Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 44° Cloudy
Sports >  Outdoors

Spirit Lake chinook study needs anglers’ help

Anglers in North Idaho who catch chinook in Spirit Lake can help fisheries researchers by dropping off a tissue sample at drop boxes being installed at one or more boat access points.

“To evaluate the performance of these fish, we are asking for anglers to provide fin clips,” said Phil Branigan, Idaho Fish and Game Department research biologist.

The agency is stocking two types of chinook in Spirit and three Southern Idaho reservoirs – sterile and fertile. The study seeks to learn which ones are more likely to get caught by anglers. The four-year study is also evaluating how the two types of chinook differ in growth rates.

Chinook released in Spirit Lake last fall have clipped adipose fins. They also can be identified by black spots on their backs and black gum lines.

“We released 2,500 triploid (sterile) chinook and 2,500 diploid (normal) chinook,” said Carson Watkins, research biologist in Coeur d’Alene. “They’re running about 10 inches long this spring.”

If you catch a chinook, clip a small (about the size of a hole punch) portion of any fin regardless of whether you’re harvesting the fish or releasing it, the researchers say. A sample can be taken from any size of chinook.

Place the fin clip in an envelope provided at lakeside kiosks. Seal the envelope and keep it dry to avoid spoiling and deposit the envelope in the drop box at the kiosk, which is scheduled to be installed at the Main Street access this week. Another is tentatively planned for the Maiden Rock access.

Land-locked chinoook are stocked in several lakes in Idaho as a trophy fish as well as a predator to keep kokanee from getting overpopulated and undersized, Branigan said.

“We’re hopeful that by stocking the best type of chinook, we can ultimately make fishing better, so we’re optimistic anglers will help us with this project,” he said.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.