|February 7, 2013
Fish on, fish on; Mack Days casts out on March 15
POLSON — FISH ON!….lake trout anglers get your fishing poles ready. The 2013 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event will begin March 15 and end May 19. Fish on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays –fish every weekend for 10 weekends plus from May 10-19 there will be ten straight days of fun filled lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake.
Sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.. Up to $150,000 in cash and prizes are available to the hard fishing lake trout anglers. There are over 4,000 tagged lake trout with values from $100 to $500, 10 $1,000, 5-$5,000, and 1-$10,000 tagged lake trout. Fifty cash prizes will be awarded in a lottery style drawing. Each angler receives one ticket for every lake trout that goes into the drawing during the event. All it takes is one fish to win There are several additional prizes also sought after by anglers such as top angler prizes, youth and ladies prizes, weekend prizes, smallest fish, largest fish, etc. Go to www.mackdays.com for information on the different prize categories. Bonus amounts go to each angler once they have turned in 20 entries in the event and continue to go up with an angler’s total. .
Important Notice: Mack Days Events are a management tool developed to implement the Flathead Lake & River Co-management Plan (co-plan). The events are used as a tool to slowly suppress non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to benefit native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. The prospects for future contests will be determined by the outcome of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be completed this spring. If you enjoy Mack Days, it is important to follow and participate in this process because the future of these events is dependent upon the final decision to come out of the EIS. The alternative selected in the EIS will determine whether suppression efforts continue and how much suppression is necessary. Each suppression alternative includes an ordered progression of all possible tools to harvest lake trout. Mack Days is always the first tool and additional tools would only be employed if and when Mack Days harvest does not reach the selected target harvest level. The EIS was only initiated because we determined that Mack Days alone was not sufficient to meet the goals of the co-plan. Therefore if none of the “action” alternatives is chosen Mack Days would end because the monetary investment would no longer be justifiable. Please get involved to help determine the future of Mack Days and management of the Flathead Lake fishery. Monitor the Mack Days website for updates on the EIS process-mid March is the target date for that information to begin to be put out.
FISH ON….all of Flathead Lake. The CSKT Tribes have a special $12 yearly fishing permit available to anyone to fish the south half of Flathead Lake. The permits are available from area vendors who sell fishing licenses. Entry forms are available at area sporting good vendors, FWP offices, or online on the Mack Days website. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event.
SPIRIT OF THE RULE: It is the intention of this event to promote good sportsmanship and fair play. Unsportsmanlike conduct and cheating may result in disqualification. Anglers are asked to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, Mack Days Events, and the sport of fishing. Remember to keep a safe distance away from other boats, watch for anchor lines, and respect the space an angler needs to fish-some are tossing lures out a ways from the boat-you should allow for that. Anglers cannot exclude other anglers from their favorite spots-if someone is in your favorite spot you need to be there earlier your next trip out-ask before moving in close-some anglers like the company –some don’t. Use common sense and do not move in too close and set your anchor without making sure you have allowed for your boat to swing.
Trolling boats and jigging boats need to be observant of each other and a path being taken by a trolling boat-if you are going to troll in that area-follow the direction they are in to avoid going over or crossing lines. – Please be aware of and attempt to avoid anchoring in a trolling path or if a boat is anchored -be courteous and avoid trolling nearby or approaching too closely.
No pooling of fish is allowed, meaning all participants must report only the fish they catch themselves. Anglers may receive assistance from others in the boat but need to respect the competitive nature of the contest, by clearly identifying their rods from those of other anglers present in the boat and being the only angler handling those rods. All anglers in the boat, entered in the contest, must have at least one rod and be responsible for the fish caught on that rod.
FISH ON…and turn your fish in at Blue Bay all day from 9 am until dark every day of the event or meet staff at pickup sites in Big Arm, Polson, Somers, or Wayfarers boat ramp areas. Check the website for pick-up times closer to the event.
FISH ON…join in and be a part of 2013 Spring Mack Days-go to www.mackdays .com for fishing tips, safety information, lake maps and levels, etc.
FISH ON…and most importantly be safe out there. Watch and listen to the weather channels for information before going out and be alert while on the water for changes in it. Have safety equipment on board -such as PFD’s. Wear them-they do no good if you do not have them on. Keep your cell phone in a Zip-Loc™ bag. Make sure someone knows when you plan to return.