Before anglers hit the South Fork of the Snake River for its prime fishing season, Fish and Game crews were out catching rainbows and hybrids and inserting tiny wire tags that identify a reward. An angler will receive the reward if they catch a tagged rainbow trout and or rainbow/cutthroat hybrid and turn in the fish to Fish and Game's Idaho Falls office.
Here's how it happened, and you can get more details about the reward program below.
Fish and Game biologist captured and tagged 777 rainbow trout and rainbow/cutthroat hybrids worth between $50 to $1,000 dollars each. Fish were stunned and then sedated before being tagged and then released uninjured, nontargeted fish were immediately released unharmed.
Rainbows and hybrids in the South Fork are wire tagged several times each year. About 1,000 rainbows and hybrids were tagged each in 2016 and 2017 in the South Fork of the Snake River. There is no size or harvest limit for rainbow trout caught in the South Fork of the Snake River.
The tags are invisible from the exterior of the fish, so rainbow trout heads must be turned into the Idaho Falls Fish and Game Office at 4279 Commerce Circle for scanning to see if they have a wire tag. Heads will be scanned on the first Friday of every month, but anglers can turn in fish heads at the office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The incentive program encourages anglers to harvest rainbow trout from the South Fork of the Snake River to prevent them from out competing native cutthroat trout.