Go fishin’ — instead of just a wishin’ – Idaho Press-Tribune

go-fishin’-—-instead-of-just-a-wishin’-–-idaho-press-tribune

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Love fishing but can’t seem to find the time to travel for an extended trip to a favorite lake, reservoir or river? That shouldn’t prevent anglers in the Treasure Valley from picking up their rod and reel and fishing on a weekend, or after work, because there are ample fishing opportunities nearby.Idaho Fish and Game regularly stocks public waters across the Treasure Valley, and ponds are easy to access and home to a variety of fish species.Pond fishing for stocked rainbow trout is a great way to introduce kids to the sport, using simple set-ups like worm/marshmallow combinations or commercial baits like Power Bait or Crave, either near the bottom or below a bobber.Many of these ponds sustain warmwater fish populations, including quality bass and bluegill, and some are even stocked with channel catfish. As stocking of rainbow trout winds down in the warmer months, fishing for warmwater species is often at its best. Community ponds can be great places to test out new tackle and gear, or to hone your fly-casting technique. The best part about it? There is probably one within minutes of your front door.As the weather begins to warm, the days get longer, and you start to feel the itch to get out and fish, purchase your 2021 Idaho Fishing License and go out scratch it at one of the top ponds in the Treasure Valley. Visit the website where you can find Idaho Fish and Game's Fishing Planner, a powerful tool for anglers where there is more information on each fishery, as well as stocking plans and historical stocking records.

Duff Lane Pond.

Evin Oneale/IDFG

Duff Lane Pond in MiddletonThis 5.5-acre pond located southeast of town offers its best fishing in the spring, as weeds become an issue around June. There are opportunities to fish from the bank, as well as a small fishing dock and a small boat ramp for launching small boats and float craft. Both the dock and the on-site bathroom are ADA accessible.Fish and Game typically stocks Duff Lane Pond with around 250 catchable rainbow trout every month from March through June, and in October in the fall. Anglers can keep up to six trout. The pond also has established populations of bluegill and bass.Kleiner Pond, Meridian

Kleiner Pond.

Cyndi Coulter/IDFG

This 4.5-acre pond is actually two ponds connected by an underground culvert. It offers fishing for a variety of species. It is generally stocked monthly with rainbow trout between February and June, and in October and November. Larger, adult rainbow trout are stocked periodically as well. Anglers can keep up to six trout. In addition, Kleiner Pond has a self-sustaining population of warmwater fish, including bluegill and bass. Yellow perch have been observed as well. Kleiner Pond has been known to produce some good-sized bass and trout.The pond is very accessible, with ample off-street parking, paved paths that lead to plenty of open, grassy shoreline for bank fishing, as well as a large fishing platform. Boating is prohibited. While it is the centerpiece of the huge Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, located near The Village, the pond is only one of a multitude of activities for all ages. The park includes a bandshell/amphitheater, half-court basketball, bike racks, bocce ball, a community garden, concessions, a playground, restrooms, sand volleyball, horseshoes, a splash pad, and more. All this makes Kleiner Pond a great place to bring the whole family for a weekend outing centered around fishing.Red Top Pond in NotusWhile it is not stocked with trout by Fish and Game, and access can be a little trickier at this pond, the bass and bluegill fishing at this former Idaho Transportation Department gravel quarry make it worth a look. Crappie and bullhead catfish have been observed in the pond as well.In 2016, Fish and Game made improvements to this 18-acre pond, including a new dock and parking area. The pond is open to boating, but only if you are able and willing to carry your watercraft in from the parking lot. Red Top Pond is managed as a walk-in and carry-in only access site, and the parking area is about 150 yards away from the bathroom and 200 yards from the dock. For those willing to walk, the pond also offers plentiful bank access with almost wide-open shorelines.Anglers and other recreationists should be aware that only Red Top Pond is open to the public. The adjacent ponds to the east and north are on private property, and there is no public access to them.

Riverside Pond. 

