Local angler catches large walleye at Ririe Reservoir

Living the Wild Life

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Blaine Hansen with his 7.2-pound walleye.

RIRIE — Blaine Hansen of Rexburg has a fish story to tell his grandchildren, and it’s true.

On Friday morning, while ice fishing for perch on Ririe Reservoir, he landed a 25.5-inch, 7.2-pound walleye that was as long as the rod he was using.

“I was fishing for perch on the bottom of the lake when my fish finder picked up a fish about 20 feet down,” said Hansen with a smile. “As I reeled my lure up from the bottom, the fish attacked it. When I first saw it, I thought it was a sucker and was surprised when I got it up through the hole.”

The fish was well below the state record of 13 pounds caught in Oakley Reservoir, but it is the first walleye that Regional Fishery Biologist Jon Flinders is aware of being caught through the ice by an angler.

“I am not aware of another walleye being taken through the ice and at over 7 pounds, it could be the largest taken by an angler from Ririe,” Flinders said. “While gill netting for walleye we have caught an 11-pounder, and walleyes are rare in Ririe. We used to gill net for them every year, but due to the lack of numbers, we will only net for them every third year. I always tell people that if they want to catch a walleye, don’t target them, just fish a lot on Ririe and you might catch one.”

And Hansen is thrilled with his catch.

“It was a surprise for me and made my day,” said the happy fisherman.

Bill Schiess, EastIdahoNews.com