Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions. We post here answers to questions we're being asked frequently. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us. Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office. Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered" date.

Displaying 26 - 50 of 198 questions

Q: Bass in Treasureton

I was fishing on Treasureton on Tuesday and caught over 100 bass. Sizes from 3inches up to 17inches. Was it planned that these bass were planted in treasureton or were they illegally introduced? I was trying to catch some nice trout and only caught 1 cutthroat (13 inches) and a rainbow (16 inches). I did miss some other trout that were nice size.


Bass were illegally introduced into Treasureton Reservoir.
"Bucket" biologists are a serious problem in Idaho.  They not only effect some our most important fisheries, they endanger native fish in some lake and river systems.  This has a huge impact from a dollars and cents perspective.  Lost revenue to the local economy and cost anglers in lost opportunity and fishery renovation costs can be in excess of $1,000,000 (e.g. Horsethief Reservoir fishery, which is being treated in 2015, generates over $4.5 million annually in revenue).  We poison several waters each year to remove undesirable fish species and restore appropriate fish populations.  In 2015, we are renovating Horsethief Reservoir, Hagerman Wildlife Management Area and Soldiers Meadows Reservoir at a cost to anglers of almost $50,000.

answered 9/24/2015


The Portneuf Wellness Complex is a multi-use 80-acre facility located near the former North Bannock County Fairgrounds. The complex was generously donated to Bannock County by the Portneuf Health Trust to help promote both physical and mental well-being for those who use it. Among the amazing amenities available at the facility is a 6-acre lake stocked with thousands of rainbow trout and kokanee! A recent donation of over 80 large rainbow trout from Clear Springs Foods has made fishing at the lake particularly exciting. IDFG will stock this lake several more times with catchables this fall.
Anglers 14 and older must hold a valid Idaho Fishing License to fish the lake. Because the lake was created after our last rules process was complete, general rules apply. Each angler may keep up to 6 rainbow trout and 6 kokanee of any size. However, because of the popularity of the pond, the IDFG in cooperation with Bannock County is recommending that anglers keep only two fish. Please note that this two-fish limit may be adopted by the Fish and Game Commission when they consider new proposals this fall.
Anglers may fish from docks, from a float tube or other non-motorized vessel, or from the shore. However, no fishing is allowed in the swimming area which is separated from the rest of the lake by a rope.
Fishing is allowed year-round during the complex's operational hours of 5:00 am until one hour after sunset.
Dogs at the complex must be leashed at all times. Dogs are not allowed on the beach or in the lake.  Owners are required to clean up after their dogs.  Stations with plastic bags and garbage cans for waste disposal are located throughout the site.
Anglers cleaning fish should not discard fish entrails in the lake or on the shore.
For more questions about fishing at the lake at the Portneuf Wellness Complex, please contact the Fish and Game regional office in Pocatello at 208-232-4703.

answered 9/20/2015

Q: Yankee Fork

Several questions.
# 1- What species of fish are in upper Yankee Fork river?
I have a 90 acre claim. ( Starlight Claim # 203588)
The claim includes approx. 3/4 miles on Yankee Fork river.
By law I own anything above ground ( Gold, minerals) etc.
#2- Can I fish on my portion of claim without fishing license?
I'm a catch and release fisherman..


Hi there Vaugh,
The Yankee Fork is home to several species of fish, including Chinook Salmon, Steelead, Bull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Mountain Whitefish. At this time, the populations of salmon and steelhead are very low and no fishing is allowed for those species. Bull Trout and Cutthroat Trout are catch/release only and the season is open all year. Mountain Whitefish are also present, and they can be kept all year at 25/day. 
Check out Pages 41-42 in the 2013-2015 Fishing Regulation for more information, which you can download here:
Even though you have a mining claim, a fishing license is still required. All fishing in Idaho requires a fishing license, unless you are fishing a private pond where the owner has a valid private pond permit. 
You can buy a license all over the state at many local vendors, or buy it online. Now you can even buy your license using your mobile phone!

answered 9/18/2015

Q: Kokanee just stocked in Hayden Lake

1.Are these Kokanee's that were recently stocked at Honeysuckle beach wild or farmed?
2. Are they safe to eat?
3. I saw some people fishing them with corn, isn't that illegal to use corn?
4. I caught one and when I held it, the eggs were pouring out of it, can you use these eggs for fishing, like for trout?