Cyndi Coulter/IDFG

Riverside Pond in Garden CityRiverside Pond epitomizes urban fishing. This small but popular 2.4-acre pond is tucked into the trees in a quiet neighborhood park — near the bustling Riverside and Northgate shopping centers. It was recently improved with a new, large fishing dock and pathway, making it safer and easier to access for anglers of all ages and mobility levels – but it’s also a great place to set up a lawn chair and fish from the bank.Typically, Fish and Game stocks the pond with catchable rainbow trout twice a month from February to June, and from the end of September through the beginning of December. Channel catfish have been stocked on occasion as well.Good bank access, large numbers of stocked trout relative to the pond’s size, and a self-sustaining population of bluegill make this pond a great choice for younger anglers. Amenities on-site include a small parking lot and bathroom.Settlers Park PondThis pond — coming in at just over a half acre — may be small, but it is a very popular fishery in a large and very popular city park.Fish and Game stocks Settlers Pond twice a month in the spring and fall with catchable trout, and periodically with larger adult rainbow trout and channel catfish. The pond is also home to a self-sustaining population of warm-water fish. The pond has great fishing from the bank with a wide-open, grass covered shoreline, and anglers can pull some quality trout out of the pond, especially around the time right after the adult trout are stocked.The amenities at Settlers Park make this fishery an easy one to bring kids along with you on the weekend. Access is made easy with off-street parking. If they get bored with the fishing, there is tons of playground equipment, climbing structures, concessions, drinking fountains, walking paths. For older kids and adults, there are horseshoe pits, tennis courts, and more.Caldwell Rotary Pond in Caldwell

Caldwell Rotary Pond.

Roger Phillips/IDFG

This 16-acre pond offers opportunities on a variety of species, and was recently upgraded with new fishing docks to make it more accessible for anglers. Rotary Pond is stocked with rainbow trout and channel catfish, and it's in a park-like setting with plenty of shade. Lots of bank fishing also offers young anglers easy access to fish for bluegills and bass. There is no boat ramp, but the use of small watercraft and float tubes is allowed.There is off-street parking, a one-mile walking path that loops around the pond, and bathrooms on-site.

Esther Simplot Pond

Evin Oneale/IDFG

Esther Simplot Pond in BoiseOne of Boise's newer parks offers a fun place to fish right in town. The 13-acre pond is typically stocked monthly with rainbow trout from February through June, and October through December. Anglers can keep up to six trout. It also holds bass and other warm-water fish. The pond is connected to Esther Simplot Pond II and Quinns Pond, and the three ponds combined total about 46 acres of fishable water — providing plenty of room to spread out and lots of bank fishing opportunities for young anglers. The ponds are also open to non-motorized boating. Big bass and trout can be found here.As with Kleiner Pond and Settlers Pond in Meridian, Esther Simplot Pond is surrounded by activities for all ages. The park includes trails, a sand beach and a shallow children’s swim area, docks, wetlands, boardwalks, shelters, grassy open areas, a playground, bridges and restrooms. Boat rentals are also available from a nearby business.Marsing Pond in MarsingLocated within Marsing Island Park and separated from Snake River only by a grassy peninsula, Fish and Game normally stocks this four-acre pond wih trout once a month year-round, conditions permitting. It's a great spot for catching trout, and the pond also has a self-sustaining population of bass and bluegill. There is a fishing dock, and room for bank fishing along the east side of the pond. If catfish are your preferred quarry, you can throw a line in the Snake River on the other side of the park.The park has off-street parking, recently renovated bathrooms, a walking path, picnic tables and grills, a playground and a handful of large trees that provide shade in the late spring and summer months.McDevitt Pond in BoiseAlso known as Norms Pond, this 1.2-acre fishery in West Boise is well used and is a popular spot for trout fishing. Fish and Game stocks the pond with trout seasonally in the spring and fall, and with catfish when the weather gets warmer. Bluegill and bass can be caught here, too. Anglers should be aware that they can only keep two trout from this pond.Although there is no dock, a paved path around the pond is connected to an off-street parking lot, allowing for easy bank fishing access all around the pond's open shoreline. There is a bathroom onsite.Parkcenter Pond in BoiseEase of access makes this pond in a park setting near downtown Boise a great place to sneak in an hour of fishing after work. The 7.8-acre pond sustains populations of bass and bluegill and also holds some perch. It is stocked seasonally in the spring and fall with trout, and periodically with channel catfish. While the trout fishing here is marginal, the pond is known to produce some big catfish, and is home to a famous sturgeon or two — so if you plan on bringing kids along, be sure to keep an eye on their fishing rods. The pond includes fishing docks, and is open for the use of small watercraft and float tubes. There is plenty of room to set up a lawn chair and fish around the bank, too.Anglers should be aware that they can only keep two trout from this pond.

