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Spring Mack Days underway

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News from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

FLATHEAD LAKE —The 2014 Spring Mack Days began March 14 with 34 days of lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake. 

Mack Days runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only, March 14 through May 18, with 10 straight days May 9-18. 

Sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, the event offers $150,000 in cash and prizes. Go to the website for information, including fishing tips, entry forms, videos, boat safety, weather information, fish ID, etc., and updates during the event.

The tribes use the event as a tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in the lake. Increasing the diminished populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout is important to the tribes and Montana. Native bull trout and the weststlope cutthroat trout were the dominant fish of Flathead Lake and are a part of the fishing heritage of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the State of Montana.

All it takes is one fish to win and there are several different ways to accomplish that:  Lottery tickets, anglers receive one ticket for each lake trout under 30 inches; top 10 angler prizes including ladies and youth categories; Bucket of Fish Days for three specified days; weekend drawings; bonus amounts go up as your total goes up; and tagged fish, including a $10,000 fish, two $5,000, and five $1,000 tagged lake trout in the lake along with more than 5,000 fish tagged with values from $100-$500. 

Anglers also receive bonus amounts depending on their fish total at the end of the event. 

Again there will be a Heaviest Bucket of Fish competition included for three days of the event: Friday, March 28; Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, May 11. Prizes will be awarded for the four heaviest fish under 30 inches that are in an anglers count. The four heaviest fish entries are to be tagged or identified with some kind of marking, such as electrical ties, string or rubber bands before coming through the door at Blue Bay. Fish will be put in a bucket and one weight per boat will be taken. No changes will be made to entries. This has to be the rule because of time limits. Points are given based on weight. Top weight for each of the three days will win $200. Overall prizes of $300, $200, and $100, based on weight at the end of the three days, will be awarded at the end of the event.

We ask that all participants in Montana fishing tournaments to cooperate with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks by ensuring that all boats be washed prior to launching. Thorough cleaning of any plants or animals prior to launching a boat will help to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species. Report any sightings of an aquatic nuisance species to the National Hotline: 1-877-786-7267. 

Wash, clean, and dry is our best defense against these invaders.

The Mack Days website has information about bull trout identification. If you do not know how to identify these fish please go to the website or ask for information. All bull trout turned in during the event will be turned in to the proper authorities. 

Entries continue to be taken up until the last day of the event. Contact us if you have comments or suggestions at 

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