I can provide answers to your questions.  I listed your questions below with my responses.
1.Are these Kokanee's that were recently stocked at Honeysuckle beach wild or farmed?
The kokanee are raised in a Fish and Game fish hatchery and stocked into Hayden Lake every year.  The get stocked as juveniles in June and are about 3-4 inches long when released.  It takes about a year before they are large enough to be caught by anglers.  The largest kokanee in the lake (typically 14-17") are two years old.
2. Are they safe to eat?
Yes, they are safe to eat.  In fact, kokanee are one of the finest tasting fish in our area and are hugely popular with anglers for this reason.
3. I saw some people fishing them with corn, isn't that illegal to use corn?
Corn is legal to use as bait.  In fact, corn is the most popular bait to use when kokanee fishing.  Kokanee are caught primarily by trolling from a boat in open water.  There are differnent types of trolling gear you can use to catch them.  However, corn is commonly placed on the hook of the lure.  Maggots can also be used.
4. I caught one and when I held it, the eggs were pouring out of it, can you use these eggs for fishing, like for trout?
It is legal to use fish eggs for bait.  However, I would not recommend this as an effective bait for kokanee fishing.  Corn or maggots is much preferred.
If you are interested in learning more about kokanee fishing, there are some good websites with information on fishing techniques.  Also, local sporting goods stores are usually good about helping, too.
I hope this helps.  Have a good day.
Andy Dux

answered 9/3/2015

Q: Tiger Muskie in mountain lakes?

I have noticed in several small mountain lakes tiger muskie have been stocked. Most recently Grassy Mountain Lakes NW of McCall. Why is this?


Tiger Muskie, as you would guess from their name, are agressive predatory fish.  They are effecient eating "machines" that survive well in Idaho lakes.
Sterile (unable to reproduce) Tiger Muskie have been introduced in mountain lakes to remove Brook Trout.  Brook Trout tend to over-populate and stunt (become short and skinny) which creates an undesirable fishing experience and impacts fish species like Rainbow and Cutthroat trout that are also competing for forage in the lakes.  In the case of Black Lake in the 7-Devils Mountains, we introduced Tiger Muskie several years ago.  They were so effective, after three years we could no longer detect Brook Trout in the lake.  We have now removed the few Tiger Muskie that remained and plan on restocking the mountain lake with Cutthroat, this fall.

answered 8/25/2015

Q: Unit 40 early tags.

Is Unit 40 still going to be open on August 15th to hunters? For deer and antelope early archery?


