Ask Zimo: Boise River provides trophy trout and put-and-take fishing

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comOctober 17, 2013 

Q: Pete, my friends and I were fly fishing last week near Barber Park, and this question arose: Why isn’t the Boise River through town not catch and release?

It would be an even better tailwater fishery that could sustain not only larger fish, but a healthy population. Those who want to harvest the fish could continue to do so in side streams, canals and ponds.

PAT ROSE, via email

A: The Boise River through Boise, Garden City and Eagle is a major put-and-take trout stream. The term put-and-take describes waters that are stocked with rainbow trout and meant to end up in anglers’ creels.

The trout limit is six in most of the river. However, the Boise River does have special trout waters with limit and length restrictions.

The limit for the section from the East Boise River Footbridge (near ParkCenter Pond) upstream about 2 miles to where Loggers Creek is diverted from the Boise River is two trout, none under 14 inches.

Fish and Game balances wants of anglers who want larger trout with those who want to keep them to eat. Fish and Game typically stocks upward of 60,000 rainbows in the river annually, depending on production at the Nampa hatchery.

Besides hatchery rainbow trout, the river also has wild rainbows, and about 50,000 brown trout are stocked annually along with the offspring of previously stocked browns.

By the way, side streams, such as Loggers Creek, are important for wild trout spawning.

The Boise River is a popular fishing hole right in the city, and it’s neat to see the balance between trophy trout and put-and-take.

HIBERNATING CATERPILLAR?

Q: I know this question is probably out of your wheelhouse, but maybe with your contacts you could steer me to someone who would know the answer.

Last Sunday, I saw a caterpillar on a milkweed that will turn into a monarch butterfly. I was quite surprised, it being so late in the year.

Then I got thinking and wondered whether it would cocoon up and go into hibernation or continue its life cycle and emerge into a butterfly. If it becomes a butterfly this fall, would it have time to migrate to warmer climes, or would it then hibernate here.

JOHN BUCY, via email

A: Well, I like caterpillars and butterflies, but you’ve stumped me.

I’ve taken classes in zoology and entomology, but can’t quite remember anything about caterpillars, except that they look like woolly worms for fly fishing.

I’ll throw this one out to readers and see if we can get an answer.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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