It’s rare to go home empty handed after fishing at the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area, near Hagerman.

There are multiple ponds to fish for rainbow trout, bass and bluegill. The fishing season opens early at Hagerman WMA, March 1st, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game stocked the ponds with more than 5,000 rainbows prior to the opener.

This is going to be a great year to catch big fish, the best year in the 21 years I’ve been here,” said Joe Chapman, Hagerman hatchery manager. “If you want to catch fish, this is the place to come.”

Boy, that gets me revved up to go there now!


It’s also a kid-friendly and family-friendly fishing location with easy dock access for young kids, disabled folks or senior citizens. Idaho Fish and Game added several new fishing docks in the Hagerman WMA to make access even easier. It has public rest rooms, too.

Hagerman WMA is located about two miles east of Hagerman along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway.  The fishing ponds are next to a state fish hatchery, where they produce catchable rainbow trout throughout the year. The fishing waters are spring-fed by the Thousand Springs complex, creating ideal conditions for growing quality fish.


Kids like the fish-viewing pond at the area, where they can see multiple species such as sturgeon, steelhead, trout, bass, bluegill, crappie and more.

Right now, people should fish at the Riley Pond (trout) and Oster Lakes (trout), a short walk from the fish hatchery. All kinds of fishing tackle can be used to catch trout there — some people fish with worms or spinners, and some fly fish with dry and wet flies.

Please note that the four Anderson Ponds (bass and bluegill) are closed from Nov. 1 – June 30 to protect nesting waterfowl. On July 1, the Anderson Ponds will be open for the summer through Oct. 31.

A series of foot trails provide access to all the ponds, and there are stream channels between the ponds that can be fished as well.

A visit to Hagerman WMA also could be paired with a tour of the state fish hatchery, a federal steelhead fish hatchery immediately adjacent, (see video clip), and bird watching.

Be sure to check the Idaho Fish and Game regulations for fishing bag limits.

Have fun fishing! Once you go to Hagerman WMA, you’ll definitely come back.