Hunts opening Saturday in the Owyhees unlikely to change
With controlled deer and pronghorns hunts opening in Unit 40 in portions of Owyhee County Saturday, Aug. 15, Idaho Fish and Game is monitoring the Soda Fire, but not closing or altering hunts at this time, nor expecting to in the immediate future.
Like all wildfires, situations with the Soda Fire in Owyhee County can change quickly, but the fire is burning mostly in the northwest portion of the unit, leaving much of the south and eastern portions open for hunting.
There are road closures in Owyhee County affecting access into the unit, and updates on the fire and road situation are available on under “Soda Fire.”
The Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office issued road closures on Aug. 13 for all roads leading into the Silver City area, except for fire-fighting activity and residents. The closure affects the Silver City, Trout Creek and Cow Creek roads. Upper Reynolds Creek Road is also closed, along with Jump Creek recreation sites and all trailheads from Silver City to Jump Creek. Trail closures are in effect on the Owyhee Front Range.
As of Aug. 14, the following roads are open and provide access to the western, eastern and southern portions of Unit 40: Flint Creek/Triangle Road, Mud Flat Road, Poison Creek Road, Shoofly Road, Sinker Creek Road and Collett Road.
Fish and Game has two hunts scheduled to open Saturday, Aug. 15.
A mule deer hunt involving 50 hunters opens for all of Unit 40 and runs through Sept. 30.
“There’s still a bunch of area available and really good deer country accessible that hasn’t burned,” said Scott Reinecker, Fish and Game’s Southwest Region supervisor.
He also noted the fire could be out and roads reopened before the hunts ends on Sept. 30.
An archery pronghorn hunt also opens Saturday and runs until Aug. 30 involving 200 hunters, but is open for units 40, 41 and 42 and only a small portion of that hunt is likely to be affected.
Typically, Idaho Fish and Game does not close hunts or alter season dates in response to fire restrictions. Most fires are not large enough to affect an entire hunting unit.
Hunters affected by a fire closure can either adjust their hunt plans (timing, location), or exchange controlled hunts for general tags in a different area. The exchange must take place before the season begins.

answered 8/14/2015

Q: Trout vs Koi

In a private pond, are trout and koi compatable?


I'm not sure if you mean from a predator-prey perspective or water quality.
Large trout (10"+) typically add small fish to their diet - and this could include koi.  Prior to achieving 10", they feed on insects, zooplankton, detritus, and other organic substances.  Large trout with small koi will definitely lead to koi being eaten.
Koi are more tolerant of reduced water quality than trout.  They withstand higher water temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen levels better than rainbow trout.  Koi can also tolerate stagnant wate for longer peiods of time than rainbow trout.
It would need to be just the right condition of inflowing water at the upper tolerance limits for trout in order for them to coexist in the same pond.  The bigger the waterbody - the greater the chance both species can find a niche that will suppor their needs.

answered 8/12/2015

Q: Transporting Kokanee. Can i filet Kokanee in the field for storage and transport home? I will go to deadwood for a few days at a time and can bring home 50 fish. Can they be filet out and the carcasses put in their own cooler?

I will go to Deadwood for a few days at a time and can bring home 50 fish. Sometimes it is so hot they will start to go bad in a day. Can I filet them out with skin on and keep carcasses in their own separate cooler? It is easy to determine species and quantity. I can keep filets bagged and packed much cooler than whole fish.


When it comes to transporting fish, there are some specific (but often overlooked) rules to keep in mind. Your question is very good, as it addresses a gray area when interpreting the head/tail rule for transporting fish. The intention of the rule is for the fish to remain whole while in the field or transport. We recommend you keep the fish intact (gutting is OK) to avoid any law enforcement problems. This is intended to make it clear the number, species, and lengths of fish being kept. 
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has recognised the confusion over this rules and is proposing to make changes to make it easier for anglers to process fish in the field. If you would like to comment on the proposed changes to the "heads/tail rules", you can find our online public comment survey here:
Page 53 of the current fishing regulations states the rule for transporting trout and bass:
"Head and Tail Removal: 
It is illegal to have in the field or in transit any trout, char, coho, kokanee, grayling, tiger musky, or bass from which the head or tail has been removed."
You can find the current 2013-2015 Fishing Rules at this link:
Good luck fishing at Deadwood!

answered 8/12/2015

Q: South Fork Boise River

When you say you are stocking the South Fork Of the Boise River do you mean below Anderson Dam or above over couch summit or both? Thanks


We manage the area below Anderson Ranch Dam as a "wild trout" fishery. Consequently, we don't stock hatchery produced trout in that area.  When they refer to stocking the South Fork Boise River in our planting report, we mean the South Fork above Big Smoky Creek.

answered 8/4/2015

Q: Landlocked chinook salmon catch limit

What are the rules for chinook salmon in Anderson ranch resevoir


In Idaho Code, landlocked salmon are considered "trout" unless otherwise denoted.  In the case of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Fall Chinook salmon are included in your daily trout bag limit.  Therefore, you can keep 6 "trout/Fall Chinook" per day.

answered 5/7/2015

Q: mortality rate on catch-and -release fishing

I was just wondering what is the current accepted mortality rate on catch and release fishing for trout? Steelhead?


