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Sports • The Chronicle • Feb. 19, 2014

www.omakchronicle.com

Gary Cleveland, 62, of Tonasket, relaxes on ice-covered Molson Lake during the annual Ice Fishing Festival Saturday in Molson.

Trout put fishermen

ON ICE,

“ It is with great disappointment we report no fish were caught. Spokeswoman Robin Stice

Story and photos by Roger Harnack

again

” Northwest Ice Fishing Festival included arts, crafts and plenty of hot, tasty food

Fishermen win prizes in drawing

M

OLSON — Despite predictions of great fishing on Molson and Sidley lakes, trout in those cold waters put fishermen on ice again this year. “It is with great disappointment we report no fish were caught,” spokeswoman Robin Stice said at the conclusion of the event. Stice, who owns the nearby Eden Valley Guest Ranch, said that fishermen had been pulling trout out of the aerated lakes in recent days. “Fish had been caught up to just days before the festival,” she said, noting they ranged in size from 14-17 inches. “The fish seem to be alive and well and very well fed on the recent freshwater shrimp hatch.” Indeed, anglers trying their luck on Molson Lake noticed the shrimp at the start of the derby. “You can see shrimp in the hole,” Aaron Meyer, 32, of Loomis said. Shrimp foiled the derby three years ago, and there’s been a catch drought at the derby ever since. Meyer, who started the day optimistic, wasn’t worried about catching fish. He said he was on the frozen lake to spend time in good company and enjoy what Mother Nature had to offer on the balmy 30degree day. “It’s a good thing for the community,” he said, adding this was his first time participating. Nearby, 62-year-old Gary Cleveland of Tonasket was also

A wheel comes off a Pinewood Derby car as racers warm up their vehicles Saturday. participating for the first time. “This was just a good reason to get out and enjoy the day,” he said, early in the morning. “I hope I catch a fish.” On adjacent Sidley Lake, fishermen were standing by the fire and drilling holes trying to find just the right location to hook a lunker. Tim Roberts, 54, of Molson, decided to enjoy the day on the ice in comfort. Roberts mounted a plush recliner on skis and attached a rod holder, and just relaxed waiting for fish. Roberts was fishing with a number of friends, many of whom race stockcars at Eagle Track Raceway each summer. The racers used mechanized augers to drill holes to fish. After drilling holes, they stood by their fires and warmed up with conversations of hot summer races and hot bottles of sake warming by the flames. Event organizers said they’ll move the fishing derby to Jan. 17 next year to see if fish can be caught prior to any possible shrimp hatch.

Elisabeth Ruhl, 28, and Aaron Meyer, 32, both of Loomis, were first-time participants in the annual ice fishing derby.

Above, Tonasket residents Tyce Hirst, 8, James Gasho, 9 and Cody Stirek, 9, from left, kill time waiting for a trout to bite while fishing on Sidley Lake. At left, Kenny Cyr, 31, of Omak, uses a power auger to drill through the ice on Sidley Lake during the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival in Molson.

MOLSON — Even though fishermen competing in the annual Northwest Ice Fishing Festival were left on ice by the trout, they didn’t all go home empty-handed. Prize winners Saturday included: Grand Prize — Carl Bjelland, a $500 Hughes Department Store gift certificate. First-place — Mark Scholla, a $50 Akins Harvest Foods gift certificate, $25 for Rancho Chico Mexican restaurant and a fishing pole from Big R. Second-place — Paul Fontaine, a $50 Akins Harvest Foods gift certificate and an Eden Valley Natural Beef basket. Third-place — Mike Sheldon, a $50 Akins Harvest Foods gift certificate. Youth First-place — Cameron Jones, a fishing pole with tackle and a sleeping bag from Mary Lou’s Gifts. Youth Second-place — Ben Scheidemantle, a pillow, flashlight, magnifier, and fishing pole with tackle from Mary Lou’s Gifts and Lee Frank’s. Youth Third-place — Indira Roraback, a tackle kit and games from Mary Lou’s Gifts. Oldest Fisherman — Don Beanblossom received a gift certificate. Youngest Fisherman — Indira Roraback, puzzles. Smallest Fish — Karen Buchanan, a $35 Hometown Pizza gift certificate. Grand Raffle Prize — Dick Garner, two nights stay at Veranda Beach Resort.

Molson Grange’s Willie Penner, 67, right, serves Ella Kunkel, 66, of Crumbacher, hashbrowns Saturday at the start of the annual Northwest Ice Fishing Festival in Molson.

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