MACK DAYS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thank you everyone for a great event!! You make Mack Days a success.
Mack Days Events are a management tool developed for the implementation of the Flathead Lake & River Co-management Plan (co-plan). The events are used as a tool to slowly suppress the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to benefit the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. The prospects for future contests will be determined by the outcome of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be completed this spring. If you enjoy Mack Days, it is important to follow and participate in this process because the future of these events is dependent upon the final decision of an alternative. The alternative selected will determine whether suppression efforts continue and how much suppression is necessary. Each suppression alternative includes an ordered progression of all possible tools to harvest lake trout. Mack Days is always the first tool and additional tools would be employed when Mack Days harvest does not reach the selected target harvest level. The need for the EIS became necessary when it was determined that Mack Days alone will not be sufficient to meet the goals of the co-plan. This means that the “NO ACTION” (or Alternative A) would result in ending Mack Days because it does not allow the use of other tools outlined in the co-plan. Get involved to help determine the future of Mack Days and management of the Flathead Lake fishery. Monitor the this website for updates on the EIS process. We anticipate the Draft EIS will be released in March 2013.
— Cindy, CKST Fisheries Program
Icing and Freezing Your Fish
Lake trout donated during the event or even for your own use need to be kept on ice. We cannot accept fish that are not kept cold-meaning iced during the day. Please use plenty of ice to insure the quality of the fish. We have added a page on the topic, which you can read by clicking here: Icing and Freezing
Please review what’s recommended to make sure you are not needlessly wasting your catch.
Catch and Release
We have added a page on catch and release techniques and recommendations here: Catch and Release
Please review what’s recommended to make sure you are not needlessly harming fish you release.
Heaviest Fish Competition
We introduced a single/team competition for 3 days last fall. Prizes will be given for the four heaviest fish under 30 inches entered from a boat/shore. The four fish entries are to be tagged or identified with some kind of marking—electrical ties, string, rubber bands—before coming through the door. Fish will be put in a bucket and one weight per boat or shore team taken. No changes will be allowed to the four fish entries (this has to be the rule because of time limits). Points will be given based on weight. Top weight on those three days will win $200. Points will be given for daily placing-1st-10, 2nd-8, 3rd-6, 4th-4, and 5th-2. Overall prizes of $500, $400, & $300 will be given at the end of the event for this category. Let us know your thoughts. Rules will be posted on the website.
Single or Team: 1 or more anglers-one entry of four heaviest fish per boat or shore team.
For more information on this competition, go to the Rules Page.
PLEASE CAREFULLY IDENTIFY YOUR CATCH!
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 the 2011 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.
Starting this year we are required to report all bull trout entries to the authorities. Let’s strive for zero mistaken identities this year!
If you use the entry page, be sure and check for a reply with your entry number. If you do not receive a reply within a few days, please resend your entry.
Bob Ward and Sons of Missoula—we sincerely thank you for your generous support for awards and prizes for our anglers.
Wholesale Sports-Missoula—We thank you for your support of awards and prizes.
Lamiglas helps sponsor 3 rods per event—Thank You!!
Ronan Sports and Western—Thank you!!
Anglers have mistakenly turned in small bull trout to the contest thinking they were lake trout.
Please carefully identify each fish you catch. Review the differences between lake trout and bull trout and check for the red / orange spots on the side that signify a bull trout. We cannot continue the contests if they negatively affect bull trout.
It is illegal to keep bull trout, and we may have to disqualify anglers that turn in bull trout if this problem is not quickly resolved. Thank you for your help in this matter.
Young Bull Trout
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. Click here for more information.
Check Out this article on Hook Sharpening, which is key to proper maintenance of your tackle.