Your question is very broad and there are well over 100 papers out there on trout to draw on so generalizing is difficult.    Under most conditions,  Catch-and-release mortality or “hooking mortality” of trout is thought to be relatively low in most instances.   There are a number of summary papers out there but one of the most frequently cited suggests hooking mortality rates are around 4-6 % for flies and lures , respectively, to  somewhere around 25% for bait-caught resident trout.    However, some of the better studies that have not relied on caged trout have resulted in considerably lower loss rates than these averages.   For example on Yellowstone cutthroat in Yellowstone National Park, an “un-caged” estimate of hooking mortality was about 0.3% and in the case of wild, uncaged rainbow trout caught with bait and released, the estimate was 16%.   The estimate for bait fishing  in a steelhead or chinook stream are considered much lower (e.g.  5% or less for Steelhead).     

answered 2/23/2015

Q: Dolly Varden vs. Bull Trout

What does page 492-496 say about bull trout being classified as dolly varden there for being able to harvest?


I'm not sure what document you're referring to, but let me give you some background on bull trout/Dolly varden in Idaho and how the name has changed over time - at least in Idaho.
"Bull trout/Dolly varden" are members of the Salmonidae family.  They are native to Idaho and have actually been cultured, reared and stocked at various times from our State fish hatcheries.  They are aggressive fish eaters, almost exclusively, when they reach between 8 - 12" in length.  For this reason, they are extremely vulnerable to angling.  Any plug or lure that mimics a fish will attract bull trout.
The American Fisheries Society is the professionally recognized entity that names fish throughout the world.  Prior to the early 1970's the names "bull trout" and "dolly varden" referred to the same species of fish.  In early 1970, the American Fisheries Society split the species and began referring to fish that migrated to the ocean (anadromous) as "dolly varden" and the resident form that spent their entire life in freshwater as "bull trout."  Because none of our Idaho fish migrate to the ocean, we now call all Idaho species "bull trout" and "dolly varden" are the coastal run group of fish found in western Washington, Oregon, California, Canada and Alaska.  "Bull trout" are now recognized to inhabit Idaho and parts of northern Nevada, Montana and other areas cut-off from the ocean by barriers.

answered 1/30/2015

Q: License fees for adding non-resident single-day licenses.

If we bought the non-resident three-day steelhead license and permit, then two additional days license at that same time for trout fishing (no steelhead permit), would the two additional days be $6, as if we were to just buy the regular first-day fishing license? Or would the first of the two additional days be $12.75?


Idaho's license fees are set by legislation. The two licenses (3 Day Salmon/Steelhead and the Daily Fishing) are different types of licenses and have different fees as per the Idaho Code 36-416. Therefore, the daily fishing license purchased for two days (no steelhead permit) would be the $12.75 for the first day and $6.00 for each additional consecutive day.

answered 1/15/2015

Q: Bounties on Lake Trout in Pend O'Reille

I heard that IDFG was paying a bounty on lake trout in lake Pend O'Reille, but I can't find anything on IDFG's website. Was that a rumor or a discontinued program?


The rainbow trout bounty program on Lake Pend Oreille was discontinued in 2013. The lake trout bounty is still in place. 

Originally, it was funded by Avista Power Company and was intended to assist our agency in restoring/reducing depredation on kokanee by lake trout.  Between the bounty program and selective netting with commercial fishermen, we've reduced lake trout depredation and restored kokanee to Lake Pend Oreille.

