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High Water Year Affects Even Nampa Hatchery Fish

Roger Phillips
Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It’s that time of year, when the quiet Nampa Fish Hatchery starts delivering thousands of mostly rainbow trout around the state for anglers to catch. But high water means some of that prime fishing will have to wait.

Each year, Idaho Fish and Game stocks more than 22 million fish from 12 different hatcheries into lakes, reservoirs and ponds. Most of the 18 species of fish are rainbow trout and kokanee salmon.

The Nampa Hatchery occupies only seven acres south of the town, but with eight artesian wells and a constant 59-degree water temperature, the conditions are just right for producing 357,000 trout.

Nampa Hatchery fish travel all around the state, from the Nevada line, all the way to Canada’s border with Idaho.

May and June are prime stocking months, and most years crews pretty much empty out the hatchery by the Fourth of July. But all of this winter’s snowpack and subsequent high water flows on Idaho’s rivers means some of the fish destined for river stocking will be sent to quieter spots, like Parkcenter Pond or Horseshoe Bend Mill Pond, which get stocked with trout this time of year. Fish and Game raises hatchery trout to be caught, not to watch them flush right on by frustrated anglers. So some Nampa-raised fish will wait a bit until rivers and streams quiet down before they’re released.

If you're planning to break out the pole, here are some spots to find those fish.

Here's more on fish stocking:

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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