Just when you thought it was safe to stow the fishing gear for the season, the trout at C. J. Strike Reservoir are on the bite.
"We're getting reports of phenomenal trout fishing in all parts of the reservoir," Fish and Game fisheries biologist Brian Flatter noted. "We've got some very happy anglers down there limiting out on trout in the 17- to 21-inch range."
Those fish are some of the 27,000 catchable-sized (nine to 12 inches) rainbows stocked in C. J. Strike last fall and this spring. About 4,000 of the trout sport small jaw tags, used by Fish and Game to assess fish catch rates at the reservoir. "We'd really like anglers to return the tags to us," Flatter said. Doing so will land some lucky angler another great prize: a $100 sporting goods gift certificate that will be awarded on December 29. The winner will come from a pool of anglers that returned jaw tags to Fish and Game.
In addition to the catchable rainbows, approximately 200,000 fingerling (three and one-half to four inches) rainbows were stocked in C. J. Strike this spring. "Growth rates on those fish have been impressive," Flatter commented. "Those fish are now in the 14-inch range and anglers are getting into them too."
Location seems to have little to do with fishing success at Strike right now. "Bank anglers and boat anglers alike are doing well," Flatter said. "Trout are being caught from the dam, below the dam, in the Bruneau Narrows, just about anywhere along the shoreline."
Flatter attributes much of the fishing success to better water conditions this year. "Much of the reservoir's water was stored for most of the summer," Flatter explained. "That allowed for great zooplankton production which these trout continue to feed on. Nice-sized rainbows are the result and C.J. anglers are the beneficiaries."