Boise — Idaho Fish and Game plans to stock about 200 steelhead in the Boise River Friday, November 22, the department announced Monday, Nov. 18. "This will be the only steelhead release this year, because the number of steelhead returning is low and most of them are needed to meet hatchery brood stock goals," F&G officials said in a news release.
F&G will release the fish at five locations between the Glenwood Bridge and Barber Park. Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit. To increase angler opportunity on the limited number of fish available for release, the bag and possession limits on the Boise River have been reduced to one fish per day and three in possession. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.
Because of their size six to 12 pounds the actual number of steelhead stocked will depend on the capacity of the tanker truck hauling the fish from Oxbow Hatchery on the Snake River. All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin -- the small fin normally found on the back just in front of the tail. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. An angler without a steelhead permit who catches a steelhead must immediately return the fish to the water.
The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Idaho Power Company-owned and funded Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River. F&G has brought steelhead to the Boise since 2002, but it looked shaky this year because of low returns the Snake River. For more information regarding the Boise River steelhead release, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465.