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The fish will be stocked between the Glenwood Bridge and Barber Park; additional fish will be released in subsequent weeks.
Because the proportion of steelhead returning this year spent two years in the ocean, rather than one, the nine pound average fish in the return is greater than last year. Because fish released will be older and larger, the transport truck may not be able to haul quite as many per load as in recent years, but the larger fish should add to the excitement generated by the fishery.
Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit, good for 20 fish. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.
All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin – the small fin normally found immediately behind the dorsal fin. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead.
Any steelhead caught by an angler not holding a steelhead permit must immediately be returned to the water. Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession and 20 for the fall season.
The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River, owned and funded by Idaho Power Co. Many of the returning steelhead will be collected as broodstock for the steelhead hatchery program at Oxbow Hatchery as part of Idaho Power’s mitigation.
“We’re hopeful that this year’s hatchery steelhead run will easily allow Oxbow Hatchery personnel to fill their broodstock needs,” Fish and Game anadromous fish coordinator Sam Sharr said. “Any additional hatchery fish collected at the fish trap will be divided among Idaho Fish and Game, the treaty tribes and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.”
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