BURLEY — A nearly-forgotten metal trout tag earned a Burley man $1,000 in Idaho Power’s annual jaw-tag drawing.
Rick Crowder, 48, was fishing with his dad near Centennial Park a couple of years ago when he landed an 18-inch rainbow trout with the metal tag. When putting the fish on the stringer, Crowder’s dad removed the tag and put it in his tackle box. Neither man was aware of Idaho Power’s program that encourages anglers to report catching tagged trout.
“My dad has since passed away, and I was going through his tackle box a few months ago and found the tag in there,” Crowder said.
Another relative encouraged him to report it, and it turned out to be the winner.
Each spring and fall, Idaho Power stocks several popular fishing locations along the Snake River with thousands of pan-sized rainbow trout. Some of those fish have metal jaw tags with a number on them. Anglers are asked to call 1-800-388-6011 and report catching a tagged fish, along with where and when it was caught. In return for the information, they have a chance to win a cash prize.
“It’s one of the tools we use to monitor where people are catching the fish, how many are being caught and how we can improve the program,” Idaho Power biologist Ben Reingold said.
The fish are usually 10-12 inches when released, so the fish Crowder caught had probably been in the river for a few years.
Crowder, who works for Amalgamated Sugar in Twin Falls, said he plans to buy tools for work and a new shotgun for his fiancé so she can hunt with him.
The jaw-tag program helps Idaho Power and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game keep tabs on how many fish are being caught and where. Idaho Power adjusts the number of fish released at several locations along the Snake River based on surveys and information from anglers who report tagged fish. The fisheries program is provided by Idaho Power as part of our federal license agreements for operating the hydropower dams on the Snake River.
The stocking program helps the company satisfy requirements under federal licenses to operate hydroelectric dams on the Snake River. It’s just one of several fish-related initiatives undertaken by Idaho Power for the benefit of the Snake River and its users. To learn more, visit idahopower.com/fish.