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Catch monster trout, help science

October 14, 2022

If you've spent much time fishing on Lake Pend Oreille, then maybe you’ve been lucky enough to catch a monster rainbow trout. If not, you’ve likely seen pictures of the truly impressive fish that reside there. In recent years, Lake Pend Oreille has been producing more rainbow trout over 20 pounds than anywhere else on Earth! This world-class trophy fishery is firing on all cylinders right now, and Idaho Fish and Game is working hard to keep it that way.

To effectively manage this trophy fishery, Fish and Game monitors the rainbow trout population and angler fishing success; however, it’s hard to get all the information we need through traditional fish survey methods.

Anglers, this is where you come in - we need your help! Fish and Game is inviting fisherman to participate in an Angler Science Program where we work together to gather information that will help us manage the trophy rainbow trout fishery.

The Lake Pend Oreille Angler Science Program is comprised of anglers who help Fish and Game collect monitoring data for fish in LPO, mainly through completing logbooks and reporting tagged fish. To date, we have learned some important information from the Angler Science Program.

For example, we learned that 17-percent of the fish caught in 2021 were larger than 30 inches, compared to only seven percent in 2020.

To sweeten the deal, you can win great prizes! By participating in the program, you will receive a custom Lyman lure and sticker. In addition, you will be entered into a free raffle for Yeti Tundra 45 coolers, Bubba electric filet knives, Work Sharp electric knife sharpeners, Custom RTIC 20 ounce tumblers and custom hats.

Participating anglers must record information while fishing for rainbow trout on Lake Pend Oreille during two time periods that coincide with local fishing derbies; November 2-6 the Lake Pend Oreille Angler's Club is hosting its Fall Derby and
November 19-27 the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club is hosting its Thanksgiving Derby

There will be a free raffle associated with each time period for participants who submit their logbooks by December 10.

Rules for the raffle are the same as last year, but logbook pick-up locations have changed. Logbooks will be included with the purchase of all derby tickets. If you are not participating in a derby, don’t worry. Free logbooks can be picked up at the Panhandle Regional office at 2885 W Kathleen Ave in Coeur d'Alene. For full details, click here.

To better understand rainbow trout catch rates, harvest rates and survival rates, Fish and Game is conducting a tagging study in Lake Pend Oreille. If you’re fishing on Pend Oreille, please keep your eye out for tags located in the backs of rainbow trout. Each tag has a unique number printed on it, as well as a phone number, URL and reward value on select tags.

Tags can carry a reward value of $25, $50, $100 or $200, so cross your fingers and hope you catch that reward fish! If you see a tag, please report the tag number and location of where you caught the fish to Fish and Game.

For full details on the tagging study and how you can participate, click here. Please contact the Panhandle Regional office at (208) 769-1414 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Angler Science Program on Lake Pend Oreille.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

A 9B Media LLC publication
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