Staff with Idaho Fish and Game and anglers on Lake Pend Oreille struck a sweet partnership to benefit how the rainbow trout fishery in the lake is managed.
Anglers got to do what they do best - fish!
While fishing, they could opt to participate in the Lake Pend Oreille Angler Science Program by filling out fishing logbooks and reporting any tags they saw in fish they caught.
In return for their participation in the program, anglers received free swag along with the opportunity to win some awesome raffle prizes, such as a Yeti Tundra 45 cooler, a Bubba electric filet knife and more!
How did it go?
Compared to the three participants in the program in 2020 (if you are one of those participants, you rock!), the effort in 2021 was a success. A total of 27 anglers participated in the program, and there was no shortage of smiles as participants left the Fish and Game Panhandle Regional office with prizes in tow.
Participant Joe Wright, winner of a Bubba electric filet knife, said, “Winning prizes for fishing, who doesn’t like that?”
After claiming his prize, Wright called all of his buddies to ask if they had turned in their fishing logbooks.
His response when they told him they hadn’t? “Too bad for you!”
So whether you are one of Wright’s buddies or not, here is your invitation to participate in the program and possibly win big for fishing in 2022!
The time frame for the 2022 angler science program will closely mimic what took place in 2021, so keep your eye out for notices in fall 2022.
What’s the purpose of the program?
Sure we enjoy seeing the smiles of anglers as they walk away with free swag and raffle prizes, but the Lake Pend Oreille Angler Science Program is all about managing the rainbow trout fishery in the lake.
We can easily collect information about the rainbow trout population (and many other species in Lake Pend Oreille) through standard fisheries sampling methods, but getting data on how anglers are using and interacting with the fishery is incredibly challenging. Ironically enough, the angler-fishery interaction piece of the puzzle is also arguably one of the most important pieces.
The information gained from the Lake Pend Oreille Angler Science program (both the logbooks and the reporting of tags) will specifically help us better understand the rainbow trout fishery.
For example, logbook data will be used to estimate catch rates (the number of fish caught per hour by anglers) and monitor the size of fish being caught. Tagging data will be used to estimate harvest rate (the percentage of fish in the population that are harvested by anglers).
Continuing this program into the future will allow us monitor changes that occur in the fishery over time. This will allow us to adjust our management accordingly to sustain the world-class rainbow trout fishery.
So, thanks to all who participated in the Lake Pend Oreille Angler Science Program in 2021, and make sure to join in on the fun in 2022!
Please contact the Panhandle Regional office at (208) 769-1414 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Angler Science Program on Lake Pend Oreille.
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