Trout In Southern Idaho: All About The Numbers

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By Joey Martin

Hagerman, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Typically Idaho is known as the potatoes state.

However, did you know that the southern Idaho region, between Hagerman and Twin Falls, is considered the trout capital of the world?

"Idaho produces about 46 million pounds of trout a year; it's over 70% of the nation's production of rainbow trout," explains Joe Chapman, Hagerman Fish Hatchery.

Replenishing the waterways of Idaho is what the game is all about.

And if it wasn't for the fish hatcheries in southern Idaho, anglers would be looking elsewhere to get their fishing fix.

"With today's population and today's angling pressure, it's very difficult to keep up with that pressure. And so hatcheries such as this help take off a lot of that pressure off our wild population. Our goal is to get fish out there to give you a tug on the line," Chapman says.

And getting that tug on the line means it's all bout the numbers.

But due to feeding costs doubling in the last five years and a budget that has basically flat lined, the Hagerman Fish Hatchery, which is run by the Idaho Fish and Game, has cutback about 10 percent in total stocked fish.

Even with that cutback, the numbers are still outstanding.

"In general we've got about, we've got a request for about almost 600,000 catchable trout, and about 2 million fingerlings to stock this year. And we've probably got about 300,000 catchable stock and about 700,000 fingerlings already stocked," Chapman explains.

As for the Hagerman National Fish Hatchery, the goal of replenishing steelhead trout is their mission.

"If we didn't have a program like this to perpetuate that species going... you probably wouldn't have the species here in the state," says Craig Eaton, Hagerman National Hatchery.

And just like the hatchery down the road, it's all about the numbers.

"For steelhead trout they have been really good. We need to get 600-pair to make up our egg take. We need to release somewhere around 1.5 million smolts, so we get anywhere between 1.6 to 1.7 million eggs. And right now we have made those commitments right now and we got those rearing in our nursery right now," Eaton explains.

Two hatcheries working hard to keep that title of trout capital of the world right here in southern Idaho.

If you are interested in doing a little fishing, the experts say it’s best to know where the fish are.

And Idaho Fish and Game has dedicated a portion of their website to help you out, with all of the hot spots identified and what is there to catch.

Just visit fishandgame.idaho.gov.


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