Anglers have the chance to help the Idaho Department of Fish and Game learn more about Chinook in several Gem State fisheries.

Fish and Game biologists are seeking samples of Chinook caught at Anderson Ranch, Lucky Peak and Deadwood reservoirs in southwest Idaho. Anglers can help by donating tissues samples from the fish they catch by leaving the samples in drop boxes installed at the fisheries.

“To evaluate the performance of these fish, we are asking for anglers to provide fin clips,” Research Biologist Phil Branigan said in a news release. “We’re currently stocking two types of Chinook in reservoirs, sterile and fertile, and we’re trying to learn which ones are more likely to get caught by anglers.”

Fish and Game says the process is simple:

  • Catch a Chinook from any of the four waters that are part of the research. Chinook can be identified by black spots on their backs, black gum lines, and a clipped adipose fin.
  • Clip a small (about the size of a hole punch) portion of any fin. A sample can be taken from any size of Chinook, and the fish can be harvested or released.
  • Place the fin clip in an envelope provided at kiosks. Seal the envelope and keep it dry to avoid spoiling. 
  • Deposit the envelope in the drop box at the kiosks, which can be found at major access points at the four locations.

Biologists also are seeking samples from Spirit Lake in northern Idaho.

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