South Fork Boise Rainbows: More Wild than Native

Map with pie charts showing extent of hybridization across the Boise River Basin

An article in a recent issue of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management takes a look at the South Fork Boise River wild trout fishery in the context of genetic background of the redband/rainbow trout residing in the upper Boise River basin.

Authors Helen Neville (Trout Unlimited Boise office) and Jason Dunham (US Geological Survey, Corvallis, OR) studied the hybridization of the redband trout due to the historic stocking of hatchery-raised coastal rainbow trout in the South Fork Boise River until the late 1970s, and compared genetic information on the South Fork trout with samples of trout from tributaries in the North and Middle forks of the Boise River.

It was the 2008 fish sampling genetic study that provided the basic information for the genetic analysis, and ultimately this report.  Using the genetic analysis plus fish stocking records dating back several decades the authors concluded the following: Continue Reading…

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South Fork Boise River Genetics Study

Link: South Fork Boise River Genetics Study

Click on the link above to view the Nov. 12, 2009 presentation on the South Fork Boise River Genetics Study

The document is a .pdf of the powerpoint slides.  3.3 MB in size, 18 slides.


Genetic evaluation illustration

The above illustration is from the report Genetic evaluation of population structure and individual movement of rainbow trout in the lower South Fork Boise River and associated tributaries.


November 12th Meeting to Highlight South Fork Boise Genetics Study

Make plans to attend an open joint meeting of TU and Boise Valley Fly Fishermen on Thursday, November 12, 2009 at the Boise Public Library to see a presentation on the genetic profile of the South Fork Boise River (SFB) fishery as well as hear a panel discussion of agency and angling community perspectives on Southwest Idaho’s greatest fishing water. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:00 p.m. Enter in the doors on the 8th Street side at the southwest end of the building.

Helen Neville with the TU national science team based in Boise will present her findings based on the laboratory analysis of the genetic information sampled from more than 300 rainbow trout, and compare that information with dozens of wild trout populations in the North and Middle Fork Boise Rivers.

Idaho Fish & Game, the Boise National Forest, Bureau of Reclamation, TU and BVFF worked together in 2008 to sample the SFB fishery and adjacent tributaries to gather genetic information on redband or rainbow trout. The information presented November 12 will provide a foundation by which a conservation strategy for the SFB fishery could be developed.

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Genetic Results to be Presented in July

Genetic Results to be Presented in July

The results are complete from the 300 fish sample in the South Fork Boise River and adjacent tributaries.  We will schedule a presentation in July.  The above illustration is an example of how the information is displayed = it’s color-coded.