About 50,000 rainbow trout are scheduled to be released into the C.J. Strike Reservoir south of Mountain Home this week –- at one of the most popular spots for anglers on the Middle Snake River.
Idaho Power will jump-start the spring and summer fishing season by releasing the pan-sized rainbow trout at two popular locations.
The company is alternating the releases between C.J. Strike’s Cottonwood and Jack’s Creek accesses May 2nd to 4th.
“The weather has been nice, and lots of folks are already out fishing. These are nice-sized fish that will give people an even better chance to land one,” said Idaho Power Biologist Ben Reingold.
The reservoir covers roughly 7,500 acres in Elmore and Owyhee counties. It’s a popular fishing and camping spot. Idaho Power owns and maintains four campgrounds and a day-use park at the reservoir.
Idaho Power’s federal licenses to operate its hydroelectric facilities on the Snake River require the company to preserve and enhance recreational opportunities. As part of that effort, the company stocks various locations along the Middle Snake each year, officials said.
The fish were raised at a hatchery in the Hagerman Valley. They’re about ten inches long when released. Those that aren’t caught right away can grow several inches per year, officials stated.
“Some trout released previously have metal jaw tags. Anglers are asked to report any tagged fish they catch by recording the tag number, date, the reward value (if any) and the approximate location where the fish was caught. They can call toll free, 1-800-388-6011, and provide information that includes their name, mailing address, telephone number and whether the fish was kept or released,” said Idaho Power spokesman Brad Bowlin.
Anglers who report tagged fish through the toll-free number are entered in a drawing for $1,000.