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Twin Falls Woman $1000 Richer Following Fishing Trip

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By Paul Johnson

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Twin Falls resident is a $1,000 richer after catching a rainbow trout that had been tagged by Idaho Power. Shanon Harbaugh caught the fish just downstream from Centennial Park in Twin Falls last summer. She said all she could do was laugh at the metal tag on the fish’s lower jaw, which looked to her like a lip ring.
“I was thinking ‘you can’t even go fishing without things being pierced,’” Harbaugh said. “My daughter had been asking to get her lip pierced, and here my fish had one.”
The fish didn’t actually have a piercing, but a small metal band was clipped onto its lower jaw to identify it as a fish planted in the river by Idaho Power. The stocking and jaw-tag reward are components of an Idaho Power program that was proposed as mitigation during the company’s relicensing process for its mid-Snake and C.J. Strike hydroelectric projects.
When she returned to the dock, Harbaugh called the toll-free number posted there, and her name was entered into a drawing that recently earned her $1,000.
Each year, Idaho Power stocks key stretches of the mid-Snake River with tens of thousands of rainbow trout. A limited number are fitted with jaw tags.
Twice a year, the company holds a drawing for anglers who report catching trout fitted with the jaw tags, which include information that helps Idaho Power researchers monitor the trout-stocking program’s success.
Harbaugh didn’t know about the program when she landed the fish, which she said was about 11 inches long, but her fishing partner did.
“My boyfriend knew about it. He told me it should have been his fish, because he had been fishing in that spot and we had just switched places when I caught it,” she said. Now she’s got some extra cash to help furnish the house she moved into recently.
And the fish went back in the water.
“I kept the (tag) but let the fish go,” she said. “I love to fish. I just don’t like the cleaning process.” Harbaugh is the first woman to win the drawing since Idaho Power began the program in 2007.
Anglers who catch jaw-tagged trout are encouraged to call 1-800-388-6011 toll-free and report the tag number along with the date of the catch and approximate location, their name, mailing address, telephone number, and whether the fish was kept or released. The caller’s information is entered into the drawings, held each February and September.
“The information is important to evaluating the success of our trout-stocking program,” said Idaho Power Biologist Ben Reingold. “Partnering with anglers in this way helps our company be a good neighbor, a good environmental steward and a reliable supplier of clean, sustainable and fair-priced power.”


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