Peak In Fishing Activity Coming To A Close

Latah County, Idaho–With COVID-19, many in Latah county have turned to the pastime of fishing. This has led to a peak in fishing activity that is now coming to a close. However, the fishing populations have been thriving and the fishing is getting better.

Over the summer the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has seen a significant increase in outdoor activities statewide, including fishing. 

Clearwater Fisheries Manager Joe DuPont says that while there is a significant increase in people fishing, there is little concern for the fishing populations: “[For] our lowland lakes, mostly people go there to catch hatchery fish. As far as those populations go, people may catch most of the fish–which is great, we want them to catch them all–[but] that may result in lower catch rates.” 

DuPont claims that the hatcheries can produce more fish for the lowland lakes, and that there is no current concern that the uptick in fishing has negatively impacted fish populations. 

There is also no concern for the fish that reproduce naturally. “As far as fish populations that reproduce on their own like bluegill and crappie most people don’t go to our lakes to catch those so I expect lower impact on those fish. [Concerning] wild trout waters, a lot of those waters have restrictive rules already like catch and release or you can only catch fish of a certain size. A boost in effort will probably have very little impact.”

Other fish that typically have lower numbers like Steelhead and Fall Cohoe are able to be fished, albeit with restrictive rules. DuPont says, “If things get bad enough, we just stop fishing on them. We do not think that increased fishing effort will harm the fish.”

Due to the increase of people fishing, Fish and Game recommends following the Governor’s social distancing recommendations or mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Moose Creek Reservoir

There are a host of places around Moscow to go fishing, with Fish and Game showing 151 locations to go fishing in Latah county on the Idaho Fishing Planner. And for those who want a closer fishing location that is family-friendly, there is Spring Valley Reservoir and Moose Creek Reservoir both within an hour’s drive from Moscow. 

Public Information Supervisor Roger Philips in a Idaho Fish and Game press release says, “There are certain times of year when you might need special equipment. Ice fishing comes to mind, or downriggers to reach deep water, but summer fishing typically just requires the basics.”

Philips claims that the fish are bigger during this time of year and that the fishing will remain good for a while into the fall. Philips also reports, “Some fishing, such as trout fishing lakes, reservoirs and ponds typically improve as water cools, and you also get a chance to catch steelhead when they are first returning to Idaho on their way back from the ocean.”

Philips thinks that the peak in angler competition will soon decrease as, “Many Idahoans turn their attention to other things in late summer and fall as school resumes and hunting seasons start.”

By Hayden Swanton & Jesse Sumpter

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