Here’s a hot tip for anglers: Idaho Department of Fish and Game last week transplanted close to 200 catfish — averaging 2 or 3 pounds — into Dog Creek Reservoir north of Gooding.
It’s a fishery that Fish and Game is trying to develop, so Dog Creek gets a catfish transplant every year. For the second year, regional fishery manager Doug Megargle said, the agency trap netted the catfish in the Milner stretch of the Snake River.
For perhaps three years before that, Fish and Game got its catfish for Dog Creek Reservoir by electrofishing in the Snake farther away, on the west side of the state. And before that, it purchased the catfish commercially — in bigger numbers but smaller sizes, about 3,000 fish averaging a third- or half-pound.
Megargle described it as a long process of trying to figure out how to cost-effectively generate a catfish fishery in the reservoir. The switch to fewer but larger fish was intended to increase angler satisfaction.
But Fish and Game has no harvest limit on catfish at Dog Creek. And some anglers, he said, have suggested a bag limit so nobody takes more than their share of a few hundred transplanted fish.
Also last week, Fish and Game finished enhancements at Mormon Reservoir south of Fairfield. A new bathroom has ADA access, new docks replaced ones that were found broken up and adrift, and the parking area was leveled and graveled.
In late July, after weeks of delays, Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finished rebuilding the handicapped-accessible fishing pier at Oster Pond 1 in the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area. The pier was particularly popular but badly dilapidated, and workers encountered more damage than expected.
Apparently it was worth the wait. Megargle last week said anglers have been happy with the rebuilt pier.
Next up is a boat ramp repair project at Fish and Game’s Lava Point access on Magic Reservoir. Waves undercut the concrete boat ramp, washing out its support, and the agency wants to restore and perhaps lengthen the ramp.
That’s tentatively scheduled for late fall or early winter, but Megargle is still trying to figure out whether the work can go ahead this year.
The problem? At this time a year ago, Magic Reservoir had an “extreme minimum pool,” and only in its canyon reach. This year, Lava Point’s high-water boat ramp is still underwater.
“We’re still at high-water conditions at Magic Reservoir,” he said. “But I’m not complaining.”
Socks to adore
They’re marketed for hunters, but I’ve been happily wearing these socks for outdoor adventures all summer.
Smartwool launched its PhD Hunt sock line last winter at a hunting and firearms tradeshow, promising “exceptional moisture management, breathability, warmth when wet and no-stink properties.”
I got my hands on an attractive pair in 62 percent merino wool. They don’t chafe around the ankle, and the cushioning is sculpted — lots over the Achilles tendon, none in the ankle’s flex zone. Absolutely lovely.
Really, I don’t know why hunters should have all the good socks.