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Monday, January 17, 2022

Hatchery highlights for October: Cooler water means lots of trout headed to Idaho waters

Idaho Fish and Game is stocking almost 312,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout throughout the state in October. It’s typically a big month for stocking trout because predatory birds that feed on the fish are gone or leaving, waters are cooler, and fishing managers are providing good fall fishing opportunities and loading up for ice fisheries.

With so many fish stocked in so many places, it can be hard for anglers to sift through the stocking forecasts and records to identify noteworthy stocking events. To make it easier, we asked Fish and Game hatchery staff to highlight some stocking events for the month.

Many of the waters highlighted below are easy to access, family-friendly fishing destinations. All you need to get started is a fishing license and some basic tackle. Annual adult fishing licenses cost around $30, junior licenses (ages 14-17) cost $16, and youth under 14 fish for free. Click here to buy a license.

Fishing for stocked rainbow trout, particularly in community ponds, is a great way to introduce new anglers to the sport by using simple (and relatively thrifty) set-ups like worm/marshmallow combinations or commercial baits like Power Bait or Crave, either near the bottom or below a bobber. The Learn to Fish webpage offers diagrams for basic bait rigs.

Most Idaho waters are open to fishing year-round, but some may have slightly different rules. Be sure to pick up a 2019-21 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules Booklet, which outlines season dates, special regulations and bag limits at any Idaho Fish and Game offices or most sporting goods stores statewide.

Need a little help reading Idaho’s fishing regulations? Click here to view a short video on how to use the fishing season and rules book.

Clearwater Region

Deer Creek Reservoir – 2,100 Rainbow Trout. This beautiful mountain reservoir was built specifically for trout fishing. Rainbow trout are stocked from spring through fall in this remote setting for high catch rates from shore or a boat. This is the home of the state record tiger trout!

Deyo Reservoir – 4,800 Rainbow Trout. Nestled amid farms and timber, beautiful Deyo Reservoir provides a great family fishing experience. A maintained trail surrounding the entire reservoir features seven fishing docks and two large fishing peninsulas, making it easy to find a good place to fish. There is also a developed boat ramp, picnic shelter, benches, and two handicap-accessible docks.

Kiwanis Park Pond – 1,500 Rainbow Trout. This convenient community pond is located in Lewiston next to the Snake River within walking distance to picnic shelters and a playground.

Moose Creek Reservoir – 3,500 Rainbow Trout. A shallow lake in rolling timbered hills on Idaho’s Birding Trail, Moose Creek Reservoir is ideal for kayaks and float tubes. A trail surrounds the lake and nine fishing docks provide good shore fishing opportunities. There is a small developed boat ramp but gas motors are not allowed on this lake.

Spring Valley Reservoir – 3,500 Rainbow Trout. A maintained trail surrounds the reservoir and fishing docks and platforms increase shoreline access. Amenities include a picnic shelter, benches, picnic tables, handicap fishing access, and a developed boat ramp, but gas motors are not allowed. This is Stop 35 on the Idaho Birding Trail.

Winchester Lake – 9,000 Rainbow Trout. Located in a beautiful forested setting and offers very easy access. Docks and fishing platforms enhance fishing opportunities for beginners and accomplished anglers. Facilities include a picnic shelter, benches, picnic tables, and a range of camping options. Many facilities are located in Winchester State Park, where an entrance fee applies. Year round, you will find good fishing, plenty of recreation activities and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Southwest Region (Nampa)

Arrowrock Reservoir – 9,000 Rainbow Trout. Be sure to properly identify trout species as bull trout utilize the reservoir. Reservoir level fluctuates widely. Anglers may check reservoir level at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/boipaytea.html 

Crane Falls Reservoir – 1,200 Rainbow Trout. Located alongside the Snake River in the sagebrush south of Mountain Home, this lake is best fished from small boats and float craft, though several fishing docks are available.

Duff Lane Pond – 475 Rainbow Trout. A small ramp is available for launching small boats and float craft, along with two fishing docks. Bass and bluegill are also targeted by anglers.

Esther Simplot Pond – 700 Rainbow Trout. Located next to the Boise River, this park offers fishing, walking and biking paths, docks, shelters, playground, and a beach.

Horseshoe Bend Mill Pond – 900 Rainbow Trout. Just north of town, this pond features easy access and productive fishing for bass and trout in a pleasant setting. This pond is one of more than seventy waters designated as Family Fishing Waters in Idaho. These waters have been established to make it easier for families to go and enjoy fishing. The rules are simple and there are lots of fish to catch.

Lucky Peak Reservoir – 4,000 Rainbow Trout. This reservoir is well-known for quality kokanee and rainbow trout fishing, though some anglers choose to focus on smallmouth bass.

Mann Creek Reservoir – 1,400 Rainbow Trout. This reservoir provides opportunity for crappie, largemouth bass and rainbow trout. 

Nicholson Pond – 475 Rainbow Trout. This small neighborhood pond offers easily accessible fishing for trout and panfish within Nicholson Park next to Indian Creek in Kuna.

Parkcenter Pond – 700 Rainbow Trout. Conveniently located near downtown Boise, the greenbelt and the BSU campus, this pond is a popular local fishing spot with a paved path alongside docks and tables with maturing trees.

Sawyers Pond – 900 Rainbow Trout. This pond complex offers lots of fishing options. Anglers can launch small boats to access a series of ponds of varying sizes. Numerous docks and shoreline access provide great fishing opportunities.

Magic Valley Region

Blair Trail Fishing Pond – 2,000 Rainbow Trout. Located on Little Canyon Creek, this is a remote desert water surrounded by sagebrush solitude.

Burley Pond – 2,000 Rainbow Trout. 

Dog Creek Reservoir – 5,000 Rainbow Trout. Located in Gooding County, check out this video to learn what to expect from this high desert reservoir: https://youtu.be/wUOy_gnXfXE 

Freedom Park Pond – 700 Rainbow Trout. This trout pond was built with young kids in mind!

Lake Walcott – 24,000 Rainbow Trout. 

Southeast Region

American Falls Reservoir – 42,000 Rainbow Trout.

Blackfoot Reservoir – 80,000 Rainbow Trout. 

Chesterfield Reservoir – 19,200 Rainbow Trout. This reservoir is known for growing ‘em big! It’s a trophy trout water so the limit is 2 fish.

Devil Creek Reservoir – 11,650 Rainbow Trout. This reservoir provides some of the best trout fishing in the region and it’s easily accessible. Located 8 miles north of Malad, it is visible from Interstate 15.

Edson Fichter Pond – 1,600 Rainbow Trout. This community pond is located in southwest Pocatello along the Portneuf River at Edson Fichter Nature Area. It features several docks and a trail for access around the pond. Limited development and the Nature Area provide a rural feel. Just minutes from downtown Pocatello, this site offers local anglers a convenient escape close to home.

Snake River – 31,950 Rainbow Trout. Stocking will occur at Tilden, Blackfoot and Firth.

Upper Snake Region

Island Park Reservoir – 13,270 Rainbow Trout. This is a large scenic reservoir on the Henrys Fork. Bank fishing can be quite good in the fall. In the winter, anglers often ice fish near the dam.

Salmon Region

Hayden Creek Pond – 600 Rainbow Trout. Here is a family friendly fishing area in the high desert along Hayden Creek. Anglers will find ample bank fishing opportunities and a dock for anglers with limited mobility.

Hyde Creek Pond – 400 Rainbow Trout. This small pond is surrounded by sagebrush. The open site and level terrain provide ideal bank fishing for beginning anglers and those who want to practice casting techniques.

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