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Keeping Rainbow Trout Out Of The South Fork Snake River

Idaho Fish and Game video screen grab
Stunned Rainbows on the Snake River, waiting for tagging by Idaho Fish and Game.

You’ve heard of catch and release when it comes to fishing. Now biologists are trying “stun and release” to keep the wrong kind of fish out of the Snake River.


Idaho Fish and Game wants to ferret rainbow trout out of the South Fork of the Snake River. Apparently, the rainbow get too cozy with the Yellowstone cutthroat trout and create unwanted hybrids that edge out native fish.


In April and May, biologists tried stunning, netting and removing rainbows from the South Fork to other local waters. They scooped up almost 6,000 rainbows. Fish and Game says the process doesn’t harm the fish. They were taken to Becker Pond, Jim Moore and Trail Creek Pond for fishermen to catch.


Fish and Game calls the effort a success that could be used to help native Yellowstone cutthroat in the future. Fewer rainbows means fewer hybrids.


The Department already encourages anglers to catch as many rainbows as they can from the South Fork with cash. Some fish have wire tags that are worth between $50 and $1,000 each. In the last two years, around 1,000 rainbows and hybrids were tagged.

Check out the video below to see how Fish and Game tags Rainbows for cash:

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio

As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.

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