Idaho Fish and Game plans to stock more than 250 steelhead in the Boise River Thursday, November 1 - the first of two planned releases during the next few weeks.
Because of their size - six to 12 pounds - the actual number of steelhead stocked will depend on the capacity of the tanker truck hauling the fish from Oxbow Hatchery on the Snake River. Fish and Game will release the fish in the Boise River between the Glenwood Bridge and Barber Park. Officials plan one additional release later in the month, weather permitting.
Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit, good for 20 fish. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.
All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin -- the small fin normally found on the back just in front of the tail. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. An angler without a steelhead permit who catches a steelhead must immediately return the fish to the water. Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession and 20 for the fall season.
The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Idaho Power Co.-owned and funded Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River.
Many of the returning steelhead will become part of the ongoing steelhead hatchery program at Oxbow Hatchery as part of Idaho Power Company's mitigation.
"We're hopeful that this year's hatchery steelhead run will allow Oxbow Hatchery personnel to fill their fish quota," Fish and Game anadromous fish coordinator Sam Sharr said. "Any additional hatchery fish collected at the fish trap will be divided among Idaho Fish and Game, the Nez Perce Indian Tribe and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife."
For more information regarding the Boise River steelhead release, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465 or check Fish and Game's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.