I've been spending some time fishing Silver Lake down in Boise. I have quite a few questions about it. It's rumored you guys are responsible for either actively stocking the lake or you stocked it at one point, is this true? Now that aside, there's two rumors that have really been bugging me. According to some fishermen 4-5 lbs is the "average" size of largemouth bass in this lake. They also claim 8lbs is a "quality" fish. I've yet to actually see any of these fish and I've caught plenty of 1.5 to 2 lb fish which they mentioned were four lbers. From this I can already image how they would see a four pounder as an eight pounder. Are their measurements off or are these just tall tales? Now my question is, for a northern lake here in Idaho, is this even possible? The second rumor I've heard which is there is spotted bass. To me this is just too outlandish, but could it be true?
Silver Lake is a private water. We have little to do with its management, though we have some oversight responsibility regarding fish stocking and importation. We certainly do not stock it currently (we do not stock waters inaccessible to the public) and there are no records of it being stocked by IDFG recently. However, historical stocking records are not perfectly complete, so it is possible that we may have stocked it a long time ago. Regardless, it is not a public water currently.
As for average size bass, anglers are known exaggerators. We would be more than fairly surprised that any water in Idaho possesses bass that average 4 lbs. As for 8 lbers, we occassionaly see largemouth bass in this size range in other waters that we sample, but they are exceedingly rare. Throughout my career, sampling thousands of fish with electrofishing equipment, I've only handeled two, both of which were from CJ Strike, though certain small waters in the Southwest Region have trophy potential.
As far as we know, there are no spotted bass in Idaho. If they are in Silver Lake, it would be without our knowledge and would be the results of illegal transport or introduction from other states. This is fairly unlikely as potential source waters are a long distance away.