Please note: An error on the lake trout program being discontinued was in print on this page until 4/2018.
answered 1/13/2015

Q: How many fish are stocked in Idaho every year?

How many fish were stocked in the entire state by Idaho Fish and Game in 2014?


In 2014, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game was directly involved in the stocking of over 32,000,000 fish!  Fish species stocked include both native and non-native trout/salmon species (Rainbow Trout, Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout, etc.) as well as non-native cool- and warm-water species (like bass, catfish, etc.).  Interested in learning a bit more about when and where we stock fish?  Information on both current and historical fish stocking is available on the Fisheries page of our website:
Get out and FISH IDAHO!  

answered 1/12/2015

Q: Ice fishing Mackay

I've heard good things about ice fishing on Mackay reservoir but don't know anything about it. Is it really safe since only half the water freezes over? What kinds of fish are there in the res? What are the best techniques for catching them?


Thanks for your interest in ice fishing Mackay Reservoir.  As you note, the lake does not always freeze completely over, which means there can be thin ice in certain areas, and possibly around the edge.  The reservoir is generally filling during the winter, which means it is increasing in size.  As such, there will likely be thin spots in certain areas.  You should be careful when accessing the ice, and pay attention to where other anglers are.  Check the ice conditions as you progress by drilling holes periodically to judge the ice thickness, and avoid areas with less than 4 to 6 inches of ice.
Mackay supports great populatins of both rainbow trout and kokanee. Both species are vunerable to ice fishing techniques, and can readily be caught when they are actively feeding.  For trout, try a small jig (1/16 oz to 1/4 oz) tipped with a mealworm, nightcrawler or waxworm.  Drop the jig down to the bottom, and then reel up about a foot.  Actively move the jig up and down, and experiment with the speed and magnitude of the movement until you figure out what the fish are looking for.  For kokanee, use a flashy spoon (like a swedish pimple or similar spoon) with a very small pink jig tied about a foot to 18" below.  Tip the jig with a small mealworm.  Start fishing about 10 feet below the ice, and work your way progressively deeper unitl you find the school of fish.  They can use any depth, so experiment until you find where the kokanee are.  Jigging followed by periods where you let the jig hang motinless for a few seconds can be very productive for kokanee.
If you have additiona questions, feel free to call the IDFG regional office at 525-7290.

answered 1/11/2015

Q: Canning trout

Is it legal to can trout while fishing?


The short answer is, "no."
Centain species of game fish, which trout are defined in Idaho rule 13.01.11. , can not have the heads and tails removed while in transit.  You also must be able to show how many fish, the length and species of fish you have in possession while in the field.
Idaho Administrative Code 13.01.11.
02. Restrictions. No person shall have in the field or in transit any trout, tiger muskie, or bass from which the head or tail has been removed. (3-20-97)
03. Bag Limit. The maximum number of fish that may be lawfully taken by any one (1) person in one (1) day. The term “bag limit” shall be construed to be an individual, independent effort and shall not be interpreted in any manner as to allow one (1) individual to take more than his “bag limit” toward filling the “bag limit” of another. The bag and possession limits are equal except for salmon and steelhead. (3-20-97)
29. Possession Limit. Maximum number of fish that may be lawfully in possession of any person. “Possession limit” shall apply to fish while in the field or being transported to the final place of consumption or storage. (3-20-97)
02. Restrictions. No person shall have in the field or in transit any trout, tiger muskie, or bass from which the head or tail has been removed. (3-20-97)

answered 1/7/2015

Q: use of gaff for ice fishing

Is it legal to use a gaff while ice fishing on Blackfoot res. if harvesting rainbows,?


