Local lakes getting stocked with rainbows

Rainbow TroutIdaho Fish and Game crews are busy these days across the state, stocking lakes with around 225,000 catchable rainbow trout. Over 33,000 of the 10 to 12 fish will be stocked in Panhandle waters.

In Boundary County, Robinson Lake was stocked with about 1,680 trout in the first week of April. The next round of stocking in the county will be between April 15 to 19, with Bonner Lake set to get 1,000, Brush Lake 1,200 and Smith Lake 900, then another 900 between April 22 and 26.

Each of these lakes are easy to access and ideal for the whole family. All you need to get started is a fishing license and some basic tackle. Annual adult fishing licenses cost around $30, junior licenses (ages 14-17) cost $16, and youth under 14 fish for free.

Licenses can be purchased online, by calling 1-(800) 554-8685 or at the Moyie Store, Super 1 Foods, Far North Outfitters or the Naples Store.

Fishing for stocked rainbow trout, particularly in community ponds, is a great way to introduce new anglers to the sport by using simple (and relatively thrifty) set-ups like worm/marshmallow combinations or commercial baits like Power Bait or Crave, either near the bottom or below a bobber. The Learn to Fish webpage offers diagrams for basic bait rigs.

Most Idaho waters are open to fishing year-round, but some may have slightly different rules. Be sure to pick up a 2022-24 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules booklet, which outlines season dates, special regulations and bag limits at any Idaho Fish and Game offices or most sporting goods stores statewide.