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Idaho Fish and Game


Reflecting back on 2020- A year in review: Dworshak Reservoir


This summer’s trawl and hydro-acoustic surveys in Dworshak Reservoir have found a record number of kokanee fry. These surveys estimate there are 5.8 million fry in the reservoir. The previous high was 4.0 million fry. This is both good news and not-so-good news. The reason this is not-so-good is because these high densities will likely result in poor growth leading to kokanee fisheries in two years with a bunch of small fish – fish smaller than most people like to target.


Trawling net


Adult & juvenile Kokanee

The good news is when kokanee reach high abundances, smallmouth bass growth rates in Dworshak Reservoir can reach levels seen almost nowhere else in the world. If this kokanee year-class doesn’t experience high mortality rates, we will likely see Smallmouth Bass being caught in two or three years that approach or exceed the state record, which not too surprisingly came from Dworshak Reservoir when there were record high numbers of kokanee.


Catch & release record small mouth bass