Idaho Fish and Game added 13,000 sterile kokanee to Mosquito Flat Reservoir, providing anglers a new fishing opportunity.
Released as 4-inch fingerlings in 2016 and 2017, the sterile fish are growing rapidly. A recent gill net survey found several measuring 14 inches, growing 10 inches in two years.
"This growth is pretty good relative to other more productive kokanee waters in the state,” said Jordan Messner, fisheries biologist with Idaho Fish and Game.
Since the kokanee are surviving and growing well, Fish and Game plans to stock them annually. The number to be stocked each year will be balanced to provide large kokanee for anglers.
“Kokanee tend to grow faster and reach larger sizes when there are fewer fish to compete with for food,” Messner said. “Depending on survival and anglers catching on to this new opportunity, future stocking rates will be determined after we learn more.”
Kokanee are land-locked sockeye salmon and are found in many lakes and reservoirs across Idaho. Their native range spans from the Columbia River basin to Alaska and includes Idaho.
Prized for their hard fight and excellent table fare. A fresh kokanee fillet off the grill or smoker is a summer highlight.
"Kokanee are delicious and also fun to catch,” Messner said. “We hope anglers give them a try.