By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Nothing says spring on Lake Pend Oreille like a day of fishing — or, several days. Luckily, the 74th annual Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club Spring Derby is slated for Saturday, April 23 through Sunday, May 1, during which anglers of all ages can get involved in the club’s mission to protect the lake and its unique fishery.
Notably missing from the club’s 2022 spring derby poster is its traditional name: the “K&K” derby, which serves as a nod to the Kootenay rainbow — also known as Gerrard trout — and kokanee fish caught during previous competitions. However, there is no longer a kokanee prize associated with the LPOIC spring derby, prompting this year’s name change.
“We are still the same club with the same goals and reverence for our wonderful lake,” LPOIC Board Member Barbara Gillespie told the Reader.
Divisions of competition for the 2022 spring derby include Adult, in which anglers must be 21 or older and pay $50 to enter; Junior, including those between the ages of 13-20, who pay a $10 fee; a Youth A Division (ages 9-12); and a Youth B Division (8 years old and younger). Both Youth divisions participate for free.
All divisions will compete to catch the largest rainbow and mackinaw trout (also known as lake trout). For adults, rainbow must be a 32-inch minimum length, with the first-place fish earning a $4,000 prize. Prizes are awarded to the top five rainbows in the Adult Division, ranging from the top prize down to $500 for fifth place, and there is a $500 catch-and-release bonus for any placing rainbow that is put successfully back into the lake after weigh in.
In recent years, LPOIC has shifted toward promoting catch and release of the massive rainbow trout special to Lake Pend Oreille, which Gillespie called “a game changer for our lake.”
“There are now several more derbies targeting the rainbows than there were just five years ago,” she said. “Our club has developed a system where our trophy fish can be released back into the water after they are weighed and measured. This concept requires a monetary commitment from the club to provide training for weighmasters, and we now pay them for this service.
“We are very happy to see that other organizers are following suit,” she added.
As for the adult mackinaw division, there is no length limit and the top 10 fish will earn cash prizes ranging from $100-$1,200. The largest mackinaw caught on each day of the derby will also draw a $150 prize.
The top four rainbow caught in the Junior Division — which must be 28 inches or longer — as well as the top four mackinaw will earn prizes ranging from $200-$600, and there is a $100 catch-and-release bonus for placing rainbows in that division. The top three rainbows and mackinaw in both Youth divisions will also earn prizes and trophies.
As always, LPOIC hopes to use the derby as an opportunity to get more people involved in the stewardship of the lake, keeping true to the club’s mission to “protect and enhance” Lake Pend Oreille and the magnificent creatures swimming in it.
“We are so lucky to have this resource in our own backyard,” Gillespie said.
To register for the 2022 LPOIC Spring Derby, visit one of the following ticket outlets: Holiday Shores Resort, Black Sheep Sporting Goods, Captn’s Table, Odie’s Bayside Grocery, MacDonald’s Hudson Bay Resort, Priest River Ace Hardware, Captain’s Wheel Resort, Ralph’s Coffee House, North 40 in Ponderay, Fins and Feathers Tackle Shop, Bayview General Mercantile, North Ridge Outfitters, Sandpoint Marine and Motorsports, Mark’s Marine or Superfly Tackle.
For a complete list of prizes and other derby information, visit lpoic.org or go to facebook.com/lpoic.
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