Hagerman Angler Wins $1,000 for Reporting Tagged Trout


By Paul Johnson

Boise, Idaho – Most anglers would agree that a successful fishing trip involves a certain amount of luck. One Hagerman fisherman had plenty of that when an outing to Lower Salmon Falls Reservoir resulted in a $1,000 payday from Idaho Power.

Richard Kendall recently became the latest winner in an Idaho Power contest aimed at tracking angler activity and success as part of the company’s trout-stocking program. Kendall caught a hatchery-reared rainbow trout at Lower Salmon Falls Reservoir in November. He called to report the fish’s jaw tag and was entered into Idaho Power’s twice-annual drawing.

Kendall’s successful fishing trip began when a neighbor suggested they try the docks down at Lower Salmon. An avid fly fisherman, Kendall actually reported nine tags from that two-day trip. He caught 35 to 40 fish over two days, carefully removing any jaw tags before releasing the fish.

Each year, Idaho Power stocks trout in the Mid-Snake River at locations from C.J. Strike Reservoir east to Centennial Park near Twin Falls. The most recent release came during the week of March 4, with 72,000 pan-sized rainbow trout released. A few thousand of those fish have jaw tags that can earn anglers a chance at $1,000 by calling toll free, 1-800-388-6011.

Kendall said part of his windfall will go to his usual fishing partners – his grandchildren. And he needs a new pair of shoes. “I don’t think I need any more fishing gear,” he said Tuesday, shortly before heading toward King Hill to fish for bass.

The jaw-tag program helps Idaho Power and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game keep tabs on how many fish are being caught and where, Idaho Power biologist Ben Reingold said. To maximize the number of fish caught by anglers, Idaho Power adjusts the number of fish released at several locations along the Mid-Snake River based in part on the information gathered from anglers who report catching tagged fish.

The stocking program helps the company satisfy requirements under federal licenses to operate hydroelectric dams on the Snake River. It’s just one of several fish-related initiatives undertaken by Idaho Power for the benefit of the Snake River and its users.

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