By Evin Oneale - Idaho Department of Fish and Game
More than 250 steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Thursday, November 10, the first of four planned stocking efforts during the next few weeks.
The fish will be stocked in the Boise River from Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park. Additional stockings are planned for Thursday, November 17, Tuesday, November 22 and Thursday, December 1, weather permitting.
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.
Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit. 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 immediately behind the dorsal fin. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. Any steelhead caught by an angler not holding a steelhead permit must immediately be returned 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 easily allow Oxbow Hatchery personnel to fill their fish quota," said Sam Sharr, Fish and Game's anadromous fish coordinator. "Any additional hatchery fish collected at the fish trap will be divided among Idaho Fish and Game, the Nez Perce 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 465-8465 or check the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
Evin Oneale is the regional conservation educator for the Southwest Region.