Bull Trout ID
Be sure to check out the bull trout ID page to make sure you can identify bull trout and release them unharmed.
Several questions and comments have been received about a bounty system for lake trout. Fisheries staff is investigating that possibility for future events.
End to 10 Straight Days
Concerns have also been raised about the 10 straight days of fishing at the end of the events. We have chosen to not do the ten straight days of fishing during 2014 Fall Mack Days. Instead, this event will be eight three-day weekends, a total of 24 days of fishing.
Number of Days, Hours, and Minutes Until 2014 Fall Mack Days Begins:
2014 FALL MACK DAYS
LAKE TROUT FISHING EVENT/DERBY ON FLATHEAD LAKE
Up to $125,000 in Cash and Prizes Awarded
(1)-$10,000 & (2) $5,000 & (5) $1000 + over 5,000 $100 to $500 tagged lake trout
September 26th through November 16th
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
24 days total. Pick your 15 best days to count for the lottery
& top angler prizes. The last day is separate.
(September 26, 27, and 28; October 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26. and 31;
November 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16)
Mack Days is sponsored by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and
sanctioned by Montana Fish , Wildlife, and Parks
Click Here for More Details
GREETINGS MACK DAYS CONTESTANTS
The Tribal Fisheries Program is continuing to estimate the size of the lake trout population by means of the mark and recapture method. As we continue our efforts to increase harvest, it is increasingly important to demonstrate how increased harvest affects the abundance of lake trout. We need to tag a large number of fish to get a good estimate, and we request your continued help in this effort. More tags in the lake mean better population estimates and better opportunities for you to catch tagged fish. The fisheries program staff will be on the lake to collect fish from anglers for tagging on most Fridays during the contest. We will try to restrict our activities to smaller portions of the lake so that we can approach anglers several times during the day to collect their fish for tagging, and so that you can be aware of when we will be returning to your site. We will keep track of each fish we take from you and report that information to Cindy. If you have several live fish and have not seen fisheries program staff on the lake please call my cell phone and we will respond as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a live well or large cooler, we could possibly lend you one so that you can keep your fish in a healthy condition for release. Note that we cannot take fish that have been punctured to reduce the air in their bladders. To tag a lake trout in order to put back into the lake it has to be in good shape. My cell phone # is 406-546-6375. Thank you for your participation in Mack Days and your efforts to help increase native fish abundance in Flathead Lake.
— Evan R. Smith, CSKT Fisheries Biologist
PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR CATCH CAREFULLY!
It is very important to correctly identify each fish you catch-especially the smaller fish. It can be difficult to tell small bull trout from small lake trout. If you are in doubt about the identity of the fish, put it back. We had an unacceptable level of bull trout catch and harvest during past contests. This undermined our objective to benefit native fish and threatens the future of the contests.
- Bull trout have no black spots on the dorsal fin, and orange spotting on the sides of the fish can be very light and difficult to see.
- Examine the top of the back. Spots on a bull trout will be distinctly rounded and uniform.
- Flatten the tail out wide. Bull trout will have a tail that is squarer than lake trout. Although some smaller bull trout will have a slight V shape and be confused with lake trout.
- Please carefully study the fish ID page on this website.
We are required to report all bull trout entries to the authorities. Let’s strive for zero mistaken identities this year!
Watch the Trout Unlimited Bull Trout Public Service Announcement
ALERT: STAY CLEAR OF SCIENTIFIC BUOYS!
Please stay at least 300 feet from the Biological Station's two new instrumented buoys in Flathead Lake to prevent entanglement of your fishing lines with the cable that goes from the surface of the buoy to the lake bottom and to avoid damaging this expensive equipment. For more information click here.
Webcams show boats frequent the area around the midlake buoy, which is troublesome because they could easily destroy the instrument accidentally by entangling a fishing line on the electrical cable that goes from the buoy to the lake bottom. The second buoy is west of Woods Bay, which is a very popular fishing site. So please take care to stay at least 300 feet away from these very important and very expensive instrumented buoys.