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Great fishing awaits anglers in June as F&G trout stocking reaches its annual peak

| May 30, 2024 1:05 AM

Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff for many Idahoans getting out to go camping and fishing. It also coincides with some prime fishing conditions, especially in many lakes and reservoirs. 

Fish and Game provides a big bonus for anglers. Between May and June, Fish and Game stocks about 685,000 catchable trout in Idaho waters. Those are the two biggest stocking months because Fish and Game hatchery crews want there to be plenty of fish for anglers to catch throughout the state and it tends to be some of the best fishing conditions of the year. 

You can learn exactly where the fish are stocked, and also get more stocking information and a wealth of other fishing info at Fish and Game’s Fishing Planner. You can find detailed information about Idaho’s waters, stocking reports, species, facilities, maps and rules.

Anglers may find many rivers running at peak flows that can make fishing challenging, but some good river fishing opportunities still exist, particularly Chinook fishing and in rivers that are dam controlled. 

Warmwater fish are also coming into prime seasons with water warming up and fish becoming more active, and many heading into their spawning season. That can be a good opportunity to catch fish from shore, including crappie, bluegill, perch and more. Bass anglers can also have some great fishing because the fish are active and the weedy vegetation that can creep in during summer hasn’t bloomed yet. 

Don't forget your fishing license

Anglers, or those who want to be, are also reminded of convenient options to buy your fishing license. 

Fish and Game offers daily fishing licenses, three-day licenses, annual licenses and three-year licenses. You can also get an annual license with an automatic renewal each year. Licenses are available at Fish and Game offices, vendors, online, and through the Go Outdoors Idaho app. Through the app, you can buy a license anywhere there’s cell service, download it to your phone and start fishing immediately. 

For youth under age 14, fishing is free, but there are still rules.

A resident child under 14 has their own separate fishing limit. 

A nonresident child under 14 must be with someone who has a valid fishing license, and their fish are included in the license holder's fishing limit. However, a nonresident child may purchase their own license and have their own limit.

Panhandle Region

Elsie Lake — 1,350 Rainbow Trout. Offering excellent fishing for anglers of all levels, you will also find a beautiful setting. It's a drive-to mountain lake but the road is mountainous and rough.

Fernan Lake — 5,200 Rainbow Trout. A popular fishing spot 10 minutes from downtown Coeur d'Alene, anglers of all abilities can enjoy fishing from floating docks, miles of shoreline or from boats.

Gene Day Pond — 1,000 Rainbow Trout. Also known as Osburn Pond, this water is stocked regularly so catch rates should be good!

Post Falls Park Pond — 1,000 Rainbow Trout. This park offers a great fishing spot for kids and anglers with special needs. Anglers can easily fish the small pond from a fishing bridge, shore or fishing platforms. Take some time to also enjoy the adjacent park, nature trails, falls and picnic areas.

Sinclair Lake — 500 Rainbow Trout. A small, quiet lake beside the Moyie River, this is ideal for beginning and skilled anglers to enjoy good trout fishing.

Smith Lake — 1,800 Rainbow Trout. Located north of Bonners Ferry, diverse fishing opportunities are offered here in a peaceful, forested setting. There is a Forest Service campground and picnic area nearby.

Steamboat Pond — 1,000 Rainbow Trout. This easily accessible pond is located next to the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River.