ice fishing kids

A child gets a hand landing a fish caught through the ice at Hyde Pond near Salmon during the annual Kid’s Ice Fishing Derby. This year’s derby was canceled, but prize-tagged fish have been planted to encourage kids to fish.

To give kids an extra reason to endure cold toes and fingers, Idaho Fish and Game is tagging 100 trout and dropping them into ice-covered Hyde Pond near Salmon with the potential to win prizes.

Normally this time of year the Salmon Regional office holds its Kid’s Ice Fishing Derby at Hyde Pond, but because of the pandemic, it was canceled.

Mike Demick of the Salmon Fish and Game office said last year’s ice fishing derby was well attended.

“Attendance depends on the weather, but it’s usually great because it’s so close to town,” Demick said. “I think last year we had over 60 kids sign up, so well over 100 people total.”

Instead of a fishing derby, more than 100 trout will be tagged from Jan. 12 to Feb. 7, and prize-winning tag returns will be accepted at the Salmon office through May 31. The brightly-colored tags are on or slightly behind the dorsal fin. Anglers 16 years old or younger are eligible to collect a prize.

“It’s been a crazy year, especially for kids, so we just wanted to continue a safe, outdoor fishing activity where they can have some fun,” said Kayden Estep, Idaho Fish and Game fisheries biologist based in Salmon.

Prizes include fishing gear, tackle boxes, and rod and reel combinations, Fish and Game said. Sponsors for the event include the Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Trout Unlimited, 93 Outdoor Sports, and Salmon River Flybox.

All Idaho fishing regulations apply, including anglers 14 years of age or older must possess a valid Idaho fishing license.