CSKT gearing up for Spring Mack Days
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: February 6, 2023

If you are an angler looking for somewhere to fish, consider the 2023 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake!  Sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes the event will begin on Thursday March 16th and will end Saturday May 13th. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes awarded to the well deserving anglers. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes offer a special Flathead Lake fishing stamp for the south half of the lake.  


Mack Day anglers help reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Anglers spend many hours on the water to help increase the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat populations that once dominated the lake and were an important part of the fishing history of native people and all Montanans. Lake trout abundance exploded in Flathead Lake in the 1980’s after mysis shrimp arrived there.  Lake trout are predators who drove native fish numbers to very low levels. The Mack Day Fishing Events are a critical tool for reducing lake trout abundance. Future generations will thank today’s anglers for making a difference in conserving native fish!


Anglers are dreaming of catching the $10,000 tagged fish, one of the three $5,000 fish, or one of the five $1,000 tagged lake trout. There is an additional $1,000 tagged lake trout sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine in Missoula.  There are also over 9,000 lake trout in Flathead Lake with $100-$500 tags. These tags are not visible, they are scanned and read when entered as the catch is counted at the end of the day by the CSKT Fisheries staff.


All anglers catching 11 or more lake trout receive bonus dollars. The higher their catch the higher the bonus dollars.  For example:  11-30 lake trout entries $45, 31-50 entries $88, 51-75 entries $150, 76-100 entries $205, 205-225 entries $518, 301-325 entries $813 on up. No pooling of fish between anglers is allowed. Lake trout must be entered the same day they are caught. Go to the website www.mackdays.com under the events tab and click on the rules drop down page for more information and the bonus dollar chart.



Rumors are that some anglers have been seen in their dry land-locked boats while the weather is in the single digit numbers, getting ready for the fifty nine days of lake trout fishing.  It is competitive but also all in fun-which is an important part of the event, as many stories and lifelong friendships will be made.


The event is open to men, women, and children of all ages. There are categories set up with prizes for the Ladies, Golden Oldies-70 or Over, Youth 13-17, Youth12 & Under.  Top Twenty Anglers by total or average, Largest Lake Trout over 36” and 20 pounds, Smallest Lake Trout.  Lottery prizes are drawn from all of the entries and range from $50 to $2,000 drawings, Siberian Cooler Prizes, Captains Prizes, and more.


The event will end on Saturday, May 13th, the day before Mother’s Day. Numerous special prizes will be awarded specifically for that day.  All fish must be in by 3:00 pm on the last day after which a ceremony will be held for the Top Twenty Anglers, Ladies, Youth, and 70 & Over winners.  Lottery Drawings will be posted.


Remember all it takes is one fish entry to be qualified to win in the lottery. Entry is free and allowed on every day of the event. There is one Early Bird Drawing for $200 for entries received on or before March 15th. You qualify with one fish entry. Visit the entry page on the Mack Days website under the events tab, call (406) 270-3386, or email cindy.benson@cskt.org with your name, mailing address, telephone number, and age.


Good luck and tight lines everyone!

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