Hayspur Fish Hatchery campground

Discussion in 'Idaho' started by BirdsNest, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    Jun 12, 2017
    The Hayspur Fish Hatchery campground is located a few miles west of Picabo on Highway 20 in south central Idaho. The campground has two sections separated by a gravel road. The left/west section has fairly well defined individual campsites with trees and fire pits. The right/east section is just a big field with a few scattered trees and fire pits, and is intended for use by large groups.

    We ended up on the far north end of the group side where there is a fire pit and picnic table nestled under a ring of very nice shade trees. We used that corner for gathering and meals and spread out our four camp trailers and 7 or 8 tents (plus lots of vehicles) around it.

    Camping is completely free, is first come first served, with pit toilets at the south end of the field and near the fishing lagoon. The one at the lagoon is MUCH newer, cleaner, and doesn't stink. They are all cleaned regularly, but the old one just isn't in as good of condition. There are a few potable water taps around the campground but it is natural well water, so "taste" may vary. There aren't any electric hook ups anywhere except for one spot at the north end where hatchery workers live during the summer.

    Fishing is available at the "Gavers Lagoon" which is about 2 acres of water diverted from the stream that is regularly stocked with fish from the Hatchery and that also supports its own stable breeding stock. We saw rainbow and brown trout, and were told that some people had caught a few lake trout as well. The younger kids enjoyed watching the schools of fingerlings swarming around the banks of the pond. Catching fish there is VERY easy with the right bait or lures (black fuzzy worms with white feathers on the tail for fly fishing, and blue or green garlic Power Bait for bait fishing worked best). The fish aren't particularly large - the biggest we caught was 11 inches - but many of them are quite fat so there's plenty of good eating.

    A valid Idaho fishing license is required to fish at the lagoon, with a limit of 6 trout per day. If you want some alternate sport fishing, the nearby Butte Creek and Loving Creek waterways are designated as Idaho Trophy Waters, where only fly fishing is allowed, and all fish under 20 inches must be released. Anglers are allowed to keep a maximum of two fish larger than 20 inches. I didn't try fishing there since I didn't have any fly gear, but just watching the streams for a while I saw a few very large fish swim by so there's definitely some fun to be had there if that's your thing.

    Nearby attractions include the Craters of the Moon National Monument to the east, and Mammoth and Shoshone Ice Caves and lava tubes to the southwest.

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