There are only three days-Friday, Saturday, and Sunday-left in twenty four day 2014 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. A total of twelve thousand seventy lake trout entries have been entered. Each entry qualifies the hard working anglers for cash and merchandise prizes in the lottery style drawing held on Sunday November 16th the last day of the event. Friday was the high day of the seventh weekend with eight hundred seventy lake trout entries. Saturday followed with eight hundred forty six and Sunday was a wild wet, cold and breezy day with four hundred twenty nine entries. Total count for the seventh weekend was two thousand one hundred forty five.
Mack Days are used as an angler based tool by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to reduce numbers of non-native lake trout numbers in Flathead Lake and increase the abundance of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout as called for in the Flathead Lake Co-Management Plan. Mack Days are sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
Laurie Kreis of Huson leads the ladies angler category with 320 lake trout entries. Jeanee Mooney of Missoula is second with 185, Bobbi Hereford of Missoula is 3rd with 134, Kim McMillie of Ronan-4th-78, and Julie Vacca-Florence is 5th with 76.
The 70 & Over group has Larry Karper of Florence in 1st with 436, 2nd-Glenn Hoffman of Missoula with 177, 3rd-Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 136, 4th-Leonard Lewis-Missoula-86, and 5th-Ralph Johnson of Columbia Falls-77.
Tripp Bick of Arlee leads the 12 & Under category with 24, 2nd-Aaron Haynes of Arlee-20, 3rd and 4th -Dusty Haynes of Arlee with 6 and Ayden Tripp of Missoula 6, and 5th-Carson Erickson of Missoula-5. The 13-17 category has Myles Tripp of Missoula with 24, 2nd-Griffin Line-Missoula-10, 3rd-Addison Mueller of Hot Springs with 9, 4th-Garett Vaughan-Charlo-8, and 5th Kobe Cox-Charlo-7.
Two days are left for the anglers to increase their fifteen day averages. Top ten anglers are placed by the best fifteen day average for the event. Places can change fast as they drop low numbers and add new higher ones. Mike Benson of Lonepine continues to lead the Top Ten Anglers with 951 entries and a 56.0 average. Benson is followed by Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 855 and 53.4 average, 3rd-David McDaniel of Polson with 644 and 40.2, 4th-Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-636 and 42.4, 5th-Richard Kreis-Huson-636 and 33.6, 6th-Scott Bombard-Missoula-576 and 32.8, 7th-Craig Morigeau-Polson-510 and 33.0, 8th-Phil Meredith-Kalispell-498 and 29.2, 9th-Larry Karper-Florence-436 and 27, and 10th-Tim Mooney-Missoula-421 and 27.4. Top ten anglers receive coveted Top Angler sweatshirts and the top angler will receive a Top Angler jacket.
Heaviest Bucket of fish for the four largest fish under 30” on Sunday the third day of the category was anglers Phil Meredith and GW Schneider of Kalispell with a winning $200 bucket weight of 23 lbs.9 ozs. Overall winners of the Bucket of Fish category was a tie with eighteen points each. The tie had to be broken by total weight and winning in 1st is Richard and Laurie Kreis of Huson with a total of 65 lbs. 14 ozs. for the three days of the bucket contest. Second place goes to Meredith and Schneider with a total of 60 lbs. 12 ozs. for the three days, and third place Bob and Bobbi Hereford of Missoula with fourteen points and two day weight of 46 lbs. Winning buckets are assessed points 10, 8, 6, 4, or 2 for top five weights on the specified three days of the bucket contest.
Tagged fish with $100 values were turned in by Addison Mueller of Hot Springs, Tim Mooney X 3, Jeanee Mooney, Bob Christensen, Jim Auger, Bobbi Hereford X 2, Heather Jamison, Scott Bombard-Missoula, Felix Gauci-Stevensville, John Malatare X 2, Aaron Haynes-Arlee, Brandon Gilleard-St. Ignatius, and GW Schneider X 2-Kalispell. Bobbi Hereford also turned in a $200 tagged fish.
For more information go to www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-883-2888 or 406-270-3386.
(Report by Cyntha Bras-Benson)