Idaho Code says:
05. Gaff Hook. It is unlawful to land fish of any species with a gaff hook except through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters which have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species or when landing nongame fish species taken with archery equipment. (3-29-12)
Blackfoot Reservoir is closed to the harvest of cutthroat, so if you can positively identify the fish on the end of your line as a rainbow trout, then you can use a gaff to remove the fish from the hole in the ice.
I've ice fished for a number of years and fished waters where there is a mix of rainbow and cutthroat.  When I pull the fish to the edge of the hole, it is often difficult to distinguish the species of fish - and for that reason, I wouldn't use a gaff while ice fishing on Blackfoot Reservoir.  Keep in mind, that if you use a gaff and accidently remove a cutthroat, you can be cited for illegal use of a gaff hook and illegal possession of a cutthroat trout.  In my mind, it's legal but not worth the risk.

answered 1/1/2015

Q: Lucky Peak mud

I drove by Lucky Peak yesterday and the water still has that brownish color from all the mud that washed into the Boise River late this past summer. Here is my question: what damage has this mud and silt done to the trout and kokanee fishery since then? Can these fish in Arrowrock and Lucky Peak survive this or will the entire fishery have to be replenished once the silt settles and the water clears up again?
I bet a lot of folks would be interested in this topic, so would you consider getting it printed either on your website or in the Idaho Statesman?
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.


Answer:  What happened with the flash floods in the South Fork and Middle Fork Boise River drainages was a unique event that most of us have never experienced before – at least in this river system and our lifetime.  Intense rain on recently burned slopes released mud and debris into what was a relatively stable river system.
With the floods in the South Fork and Middle Fork Boise Rivers, we expect a decline in the overall trout population over the next few years as the forces of nature reshape the riverbed substrate.  Changing flows will sort materials and create new spawning and juvenile fish rearing areas.  Once the river is again relatively stable, we expect the wild trout populations to rebound higher than before the floods due to increase diversity of habitats, the introduction of more woody material (fish and aquatic insect habitat) and an increase in nutrients (carbon) the aquatic ecosystem needs to thrive.
Last summer when the floods happened, the water column in Lucky Peak and Arrowrock reservoirs were stratified by water temperature.  Cold water was on the bottom of the reservoirs with warmer water on top.  What we suspected was happening is, the mud-laden run-off was flowing along the bottom of the reservoir in the cold water layer and being discharged into the Boise River through Lucky Peak's deep-water collection system.  We anticipated that once the different temperature water mixed/turned over in the fall, the mud would settle and the Boise River through town and Lucky Peak Reservoir would again appear clean.  As we both know, that has not happened.
What impact will the sediment in Lucky Peak Reservoir have on stocked rainbow trout and kokanee?  Our best guess is, it could actually improve growth rates on rainbow and kokanee and make the fishing better.  Fish growth in Lucky Peak is dependent on both phyto and zooplankton.  The Boise River system, when compared to many river systems around the State of Idaho, is lacking base nutrients.  This flood event may have increased the nutrient level in the reservoir, which in-turn, will improve plankton biomass (food).  We could and should see benefits, especially to the kokanee growth rates in Lucky Peak, as early as 2015.

answered 12/26/2014

Q: Yellow Fish in Sego Prairie Pond, Kuna

A couple of years ago I questioned some yellow trout that I caught in the Sego Prairie Pond. The IF&G response was that they were yellow phase rainbows that were granted to the IF&G by someone in Hagerman. I caught 2 yellow trout at the Pond this weekend and was wondering if yellow phase rainbows had again been stocked or if they are something else. Thanks!


Yellow trout were indeed again stocked in Sego Prairie Pond.
Typically, bright colored fish don't last long in pond environments where they are stocked.  If they aren't caught by anglers, their distinct color makes them more vulnerable to predators such as large birds (pelicans, blue heron, eagles, osprey, etc.) or mammals (otter, mink, etc.).  Their chances of surviving more than 30 days in the wild are virtually 0%.  To my knowledge, we've not documented yellow-colored trout over-wintering and providing fishing opportunities the following year.

answered 12/23/2014

Q: Elk Creek Reservoir Trout Stocking for 2014

I have fished ECR since the early 1970's, mainly ice fishing, and have watched the fishery change with IDFG stocking and the introduction of BLG and CRP form the bucket folks.
Am I to view another change to the fishery as only 2500 truck trout were stocked in 2014 where as the last five years averaged 15,000 TT.
Is the IDFG planning on drawing down the Elk Creek reservoir in 2015?


