Outdoors Blog

Steelhead return to Boise River; Esther’s Pond provides another fishing hole

Idaho Fish and Game will continue its popular fall tradition of stocking steelhead in the Boise River this fall.

About 300 steelhead are scheduled to be added to the Boise River on Thursday at five locations from the Glenwood Bridge to Barber Dam. Another 100 to 200 could be added later in the month, depending on availability.

The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead returning to Idaho Power’s Oxbow Hatchery trap below Hells Canyon Dam. The fish weigh between six and 12 pounds.

The total number of steelhead expected to be stocked in the Boise River is fewer than last year because of a decrease in fish that returned.

The steelhead stocking program dates to 1997. It’s designed to bring some steelhead fishing to the state’s population center.

The stocking locations are Glenwood Bridge, Americana Bridge, just below the Broadway Avenue Bridge behind Boise State, at West Parkcenter Bridge and at Barber Park.

Fish and Game will do a major stream-bed improvement in the Barber Dam area during November, which may affect fishing this fall and winter.

Steelhead fishing requires a license and $12.75 steelhead permit. The barbless hook requirement that is common for steelhead fishing doesn’t apply in the Boise River.

Esther’s Pond ready for fishing

Esther’s Pond, which is included in the new Esther Simplot Park, will be stocked regularly with rainbow trout, creating another urban fishing option in Boise. Bluegill were stocked earlier this year and largemouth bass will be added next summer. Rainbow trout were stocked in time for the park’s grand opening last week.

For more fishing notes, check out Jordan Rodriguez’s weekly fishing report.