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Spring Mack Days event continues

News from CSKT Natural Resources

Up to $225,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded on the last day of 2018 Spring Mack Days - May 13, sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. There are four weekends to go in the event. An angler can fish Friday-Sunday and enter at least one fish to become entered in the lottery style drawing that begins at $450 and goes to $1,000 in 35 drawings. There are a lot of different ways to win prizes in the event in several different categories. Mack Days are used as a tool to reduce lake trout in Flathead Lake that are not native to the Flathead system and increase the numbers of native bull trout and weststlope cutthroat whose populations have declined over the years. Lake trout are voracious eaters and prey on other species of fish. They have been caught with full stomachs of fish and tails coming out of their mouths-and will still be looking for more. They also eat mysis shrimp which have changed the color of the flesh of the lake trout turning it to many different orange colors and making them less fatty to eat than they were back in the day when they were feeding on the now extinct kokanee salmon that were popular years ago. Once the lake trout population exploded the salmon were gone in a few years. Protecting the native fish that are here now and that have been in the system for thousands of years is important to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe and the people of Montana. 

A total of 20,475 lake trout have been entered in the event so far. That is six hundred behind last year’s total at this time. Weather has been the key that has kept anglers at bay this event. Wind is the enemy on the lake. These anglers have put in some rough days and like everyone else are anxious for spring weather and sunny days to begin. 

The $10,000, 3-$5,000, 5-$1,000 and over 6000 $500-$100 tagged fish are still in the lake. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Entry is free. For more information go to www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-270-3386. 

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