F&G to boost fish populations at area reservoirs

Posted at 6:09 PM, May 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-14 20:06:30-04

Anglers don't usually need an excuse to go cast a line but they had one on Saturday, one that could help provide a stock of fish in Treasure Valley reservoirs over the next couple of years.

The winter's above-average snowpack is filling small lakes and area reservoirs, which, of course, provides a good habitat for fish.

The C.J. Strike Reservoir in Elmore and Oyhwee counties was a draw this weekend for those looking to pitch in and support their pastime for years to come. It's warmwater fish they're collecting to hand off to Idaho Fish and Game.

"We're looking for Crappie, Bluegill, Yellow Perch and Largemouth Bass," says Mike Peterson, a regional fisheries biologist with the Southwest Idaho Fish and Game region based in Nampa.

A few anglers took their chances on getting rained out and took to the water with their bait and tackle.

Once the fish are collected, they will be carefully placed in a hatchery tank.

Fishery biologists don't waste anytime releasing them. In the evening hours, the fish will head to their new homes: Indian Creek and Blacks Creek reservoirs. Peterson says, the two reservoirs in the past have proven to be successful in encouraging warmwater species to grow rather quickly.

Idaho Fish and Game personnel will also be using other methods to help boost populations throughout Spring and into the early Summer months.

"Because the water was low for the last few years, there essentially are not many fish in those reservoirs, if any at all," Peterson says. "And, so, by putting these fish in there prior to them spawning in C.J. Strike, it will allow us to produce a year class of fish that 2-3 years from now will probably grow fast enough to provide a fishing opportunity."

Over 300 Bluegill have already been transferred to the Indian Creek Reservoir, and dozens of Crappie have settled into their new home at the Paddock Valley Reservoir north of Emmett.