Steelhead anglers are asked to watch for tagged steelhead and report any they catch to Idaho Fish and Game.
Personnel at the Fish and Game department and the University of Idaho are entering the second year of a research project to study how often anglers catch wild steelhead and how well those fish survive after being released. All wild steelhead must be released.
Fish and Game staffers say it’s easy to report tagged steelhead and angler reports provide critical information for the study. To report a steelhead with an orange T-bar tag, people can go online to idfg.idaho.gov/fish/tag/add.
“The study is dependent on anglers reporting when and where they catch and release tagged steelhead,” said William Lubenau, the U of I graduate student spearheading the research project. “Each reported fish is a valuable data point that furthers the understanding of the influence, or lack thereof, of catch and release” fishing on wild steelhead.
Between July 1, 2019, and March 19, 2020, a total of 1,280 wild steelhead were tagged. Of that total, 254 were caught and released and reported to Fish and Game.