Amenities at the small park include off-street parking, ADA accessible docks and bathrooms, walking and biking paths around the park, picnic areas with grills, and sand volleyball courts.Sawyers Pond in EmmettSawyers Pond is a diverse fishery that is actually a series of three ponds, totaling about 35.3 acres, near Emmett. Anglers enjoy early season fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Sawyers Pond is very popular with people in the Treasure Valley because of its close proximity to population centers. It is also a great place to take young anglers who are just learning to fish. Fish and Game stocks the pond with trout in the spring and fall, and periodically with channel catfish.The pond was renovated in 2015, when Fish and Game improved connectivity among the ponds, repaired and replaced docks, and moved the boat ramp to a safer location. Fish and Game also replaced existing outhouses and improved ADA accessibility.Dick Knox Pond in Emmett

Dick Knox Pond.

Brian Pearson/IDFG

Among the newest community ponds in the Treasure Valley, Dick Knox Pond only opened to the public in 2020, but it already had a well-established warmwater fishery when it was donated to Fish and Game. Anglers will find lots of largemouth bass and bluegill, along with perch, crappie and common carp in the 20-acre pond. Hatchery staff have been stocking rainbow trout for nearly a year now, adding a put-and-take trout fishery. The largemouth fishery is particularly noteworthy, as the pond is home to some serious lunkers.There is a ton of bank fishing access in addition to five floating docks, one of which is ADA accessible, as well as a small boat launch and boat trailer parking spaces. There are no boat motor restrictions, but the pond does have a no wake provision.Other amenities include two restrooms and ample parking for vehicles.General fishing rules apply at Dick Knox Pond, with six fish limits of trout and largemouth bass, and no limit for other species. Largemouth bass must be at least 12 inches long to be kept.If you're noticing a small trend here, you're not imagining it — Emmett might be the pound-for-pound king of community pond fishing in the Treasure Valley. Dick Knox and Sawyers ponds are a literal stone's throw away from each other, and the Emmett Airport Pond — which isn't listed here but also can also be solid warmwater fishery — is a short walk awayNicholson Pond (Sego Prairie Pond) in KunaA small neighborhood pond located in Kuna, this 1.6-acre pond provides easily accessible fishing for trout, bass and bluegill within Nicholson Park, next to Indian Creek in Kuna. Generally, Fish and Game stocks the pond with catchable trout monthly when conditions permit, and periodically with larger adult trout — making it a popular spot for trout. There is no dock, but there is plenty of room to fish from the bank.Amenities at the park including an off-street parking area, a picnic area, a portable toilet, and access to Indian Creek.

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Williams Pond in BoiseIt's a tale of two ponds at Marianne Williams Park in East Boise. While the nearby Loggers Pond is not stocked with trout (and is just a marginal bluegill and bass fishery), Williams Pond is stocked by Fish and Game and provides good fishing opportunities for the species. Anglers can also target bluegill and bass here.Williams Pond is located right next to the Boise River and Greenbelt — making it easy to access on bike or foot — and has its own walking path around the shoreline that makes access for bank fishing easy. The pond also has a large fishing platform. Other amenities at Marianne Williams Park include a gazebo, picnic shelter, off-street parking, restrooms and benches.Wilson Springs Pond Complex in Nampa

Wilson Springs Pond.

