For the past five years the Idaho Fish and Game has been collecting brood stock Steelhead for their stocking program by using perforated PVC tubes that are left along the river for anglers.
As anglers catch fish and wish to release them they may use these pipes to place the fish in instead of turning them loose into the river.
IDGF employees then pick up the fish and after recording data bring the fish to the fish hatchery for breeding. This year the IDFG is hoping to successfully receive 225 breeding pairs.
IDFG Fish Culturist Christopher Gregg shows an angler how to use the PVC tube for donating fish for the breeding program.
In a separate study the Nez Perce Fisheries Research Program is conducting studies by using radio telemetry devices and Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags to monitor things like spawning distribution on the South Fork of the Clearwater River.
Nez Perce Fishery Research Fisheries Technician, Bret Broncheau shows radio tags that will be inserted gastronomically into steelhead. Data collected from these tags will aid researchers in learning more about Idaho steelhead.
Fisheries Technicians reported that about 80 steelhead had been donated by anglers during the first week of the 2015 program.
This cooperative effort is a fine example of your angler dollars at work and all that can be accomplished with joint agency efforts.
The Montana Outdoor Radio Show will provide a more in depth look into this amazing effort but this is worth sharing now – if you see a perforated tube along the river put a fish in it! Wild, hatchery, male or female may all be placed in the holding tube.
It’s a great way to “give back” to our wildlife – literally.