Rainbow trout

BURLEY — A nearly forgotten metal trout tag earned a Burley man $1,000 in Idaho Power’s annual jaw-tag drawing.

Rick Crowder, 48, was fishing with his dad near Centennial Park a couple of years ago when he landed an 18-inch rainbow trout with a metal tag. When putting the fish on the stringer, Crowder’s dad removed the tag and put it in his tackle box. Neither man was aware of Idaho Power’s program that encourages anglers to report catching tagged trout.

“My dad has since passed away, and I was going through his tackle box a few months ago and found the tag in there,” Crowder said. Another relative encouraged him to report it, and it turned out to be the winner.

Each spring and fall, Idaho Power stocks several popular fishing locations along the Snake River with thousands of pan-sized rainbow trout. The fish are usually 10 to 12 inches when released, so the one Crowder caught had likely been in the river for a few years.

Some of those fish have metal jaw tags with a number on them. Anglers are asked to call 1-800-388-6011 and report catching a tagged fish. In return for the information, they have a chance to win a cash prize.

Crowder, who works for Amalgamated Sugar in Twin Falls, said he plans to buy tools for work and a new shotgun for his fiancé so she can hunt with him.

The jaw-tag program helps Idaho Power and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game keep tabs on how many fish are being caught and where. Idaho Power adjusts the number of fish released along the Snake River based on surveys and information from anglers who report tagged fish. The fisheries program is provided by Idaho Power as part of its federal license agreements for operating hydropower dams on the Snake River.

The stocking program helps the company satisfy requirements under federal licenses to operate hydroelectric dams on the Snake River. It’s just one of several fish-related initiatives undertaken by Idaho Power for the benefit of the Snake River and its users. To learn more, visit idahopower.com/fish.

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