OLYMPIA – Anglers are asked to provide information to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) about tagged rainbow trout they catch in the Spokane River.
WDFW crews are capturing and tagging rainbow trout as part of a research project to determine the various fish species and population levels in stretches of the Spokane River. Information collected during the month-long project will help the department improve fish management in the river, said Jason McLellan, a fish biologist with WDFW.
“We’re using two different methods of fish collection,” said McLellan. “Some fish are collected with gillnets while others are electroshocked, which involves temporarily stunning the fish so they can be identified, weighed and measured before being released unharmed.”
Gillnets – marked with buoys and “fish research” signs – are set overnight and checked daily, while electroshocking takes place in the evening, said McLellan.
Anglers who catch and keep a rainbow trout marked with a “spaghetti tag” on its dorsal fin should call WDFW’s Spokane Valley regional office at (509) 892-1001 and report the identification number on the tag, along with the location and date of catch. Anglers who catch and release a tagged trout should also call the regional office and report the location, date of catch and color of the tag.
The survey work is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration’s fish and wildlife mitigation program.