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Clear Springs trout

Alex Bittner, age 11, caught this monster after fishing for an hour at Hayden Pond.

CHALLIS — Anglers in Challis and Salmon can now catch the excitement as Clear Springs Foods recently donated 1,400 giant hatchery trout to be stocked in local fishing ponds.

Personnel from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Mackay Hatchery have already stocked more than 160 super-sized trout, which average 9½ pounds, in Hayden, Kids Creek and Blue Mountain ponds. About 80 trout were released in Hayden Pond, with 40 going in Kids Creek and 40 in Blue Mountain Pond. The remaining trout, which average between 2 and 5 pounds, will be stocked later this summer and fall.

The giant rainbows were used in the production of trout raised at Clear Springs Foods’ hatchery in Mackay. Referred to as broodstock, these hatchery trout are nearing the end of their usefulness in producing the next generation but will provide anglers some thrilling fishing. The trout limit is six, all species combined.

“A huge thank you to Clear Springs Foods for their generosity,” Kayden Estep, Fish and Game fisheries biologist, said in a statement. “Catching one of these monsters will be a summer highlight, especially for the kids.”

Pond fishing is a great way to introduce kids to the sport, using simple setups like worm/marshmallow combinations or commercial baits like PowerBait or Crave — either near the bottom or below a bobber.

For more information on where fish are stocked locally, how many and when, call 208-756-2271 or go to the Stocking Report page at idfg.idaho.gov/fish/stocking.

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