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Idaho has low-key approach to trout lakes

Fishing in the Idaho Panhandle is a year-round activity with no big general-season opening days on most waters.

However, special rules can apply to individual lakes. Anglers must always check the rules when heading to unfamiliar waters.

Spring is prime time for catching the hatchery-produced trout stocked in the smaller lakes before water temperatures get warm.

Rainbow trout – from a few hundred to 2,700 – planted in many of the region’s small lakes and ponds last week were greeted by small groups of anglers and a few ospreys.

The strategy of stocking 10- to 12-inch trout multiple times during spring with no opening day spreads fishing pressure without crowding. Most of the region’s lakes also include spiny ray fish.

Fernan is among the most heavily stocked trout lakes with 2,160 planted last week as Idaho Fish and Game ramps up the fish stocking schedule. An equal number of trout is planned for release this week.

Lower Twin Lake received 2,700 last week and Jewel will get 2,700 this week.

Other Panhandle lakes scheduled for trout plants this month include Round, Kelso, Hayden, Robinson, Antelope, Bonner, Brush, Granite, Freeman, Sinclair and Smith lakes, plus Post Falls, Clarks Fork and Spicer ponds.


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