The IDFG stocking database on our website is not always up to date. We stocked around 15,000 rainbow trout this year into Elk Creek Reservoir. In the future, we plan to put in bigger (12 inches vs 10 inches) but fewer (13,200) fish.  Based on our research, this should result in similar catch rates (bigger fish are more aggressive than smaller) and more satisfied anglers (larger fish to catch).  When this happens is dependent upon when the hatcheries get up to speed on this program.  It could be as early as next year or as late as 2016.  If the larger fish are not ready for next year, our plans are to increase the stocking effort in this reservoir to 22,000 10” fish.
Have fun fishing.

answered 12/3/2014

Q: When I see this in the fishing regs, "December 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend – trout limit is 0, catch-and-release," does this mean c-n-r for trout species only or for all species of fish?

When I see this in the fishing regs, "December 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend – trout limit is 0, catch-and-release," does this mean c-n-r for trout species only or for all species of fish?


The phrase "trout limit 0" means catch-and-release only for trout.  You can still catch and keep your limit of whitefish or other game fish species that reside in the water.

answered 12/1/2014

Q: Indian Creek Reservoir

What happened to Indian Creek Reservoir? Was it a victim of drought or did water use upstream change or was there some other factor at work?


Changes in land use, new wells for urban development, the need for dam repairs and the drought all have affected the reservoir levels at Indian Creek Reservoir.
Indian Creek Reservoir is filled primarily by low elevation snowfall.  Back in the 1980's and early 90's, water used to back up past the interstate because of above average winter precipitation.  It is also a productive system from a fisheries perspective for both warm and cool water fishes.  It used to produce some of the largest bluegill in the state.  It was also know for crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish and rainbow trout.
If we ever get back into a wet cycle, we are ready to invest sportsman's dollars into dam repairs that will improve water retention in the reservoir.

answered 10/24/2014

Q: Black Trout Followup

As a teenager in the "70's we too backpacked into the White Clouds. One of the lakes we visited was full of rainbow trout that had the lower part of their bodies a dark black (bluish) belly. They were about 8-9" long and we caught them on every cast just like brook trout can react. I had never heard what they were but used to have pictures of them. Thanks for giving me information.


If the fish had long dorsal fins, it is possible that you were catching grayling.  They tend to have a body shape similar to a rainbow trout and a blue hue over their entire body.
Otherwise, what you were probably catching were brook trout.  Brook trout can have a blue iridescent color during certain times of the year and then become dark to red in color during fall spawning events.

answered 10/21/2014

Q: Black Trout

While backpacking in the White Cloud Mountains this September we camped at Scoop Lake. While fishing that lake 3 of the four members of our group saw what appeared to be black trout over a period of 2 days. These fish were jet black, no other detectable color. They were not numerous, we saw occasional singles and two together only once. We have no pictures as we did not manage to catch any of them nor get a picture of them swimming. I did an internet search and found some pictures of other black trout but no explanation of why they were black. I am curious to know if you are aware of these trout in Idaho and if my guess they are just exhibiting melanism is accurate. Thank you for a reply.
Best regards,
Irv Berlin


The only species of fish we've stocked in Scoop Lake are rainbow trout.  We've heard reports of brook trout also being in that system - which is not surprising considering they been stocked in many locations throughout the White Clouds prior to modern times.
Skin pigment varies in fish just like it does in humans.  Sometimes the coloration changes are genetic (parents possessed a dark-color gene) other times the color variation is in response to environment factors (more sun - usually the darker the skin pigment).  In the case of Scoop Lake, it is probably a combination of the two factors.

answered 10/17/2014