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Pend Oreille fishing ruined

The Pend Oreille River near Usk was once a true world-class pike fishery where 20-pound fish were the norm. Unfortunately, the river no longer provides a fishing experience worthy of driving more than 20 miles for.

According to my fishing records, the Fish and Game Department campaign against pike in the Pend Oreille has been very successful. Gill-netting and excessive harvest have not only reduced the pike population but the bass as well.

My obsessive journaling documents at least a 50 percent reduction in my catch rate over the last five years, without a fish over 12 pounds in the last two years. Keep in mind that just five years ago, I caught and released 15 pike over 10 pounds along with two 20-pound fish in the same day.

Fish and Game would like you to believe that the fishery is still worth driving the long miles on $4-per-gallon gas, when in reality they just want you to eliminate the last pike for political purposes.

Instead, take my word for it and save your money by targeting other species closer to home, or take up a less expensive hobby altogether.

Brad Sonntag



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