Trapshooters zero in on Missoula
By Hookemharry

Posted: May 8, 2003

More than 300 shotgun shooters will roll into Missoula this weekend to compete in the 21st annual Ron Hoppe Memorial Trapshooting Tournament.

The event will be hosted by the 400 members of the Missoula Trap and Skeet Club at their range west of town. The local non-profit club sits on 80 acres and provides its members with trap fields, skeet fields, an international style (Olympic) trap field, and a five-stand sporting clays course, according to member Steve Sautter.

“We are expecting over 300 of the nation’s top trap shooters,” Sautter said. “More than 250,000 targets will be thrown during the three-day tournament.”

The shoot starts at noon Friday, with thousands of dollars in trophies, prizes and cash to be awarded during course of the event.

If you would like to learn more about the sport of trap and skeet shooting, log onto or

The Montana Outdoor Radio Show will be broadcasting live from the shoot from this Saturday with a 6 to 8 a.m. show over our statewide radio network. Locally, there will be an extended broadcast from 8 to 10 a.m. on KGVO-1290AM in Missoula.

WALLEYE SPAWN: To follow up on the walleye spawn at Fort Peck Reservoir that I reported on last week, Mike Ruggles, the lake fish biologist who headed on the operation, reported that 88 million eggs were collected and brought to the Miles City fish hatchery.

“It was the number we were looking for,” added Ruggles. ” I would like to thank all the volunteers for making this another successful year.”

Thanks to Ruggles and the volunteers, anglers down the road fishing Fort Peck Reservoir and other walleye waters across the state will have good fishing in the years to come.

IDAHO FISHING: Pinner Larsen and his son Donnie went down to Orofino, Idaho, last week and caught three real nice Chinook salmon. They hit it before all the rain fell this past week and muddied up the Clearwater River.

It is a good sign this early in the season that maybe the salmon fishing will be above average this year. The experts say the fishing should pick up later this month for the salmon.

FORT PECK CHINOOKS: Mark Henckel, the Outdoor Editor of the Billings Gazette, e-mailed and said that he had a salmon report out of Fort Peck Marina from Dave Waterson.

“Some of the lake trout anglers are picking up a few salmon while trolling off the face of the dam that weigh in the 5 to 6 pound range”, said Waterson. (406-526-3442) Fishermen are catching them at 25 feet on Hookster Magnums, along with some lake trout. The action isn’t fast and furious by any means but after a disappointing salmon season last year, fish this early offers some promise that 2003 will be a better year for chinooks on Montana’s biggest water.

Waterson also indicated that Duck Creek usually has a pretty good post-walleye spawn bite in the early weeks of May.

HELENA LAKES: The reservoirs over by Helena are producing some nice-sized trout.

Holter and the north end of Canyon Ferry Lake seem to be the best places to troll. No reports of any kokanee being caught recently. The walleye fishing has been real slow too!

Eric Roberts, the fisheries biologist for Canyon Ferry, recently mentioned that one of the reasons for the big trout on the lake this year could be attributed to the big hatch of perch in 2001. Walleyes and trout both fed heavily on the big year class.