This side of the state has Lake Cascade and its record perch during ice fishing season.
East Idaho has Henry’s Lake and record brook trout.
Below is a story from the Idaho Falls Post Register about several recent record or near-record brook trout, including the latest caught by a 10-year-old.
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By Tom Holm
Ten-year-old Kazen Cromar was quick to grab a bobbing ice fishing rod on Henry’s Lake in early December.
His swift action paid off when he lifted out a 22-inch brook trout that broke Idaho’s catch-and-release record. Less than a week earlier the record was set by a 21-inch brook trout pulled from the same frozen lake. Cromar made sure that record wasn’t held for long.
He said he beat his father, Charles Cromar, to the rod and fought the behemoth 5-pound brook trout for some time.
“It was kind of hard to pull it up,” Kazen said.
In a matter of several weeks Henry’s Lake produced three record catch-and-release brook trout and one brookie that was a rival for the state record catch-and-keep. That 6-pound brookie was shy of the state record of a little over 7 pounds, caught in 1978 at Henry’s Lake.
Catch-and-release records are new to 2016, so it’s to be expected that records would be shattered in short order. But seeing the records for brookies jump up, all coming out of Henry’s Lake, is eye-opening to fish management there.
Damon Keen, Idaho Fish and Game regional fisheries biologist, manages the lake. Though ice fishing season ended Jan. 1, Keen’s work is not over.
For the next several weeks he and others will snowmobile the lake and take dissolved oxygen readings, then workers will begin trapping cutthroat trout to harvest eggs for stocking.
When the spring thaw comes, Keen said biologists will begin gillnetting the lake. Through that process biologists net fish and record their sizes and weights, extrapolating out to estimate fish populations in the lake.
He said the lake is typically netted about 50 times per year. That’s much more than other Idaho bodies of water, which are gill netted around five or 10 times per year, Keen said.
Keen said Henry’s is well studied and biologists have accurate estimates for fish and can stock the lake to make sure the healthiest — not to mention biggest — fish survive.
“It’s just a super productive lake. And it’s a shallow lake so it’s nutrient rich allowing fish to grow fast,” Keen said.