Idaho Fish and Game biologists are electro-fishing sections of the Boise River to study populations of naturally spawned trout. The biologists send an electrical current through the water, which sends fish to the surface where the researchers capture and study them. The fish are released back into the river.
This year researchers are noting a decline in rainbow trout fry and a more significant decline in brown trout fry. Fisheries Manager John Cassinelli says high spring flows may be one reason the numbers are down, but adds that other factors may contribute to the decline. He says the drop in numbers is not catastrophic, and in the long run the cleansing process of the high fast water this spring may have actually improved spawning habitat.
"High water is not a bad thing for rivers by any means," Cassinelli said. "It moves gravel around. It creates new spawning areas, it shifts gravel around, it cleans gravel."
Cassinelli says for a river that runs through a major metropolitan area, the Boise River is very healthy, and he is surprised more people don't fish it.