By ROB THORNBERRY Idaho Falls Post Register | Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2011 12:00 am
Tough fishing conditions have put a damper on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s efforts to kill rainbow trout in the South Fork of the Snake River.
Biologists have fitted 1,175 fish with tags that are redeemable for rewards of between $50 and $1,000. There are 14 fish with $1,000 tags.
The goal is to trim the river’s population of rainbows, a nonnative trout that competes with native Yellowstone cutthroat.
The worry is that nonnative rainbows will displace the native fish population. If that happens, Yellowstone cutthroat could be listed as a threatened or endangered species and river management — everything from fishing rules to irrigation releases — could be altered to favor the fish and not anglers or irrigators.
Last year between June and August, anglers turned in 1,642 rainbows. This year during the same time period, anglers turned in 339.