Outdoors

IFG says Pend Oreille kokanee limits could be raised

Kokanee staging to spawn stack up by the thousands in November and December in Granite Creek, a Lake Pend Oreille tributary. Here they are jumping a small waterfall in the spawning channel build by the Idaho Fish and Game Department, which is where their eggs and sperm will be taken for raising their progeny in the Cabinet Gorge Hatchery.  (Rich Landers)
Kokanee staging to spawn stack up by the thousands in November and December in Granite Creek, a Lake Pend Oreille tributary. Here they are jumping a small waterfall in the spawning channel build by the Idaho Fish and Game Department, which is where their eggs and sperm will be taken for raising their progeny in the Cabinet Gorge Hatchery. (Rich Landers)

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 jim.fredericks@idfg.idaho.gov, 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.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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