such as length, weight, and growth measurements are taken. Once all of the biological data is collected, fish are released back into the river.
This year, Fish and Game crews will be surveying the uppermost section (north of Ketchum) on Sept. 15 and Sept. 22, the Gimlet section on Sept. 16 and Sept. 23, and the Hailey section Sept. 17 and Sept. 24. If people see fisheries crews sampling and operating electrofishing equipment, please stay out of the water for safety and the safety of the crew.
The Big Wood River is a diverse trout fishery located in south central Idaho and is considered one of Idaho’s most productive trout streams. Anglers enjoy catching brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and mountain whitefish. The Big Wood River is important socially and ecologically, which has made it a focus for general anglers, angling groups, and biologists alike. Surveys like this are an important step in tracking trout population trends through time and help guide management decisions in the Big Wood River.
For more information, contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.