Field reports: CdA hydroplane races leave snag for anglers

"I love the energy," said Geri Rogers of Coeur d'Alene as she photographed the time trials for the Diamond Cup hydroplane races on Friday, August 30, 2013. The races continue through the weekend ending Sunday evening. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHING – September’s Diamond Cup hydroplane races are more than a memory for anglers trolling for chinook salmon in the Silver Beach area of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

“I’ve talked to six anglers who’ve snagged on the buoy lines they left fastened to anchors,” said Jordan Smith of Fins and Feathers Sport Shop.

“I lost a downrigger ball worth $30 last week and I wasn’t too happy about it,” said Ron James, who fishes the lake almost daily this time of year.

Divers who removed about 200 buoys after the race fastened 10-pound weights to the surface end of the anchor cables. With the bottom end of the cables already anchored, they sunk the top-end weights, forming a loop of cable that floats up more than 60 feet off the bottom.

“It’s a hazard for a small boat that snags a downrigger, and it could rip the downriggers right off a big boat,” James said.

Idaho Department of Lands officials, who issued the permit for race organizers to anchor buoys, said divers will begin removing cables this week.

But the anchored cables that held the log boom used to control spectator boats are posing a challenge to remove, said Tom Fleer, Lands Department area manager.

“The boom had 75 tethers and they’re still studying how to deal with them, since the water is about 130 feet deep and difficult for the divers to work in,” Fleer said.

The Diamond Cup temporary permit expires Dec. 2. While the buoy cables should be removed by then, correcting the problem with the log boom cables may extend into the public comment period that would be offered if organizers apply for another race permit.

“We expect them to reapply,” Fleer said.

“The Diamond Cup people are looking for ways to make the tethers lay down 20 feet off the bottom.”

Meanwhile, James and other anglers said many of the chinook they seek are in 130 feet of water this time of year in the Silver Beach area and some of the buoy cable loops extend to within 40 feet of the surface.

“You can see the loops on a good sonar, but it might be too late by then,” he said.

Outboard jet inventor Dick Stallman dies

BOATING – Richard “Dick” Stallman was 34 in 1962 when he tested his invention — the jet outboard — by running a sled upstream through the rapids of Oregon’s Rogue River.

Stallman, founder of California-based Outboard Jet Corp., died last week. 

“His invention was a major contribution to shallow-water boating world-wide and it greatly enhanced access to premium waters and hunter and angler success,” noted Glen Wooldridge of Wooldridge Boats of Seattle.

Lewiston gears up for steelhead derby

FISHING – The annual Clearwater Snake Steelhead Derby will lure anglers from around the region starting Saturday and running through Nov. 30.

Organizers plan a dinner, opening ceremonies and door prizes ranging up to a $1,000 gift card on Friday, 6 p.m. at Kendall Chevrolet in Lewiston, where a fishing boat simulator will be unveiled.

Derby registration forms are available on the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce Website at lcvalleychamber.org.

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