CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
December 2, 2010
By Ed Mitchell, IDFG
Salmon and steelhead receive a
lot of attention but what is Idaho Fish and Game doing for native fish that do
not travel to the
Fisheries managers from each
Fisheries managers want to
protect self-sustaining, genetically pure populations of sturgeon in a
Dillon said maintaining
sturgeon in the other seven reaches of the
Moving wild fish includes placing adults captured from below C.J. Strike into the Bliss reach of river and juveniles from the Bliss reach to the river below C.J. Strike Dam.
Fish and Game studies show that each adult sturgeon caught by anglers below C.J. Strike may be hooked or hooked and landed several times annually. Sturgeon mortality caused by anglers hooking them is the subject of a continuing Fish and Game study.
Clearwater Region fisheries manager Joe Dupont noted that circle hooks have reduced mortality in other species. Fish and Game is considering making the use of circle hooks mandatory while fishing for sturgeon. Some of the initial research has been promising. A drawback of using circle hooks is that catch rates are lower, making them unpopular with some anglers.
Dupont said his crews using a metal detector have also looked for metal in sturgeon and found that half over six feet long had metal in them. Using a portable x-ray machine, researchers turned up one fish that contained 14 hooks, swivels and other pieces of metal.
Studies are planned to determine the actual mortality rate from sturgeon fishing.
As of Jan. 1, anglers will be required to use a slider rig when fishing for sturgeon. The new fishing rules booklet explains the rule and shows an illustration.
In answer to Commissioner Gary Power's question about hooks dissolving in sturgeon, Dupont said most anglers use stainless steel hooks and that those hooks will not dissolve and stay in the fish unless passed through the digestive system.
Native cutthroat trout
Dave Teuscher, fisheries
manager in the Southeast Region, reported that eight miles of stream on Fish
Haven Creek, tributary to
Salmon Region fisheries
manager Tom Curet said 70 miles of coldwater habitat has been reconnected for
native trout in the last ten years in the
Upper Snake Region fisheries
manager Dan Garren said his region is working to preserve mountain whitefish in
Opportunities for improving
habitat for native
Dale Allen, fisheries manager in the McCall subregion, said data is being gathered on high mountain lakes. Those lakes were barren of fish before white settlement and have been stocked in recent years from the air at the rate of 250-300 lakes a year. About 750 lakes are planted with fry on a rotating basis.
Allen said researchers are looking into the possibility that stocking fish in high mountain lakes is contributing to the decline of amphibians. Fish and Game may need to develop a strategy for conserving amphibians. Fish and Game plans to write an alpine lake management plan in the near future.
Native trout restoration is underway in the Panhandle Region also. Fisheries manager Jim Fredericks said that effort involves management of lake trout, a species introduced in 1925.
Sportsmen's Report sponsored by John and Lorraine Weiland
Riverside Sport Shop/Sinclair
11320 U.S. Highway 12, Orofino--208-476-5418
Click here to see their web page