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Great fishing awaits area anglers

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | May 26, 2024 1:00 AM

For many, Memorial Day weekend kicks off a season of outdoor fun with plenty of camping and fishing. 

Adding to the fun is the stock of 410,000 catchable rainbow trout being stocked by Idaho Department of Fish and Game this month, and almost as many being added in June.

"Fish and Game hatchery personnel want there to be an abundance of fish for anglers to capture throughout the state, and those are the two busiest months for stocking because the fishing is usually at its finest during those months," Roger Phillips, IDFG public information officer, said.

In May, IDFG crews were slated to stock Fernan and Lower Twin lakes in Kootenai County; Cocolalla, Freeman, Kelso, Mirror and Round lakes in Bonner County; Robinson Lake in Boundary County; Spicer Pond in Benewah County; and Steamboat, Gene Day, Lucky Friday, Day Rock, and Clee Creek ponds in Shoshone County.

In June, crews are slated to stock Elsie Lake, Gene Day Pond, and Steamboat Pond in Shoshone County; Fernan Lake and Post Falls Park Pond in Kootenai County; and Sinclair and Smith lakes in Boundary County.

Information on where the fish are being stocked can be found on IDFG's Fish Planner website, Phillips said. The site also features detailed information about Idaho’s waters, stocking reports, species, facilities, maps and rules.

While many rivers are running at peak flows, making fishing a challenge, Phillips said there remain many river fishing options around the region. In addition, he said as waters warm, fish are becoming more active and heading into their spawning season.

"That can be a good opportunity to catch fish from shore, including crappie, bluegill, perch and more," Phillips said. "Bass anglers can also have some great fishing because the fish are active and the weedy vegetation that can creep in during summer hasn’t bloomed yet."

However, regardless of what fish anglers are after, Phillips said it is important to buy their fishing license and to keep it with them. 

Fish and Game offers daily fishing licenses, three-day licenses, annual licenses, and three-year licenses. Anglers can also get an annual license with an automatic renewal each year. 

Licenses are available at Idaho Fish and Game office, vendors, online, and through the Go Outdoors Idaho app. Through the app, anglers can buy a license anywhere there’s cell service, download it to their phone and start fishing immediately

While fishing is free for youth under 14, they need to follow limits set for their age group and must be fishing with someone with a valid license. While a youth's limits are included within the license holder's limit, non-resident youth can purchase their own license and have their own limit.