Southern Idaho anglers got another excuse to go fishing in March after Idaho Powder stocked 50,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout in C.J. Strike Reservoir south of Mountain Home.
The stocking, which took place between March 1-3, is one of two major trout stocking events Idaho Power conducts in the Snake River each year, in coordination with the Idaho Fish and Game, as part of its federal requirements for operating C.J. Strike Dam.
With average sizes of around 10 inches, the recently-stocked trout are already fit to bend a rod or fill a belly in the early spring, and thanks to the outstanding growth rates of trout in C.J. Strike, those that survive into the summer will provide opportunities for bigger fish through the summer and beyond.
“This spring release is a good boost to the early fishing season,” said Idaho Power Hatchery Facilities Coordinator Travis Long said in a statement. “For folks that enjoy being outdoors, cabin fever starts setting in right about now, so this provides a good opportunity to break out the fishing gear and hopefully catch some supper.”
Some fish previously released by Idaho Power have jaw tags as part of the company’s efforts to gauge how many are caught by anglers. Anyone who catches a tagged fish can report and have their names entered in an annual drawing for $1,000. Anglers who catch a jaw-tagged fish should note the tag number, the date the fish was caught, the location and whether the fish was released. Anglers can report tags to 1-800-388-6011 to be eligible for the drawing. Reporting tags helps Idaho Power evaluate the success of its annual stocking effort.
The trout stocking at C.J. Strike Reservoir comes just as temperatures have started warming, and the fishing opportunities for many of Strike's seemingly endless list of species have already turned on or are poised to pick up. Whether they’re fishing for largemouth or smallmouth bass, yellow perch, crappie or rainbow trout, there are plenty of reasons for anglers to make a spring outing to C.J. Strike.