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Mon., April 22, 2013, 6:43 a.m.

Lake PO Club preps for Spring Derby, Gerrard strain fundraiser

Wes Hamlet of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, hoists the 37-pound world record rainbow trout he caught in Lake Pend Oreille on Nov. 25,1947. Hamlet is in the leaky wooden boat he was fishing in with partner Tony Moen, also of Coeur d'Alene. (Ross Hall)
Wes Hamlet of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, hoists the 37-pound world record rainbow trout he caught in Lake Pend Oreille on Nov. 25,1947. Hamlet is in the leaky wooden boat he was fishing in with partner Tony Moen, also of Coeur d'Alene. (Ross Hall)

FISHNG – The Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club's 68th annual Spring Derby will kick off with a pin auction fundraiser Friday (April 26), 7 p.m., April 26 at the Sandpoint Elks Club.

Fishing runs Saturday through May 5 with a payout of more than $15,000, including $2,500 for the top rainbow.

The club is raising money to reintroduce pure-strain Gerrard rainbows to the lake.

Derby tickets cost $40; Youths age 13 and under free.

Info: (509) 209-3608;; (509) 209-3608.

Read on for details about the club's Gerrard rainbow revival plan.

April update from Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club

For those of you who may not have been to the lake lately the good news is the kokanee population is on the rebound. In fact, for the first time in several years fisherman will be able to keep 6 kokanee per day. While the Angler Incentive Program bounty has been removed for Rainbows it remains at $15 per fish for Lake Trout. There is no doubt the efforts from fishermen have made a difference in the Idaho Fish and Games program to rebuild Lake Pend Oreille into a trophy fishery. The lake is coming back and while there is work to still be done the future looks bright.

The Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club is a volunteer, non-profit corporation dedicated to protect and enhance Lake Pend Oreille and its fisheries. Working in conjunction with officials from Idaho Fish and Game, the Lake Pend Oreille of Idaho Club has agreed to help with an effort to begin restocking pure strain Gerrard Rainbows into Lake Pend Oreille. Recently an agreement was reached to secure 10,000 Gerrard Rainbow eggs from the Kootenay Trout Hatchery in British Columbia. Financial resources are extremely tight in the Fish and Game budget and this project could not go forward without direct monetary support from the LPOIC. Under the agreement with Idaho Fish and Game, LPOIC will purchase the eggs from the hatchery in British Columbia. Idaho Fish and Game will secure the necessary permits to bring the eggs into the U.S., pay to transport the eggs, incubate them, raise the fish, clip the fins and release them into the lake. The cost for 10,000 eggs is $5,000 which LPOIC has agreed to pay by June 5th.

Currently the Kootenay Trout Hatchery is scheduled to end their Gerrard Rainbow egg program in 2014. If pure strain Gerrard Rainbow were to ever be reintroduced into Lake Pend Oreille this left only 2013 and 2014. Knowing that the opportunity to reintroduce pure strain Gerrards was coming to an end the LPOIC Board of Directors felt it was imperative that we take the opportunity to purchase 10,000 eggs in 2013. We also agreed that if the necessary funds can be secured, that a request for an additional 10,000 eggs will be made for 2014, the last year they will likely be available. The expense for this effort was not one that was anticipated by the clubs Board of Directors. Financial resources in the club are also limited so we are turning to the community at large, who benefit from the lake, to ask that they consider making a donation to help fund the cost of egg purchases for 2013 and 2014. The board of directors has directed the treasurer of the club to establish a separate bank account to collect and disperse funds for this effort. The use of funds in this separate account will be strictly limited to the reintroduction of pure strain Gerrard’s and rainbow enhancement in Lake Pend Oreille. Donations that you make are tax deductible. Those making contributions will be prominently recognized in an upcoming issue of the LPOIC newsletter.

Please consider making a donation to this important effort. The lake has provided so much to all of us over the years. Now is the time for all of us to give something back. There are many youth fishing the lake. Would it not be wonderful to give them the same opportunity, like many of us had, to fight and land a 25+ pound rainbow? With your donations we can help make it a reality. Please make your tax deductible contribution out to “LPOIC Gerrard Reintroduction Fund”. Contributions can be mailed to;

LPOIC Gerrard Reintroduction Fund

P.O. Box 1589

Sandpoint, ID 83864

Info: LPOIC president, Ross Milliken, (509) 209-3608.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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