Evin Oneale/IDFG

This network of five ponds near Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery totals about 17 acres. Four of them — including Beachs Pond, the North Pond, South Pond, and Trophy Pond — provide good fishing opportunities. Fish and Game recently deepened the ponds, resulting in more places to fish and deeper water to hold bigger fish.Depending on the pond, target species include bass, and panfish. Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout frequently when conditions permit. Anglers can only keep two trout from these ponds. There are fishing docks on Beachs Pond and the North Pond.There is a restroom near the off-street parking area, and another on the north end of the paved path that circles the complex. There are also unimproved trails that allow kids to fish from shore and explore, making this a popular family destination. The Wilson Springs Ponds are also a popular area for birding.Weiser Community Pond in WeiserFish and Game stocks this 2.3-acre pond with trout in the fall and spring. Anglers may keep two trout from this pond. Weiser Community Pond is also home to a self-sustaining population of bass and bluegill.With a wheelchair accessible fishing pier and restroom, a paved path around the pond and easy access to the shoreline, this pond is a fun fishing spot for people of all ages and mobility levels. The good bank access and large numbers of stocked trout relative to the pond’s size make it a great place to introduce kids to fishing. An adjacent nature trail makes for some good exploring.Horseshoe Bend Mill Pond in Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend Pond.

Evin Oneale/IDFG

Just north of town on Idaho 55, this pond is a little out of the way, but features easy access and really good fishing for trout, bass, bluegill and catfish in a scenic setting next to the Payette River. There is plenty of parking, lots of bank access for fishing, an outhouse, and a small boat launch — and at 12.5 acres, there is plenty of room to spread out.Mariposa Pond (Sterling Park Pond) in Boise

Sterling Park Pond.

Brian Pearson/IDFG

Mariposa Pond in is one of the Treasure Valley’s newest community fishing ponds, and it's located in West Boise. The roughly half-acre pond can be found in the northwest portion of Mariposa Park, which is located at the corner of W. Irving St. and N. Mitchell St. in West Boise. There is good access for bank fishing around the entire pond. Fish and Game stocks the pond with catchable rainbow trout in the spring and fall.General fish rules apply at Sterling Pond, including six-fish limits on trout.Other amenities include a fenced off-leash dog area and open play areas.Payette Greenway Pond in PayetteThis easily accessible 5.7 acre pond along the Payette River offers partially paved access and a variety of fishing options. Near the confluence of the Payette and Snake Rivers, this gives anglers the choice of fishing the pond or either river.Rainbow trout are stocked in the pond throughout the spring and fall, and the pond is also home to warmwater species like bluegill and largemouth bass. The trout limit for the Payette Greenway Pond is six.Anglers who plan to fish the nearby Snake and Payette rivers can fish for smallmouth bass and catfish.Heroes Park Pond in MeridianAt 30 acres, Heroes Park has a number of amenities in addition to the half-acre fishing pond, including soccer fields, playgrounds, shelters, restrooms, trash receptacles, bike racks and drinking fountains. Heroes Park is maintained by the Meridian Parks and Recreation Department. The bank around the pond is wide open, making fishing from the bank a breeze.Fish and Game stocks the pond with rainbow trout in the spring and fall. The trout limit is six.Star City Pond West in StarOwned by the City of Star, this pond was just recently opened to the public. Hatchery staff began stocking rainbow trout in 2020, adding additional opportunities to those provided by a self-sustaining population of largemouth bass and bluegill. Its nearby sister pond (Star City Pond East) isn't stocked with rainbow trout, but does hold bass and bluegill as well. The ponds are located adjacent to a public access point for the Boise River, so additional fishing opportunities are close by.There is ample bank access for anglers at at Star City Pond West, but anglers should note that a portion of the pond (on the north side) is private property and closed to the public. There is a nearby paved parking lot, located at 960 Main Street, from which anglers will have to walk in to access to the pond. No vehicles are allowed near the water.

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