What are the causes of low oxygen levels in Hauser Lake?
That is one of the questions that will be asked during the Hauser Lake Watershed Coalition’s fourth annual Poker Run.
The event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Hauser Lakeview Restaurant/Thirsty Moose Saloon, 11301 Cliffhouse Road. Participants can walk, bike, drive or boat to five scheduled stops, where they pick up cards, answer questions and learn about Hauser Lake.
Coalition spokesman Jabet Wheeler said human activity is the cause of low oxygen levels in the lake.
“Human activity significantly increases the amount of nutrients entering Hauser Lake, which will eventually lead to oxygen levels dropping to near zero,” Wheeler said. “Low oxygen levels impair the cold water fishery and their associated biota,” or plant and animal life.
Wheeler said the Poker Run is also great fun as players try to accumulate the best five-card poker hand from six cards received. The $20 registration includes a barbecue lunch, a raffle ticket and a chance to win up to $100. Best hand wins $100, which is underwritten by Matheus Lumber; second-best hand wins $50; and third-best hand wins $25.
Last year about $2,000 was raised with 55 participants. You must be 18 to play, but children are welcome to accompany players.
The barbecue will be served from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and it costs $5 if bought separately from the Poker Run registration. Entertainment will be provided by Hammertime Karaoke and DJ Services. Poker Run winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m., and the raffle and silent auction follow.
Raffle tickets are $1 each, six for $5 or 13 for $10. Raffle prizes include two pallets of pellets from Atlas Products, a case of Summer Rose wine from Post Falls TimberRock Winery, two 2010 passes to Silverwood Theme Park, items from Cabela’s, gift certificates from Hauser Smoke Shop and Chef in the Forest and more.
The silent auction will offer a framed oil painting by local artist Jaquith Travis, a large framed photograph of Hauser Lake by David Nall, a Kirby vacuum cleaner and a wall clock.
All funds raised will be used by the Hauser Lake Watershed Coalition, a nonprofit organization, to pay for water quality testing for the lake and streams, and continued implementation of Lake-A-Syst, a community action program for lake residents.
In addition to the infiltration of Eurasian milfoil, the newest threat to local lakes is the quagga mussel, Wheeler said.
“At Hauser Lake, we are into prevention,” Wheeler said. “By making lake users aware of these serious and potentially devastating threats, we hope they will help protect the lakes by being good stewards.”
Wheeler says the Poker Run event is one of the coalition’s best educational tools.
“The HLWC cannot save the lake alone,” Wheeler said. “Everyone who recreates on the lake needs to help protect the lake.”