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Fish and Game Surveying Fish Population on Big Wood River
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

BY DARCY MCCARRICK, Fisheries Technician

Every three years, Idaho Fish and Game staff conduct a population survey on the Big Wood River. Three sections of the river are being surveyed: north of Ketchum, near Gimlet, and near Hailey. Monitoring population trends allow fisheries biologists to assess the overall health of the population and evaluate the effectiveness of regulations.

Biologists use electrofishing equipment to temporarily stun fish so they can be netted and placed in a live well. After fish have been captured, a count of how many fish of each species are caught, and information such as length, weight, and growth measurements are taken. Once all of the biological data is collected, fish are released back into the river.

This year, Fish and Game crews are surveying the uppermost section north of Ketchum on Sept.  15 and 22, the Gimlet section on Sept. 16 and 23, and the Hailey section Sept.17 and 24. Spectators who spot fisheries crews sampling and operating electrofishing equipment are asked to stay out of the water for their safety and the safety of the crew.

The Big Wood River is a diverse trout fishery located in south central Idaho and is considered one of Idaho’s most productive trout streams. Anglers enjoy catching Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Mountain Whitefish. The Big Wood River is important socially and ecologically, which has made it a focus for general anglers, angling groups, and biologists alike. Monitoring these populations is an important step to ensuring the continued resiliency of Big Wood River trout populations.

For more information, contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359.

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