Thursday, July 19, 2012

Upper Salmon Trout Stocking

Summer trout stocking is one of the mainstays of every state's fisheries management program.  As you might expect, Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game has a robust statewide trout stocking program.  Visitors to the Sawtooth Valley and The Upper Salmon River have come to expect and depend on IDFG's stocking program.   Although much of the stocking activity takes place off The Salmon River proper, we feel presentation of the stocking information is important to our readers and we will continue to report about it here. Click here to see the IDFG Salmon Region July Stocking calendar.  (Information on the trout species is below the stocking data.)

Sawtooth Fish Hatchery Educator Catherine Wiechmann kindly provided some addition information regarding the stocking in italics below:

 The fish are all catchable Rainbiow Trout reared at Nampa Fish Hatchery.  They are resident fish at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery until our stocker transports them to local waters. They are 8-10 inches in length when stocked. The triploid aspect means that they are sterile; they are bred with 3 chromosomes rather than the normal two so they do not reproduce and over run local waters. Sawtooth Fish Hatchery Stocking is curtailed from Aug. 15th to Sept. 15th when Chinook spawning is going on on the hatchery, but other local trout stockers will continue to stalk through August. The week of September 15th is the last fish stocking.  (THANKS, Catherine!)

Kamloops is just a strain of rainbow trout that has been domesticated and popularly used by hatcheries.  They do well growing quickly in a hatchery, and  once put into the natural environment, they continue to grow to large sizes, which is obviously favored among anglers.

This is what one website says about Kamloops:

"The moniker “Kamloops trout” is often applied erroneously to other trout strains. Officially, Kamloops trout are a Gerrard-strain of rainbow trout, indigenous to the fertile waters of British Columbia’s Lake Kootenay, which is southeast of the city of Kamloops. This is a deep, glacial lake, and the genetics these fish developed over the millennia equipped them for survival and prosperity in it.

Kamloops trout are shaped like oversized chinook salmon, football-like, with fat, humped backs, small heads, and massive tails. They sport a red hue along their sides, and have dark backs and bellies. They are, in a word, one of the most gorgeous freshwater fish you’ll ever see.

The species is famous for its success as a predator, surviving year after year over a lengthy lifespan, feasting on kokanee, growing to incredibly immense proportions by trout standards. But it’s not just their propensity to grow huge that makes Kamloops so popular with anglers. It’s their endurance and dogged fighting capabilities that stamp an indelible impression on anglers who tangle with them."

Read more about the kamloops by clicking here.

Alturas and Stanley Lakes have been stocked three times this summer. (See bottom report for latest numbers.)  IDFG generally stocks both of those flagship lakes four times each summer season.  Even though the lakes are not in our normal news coverage area, we clipped out information about the first two stockings of 2012 as well as the full ten-year stocking record for both lake.  You can click here to see that data.

NOTE: If you catch a tagged fish, contact Fish & Game by calling the toll-free Fish tag Hotline: 1-866-258-038.  You can also report the tag at  The tags have a number on them and are orange or green. The tags are attached behind the top fin of the fish.  Some of these tags may have rewards.

Today we did receive the latest two Upper Salmon stocking report from Catherine Wiechmann, Fisheries Biological Aide, Hatchery Educator at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery.  We're presenting them here as screen captures from the PDF files she sent along.


Pye said...

What kinds of trout?

We're new to the area from the Eastern Sierra, Mammoth Lakes area. (9,000 ft altitude)

We fished there for Browns, Rainbows, and in the high altitudes
(over 12,000 feet) Goldens.

John Parsons said...

We have a question pending with IDFG as to the exact details of the species. Catherine said she would get that question answered first thing in the upcoming week. We are as curious as you about that topic. Thanks for commenting. jp