FISHING — They were cautious at first, allowing a daily limit of just six kokanee last year for the first kokanee fishing season since 1999 at Lake Pend Oreille.
But Idaho Fish and Game Department officials say surveys continue to show the fishery has recovered from its near collapse, with 2 or 3 million adult land-locked sockeyes estimated to be swimming in the lake this spring.
The department is getting ready to ask anglers if they'd back biologists in requesting that the daily limit be raised to 15. If so, they'll propose the increase to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for a decision that could be made in mid-May.
“The first question anglers are going to ask is whether the fishery is recovered enough to be ready for it,” said Jim Fredericks, Panhandle fisheries manager. “Our answer is definitely yes, or we wouldn't even suggest it.”
Fredericks invites anglers who have questions or comments about the possible rule change to contact him at (208) 769-1414 or send an e-mail to email@example.com, before May 10th
Sign of the times: The annual K&K Spring Derby, for the first time since the 1990s, has added a Kokanee Division to its fishing contest. The event opens this weekend and runs through May 5. The Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club's Pin Auction fundraising event is Friday.
Prizes run up to $2,500 for the largest rainbow and $1,500 for the top mackinaw.
But yes, kokanee are back. The K&K name came from the old days of Kamloops & Kokanee Days. Whether you think it should be G & K (G for Gerrard-strain rainbow) or whatever, it's great to see the return of the K for Kokanee.