Spring fishing season is in full swing, and my inbox has been overflowing with questions and stories from readers. So, I’m dedicating this column to a reader mailbag. If you ever have questions or stories to share, send them to email@example.com.
Fishy Business at Mormon Reservoir
Several readers have emailed me with questions about Mormon Reservoir. The 2018 season was a big rebound year for the lake near Fairfield. Anglers caught some of the biggest trout seen in a decade. Fast action continued through the ice early in 2019, but anglers have been struggling to find many fish since ice-off.
Because of vegetation growth and long winters spent in total darkness under the ice and snow, Mormon has a history of winterkills — the result of dying plants dropping the oxygen levels too low for fish to survive.
According to the Magic Valley Regional Fish & Game Office, studies with an underwater camera do not indicate a mass winterkill. That’s good news, but it indicates the lake may have been over-harvested by anglers last year, leaving officials with tough decisions to make regarding stocking and, potentially, bag limits. I wouldn’t mind a two-fish limit, personally — it has worked wonders at Henry’s Lake and other trophy fisheries around the state. Stay tuned.
Big Bass Alert!
Young reader Ryan Kotter recently caught a real lunker at C.J. Strike Reservoir near Bruneau. His largemouth bass weighed in at 5.57 pounds, making it an official Idaho bug-eyed giant. Way to go, Ryan!
It’s Time to Stop Fishing and Start Catching
I’m excited to introduce Magic Valley readers to my new website, tightlines208.com. It recently went live and I am using it to offer fishing classes and lessons, as well as a place to house links to my Times-News articles and other content.
My first class, “Stop Fishing, Start Catching” is set for Tuesday, June 11, from 6-9 p.m. in Boise. Designed for anglers of all ages and ability levels, this class offers an overview of Idaho’s most popular species and tips on where and how to catch them.
Participants will receive a 50% discount on a private lesson. Magic Valley anglers are always welcome, but I’d also like to offer a proposal: If you are interested in taking the class, please shoot me an email. If there’s enough interest, I will come and teach a class in Twin Falls. I hope to see you there!
Royal Treatment in Bhutan
Reader, biologist and master fly angler Dr. Rick Williams sent in quite a fish story from the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. As part of his work with the Fisheries Conservation Foundation, Williams visited Bhutan to study the golden mahseer, a large freshwater fish that is one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism.
Utilizing native fish conservation techniques similar to those implemented on the Salmon River in Idaho, Williams and his colleagues are looking to establish a mahseer fishery to help conserve this majestic species. As part of this work, Williams was granted permission by the king of Bhutan to fish the royal Sankosh River. And he took full advantage, landing a beautiful, 44-inch golden mahseer on a fly rod. What a story! You can learn more about the project at fishconserve.org/mahaseer-conservation-and-deveopment-project.
Follow me on Instagram
If cool fishing content is your jam, follow my new Instagram account, @tight_lines208. Photos of recent catches, tips on local fishing spots and info. on upcoming classes and lessons are kept there.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for the mail, and tight lines!