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Poker run benefits HLWC

Jabet Wheeler is the secretary-treasurer of HLWC. This year’s poker run fundraiser is planned for Sept. 13.  (File / The Spokesman-Review)
Jabet Wheeler is the secretary-treasurer of HLWC. This year’s poker run fundraiser is planned for Sept. 13. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Groups goal to improve, protect Hauser Lake water quality

HAUSER LAKE – Organizers of the Hauser Lake Poker Run do not care which way the poker hand is played – they just want everyone to participate in this fun, community event that supports the Hauser Lake Watershed Coalition.

The Poker Run is a major fundraiser for the HLWC, whose mission is to improve and protect the water quality of Hauser Lake and the surrounding watershed.

“Our goal is (to) protect and improve the lake and its resources for fishing, wildlife, boating, swimming, so we and future generations can enjoy the lake,” said to HLWC secretary-treasurer Jabet Wheeler.

Scheduled for Sept. 13, registration is from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Hauser Lake Resort at 18226 W. Main. An entry fee of $20 per person includes barbecue lunch, one free raffle ticket and one poker hand.

There are six scheduled stops and at each stop participants learn about the lake and also receive a playing card.

The object is to get the best five-card poker hand of the six cards collected at each stop to win a guaranteed first place prize of $100. Second- and third-place winners will receive $50 and $25. Anyone who registers by Sept. 9 will receive a seventh card.

Participants must be at least 18 to play, but children are welcome to accompany qualified card players. Additional barbecue lunches can be purchased for $5. Winners of the poker run and raffle will be announced at 1:30 p.m. Special entertainment will be provided by Lion’s Pride.

Additional raffle tickets can be purchased to take a chance on winning one of the many raffle prizes donated by local businesses. Winners do not need to be present to win.

Wheeler said all proceeds will be used by HLWC to fund activities such as ongoing water quality testing for the lake and streams, and implementation of Lake-A-Syst, a community action and education program for lake residents.

HLWC has attained statewide recognition for their prevention efforts. The group received a grant from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to build the first stationary Watercraft Rinse Station in Idaho. The station is one of only a handful of rinse stations across the U.S. The rinse station prevents the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil introduced by watercraft into Hauser Lake, which is one of a very few lakes in northern Idaho that is not infested.

Eurasian watermilfoil is an invasive water weed that is now found in lakes in almost every state. It threatens the ecology, fishing and recreation as well as the tourist and boating industries. It spreads quickly, crowding out native wildlife and plants.

States spend millions of dollars annually in an effort to fight the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, and preventative action now will significantly reduce or eliminate the cost of fighting these noxious weeds in the future, Wheeler said.

“The rinse station is expected to not only prevent the noxious weed from establishing itself in Hauser Lake, but also to eliminate the need to take other expensive eradication action,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler points out that preventive actions take money, and that the poker run is an important fundraiser not only to raise needed financing, but to also help educate users of the lake on how to improve and protect the quality of the lake.

Contact correspondent Laura Umthun by e-mail at