I always enjoy hearing from readers, and my inbox has been busy of late. This week’s column is full of answers and opinions on topics you asked about, plus a few extra goodies thrown in.
Walleye in Cascade?
I’ve been getting lots of inquiries about the walleye caught last month at Lake Cascade. It is only one fish, but it has created quite a stir and officials seem convinced it was a deliberate, illegal stocking.
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Several people have asked me if it would be cool to have a walleye fishery at Cascade. In a vacuum, the answer is yes, but the consequences of introducing new species don’t happen in a vacuum. Given that Cascade already supports a world-class perch fishery — not to mention quality fishing for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass — it is disappointing that someone would intentionally introduce another predatory species for their own selfish reasons.
Hopefully, this was an isolated fish. I remember someone catching a walleye in C.J. Strike years back, and nothing came of it. If a walleye population does take hold, it will be years before we realize the full impact. Maybe the toothy critters could successfully coexist in Cascade. But those types of decisions should be made by Fish & Game officials — not rogue anglers.
More Record Fish
Last week’s fishing report detailed the record Mackinaw caught at Payette Lake. I’m also happy to report a new catch-and-release record perch caught by reader David Ekmark this summer at Lake Cascade. David’s monster perch measured 17 inches. And since he let it go, it will be there — likely flirting with the coveted three-pound mark — when Cascade’s legendary perch fatten up during ice fishing season.
Come Fishing with Me
Speaking of ice fishing, my Ice Fishing 101 class is taking registrations. This year’s course will be held Nov. 13 and Nov. 15 on The College of Idaho campus in Caldwell. Students will get a complete introduction to ice fishing including hands-on instruction, insider tips and a tackle goodie bag. The class also includes a guided ice fishing trip (date TBA by weather). To register, go to the College of Idaho’s Community Learning website or call (208) 459-5166. You can also email me for more info. Recent classes have sold out quickly, so get in fast.
A Hot New Item
A quick product review for you: I recently tested some fire starters from Pine Mountain, and I was impressed. I used the ExtremeStart model in traditional camping and alpine backpacking scenarios. In both cases, the starters lit with one match and burned hot, helping ignite a nice campfire. The logs are small (they fit in your pocket), lightweight and safe for cooking. They’re also easy to use — simply light a wrapped starter under your firewood and you are good to go. These starters will be ideal for upcoming cold-weather camping, when wet conditions and numb fingers make building a fire difficult. Get more info at pinemountainfire.com.
Visiting the Lions Den
I’d like to thank the Boise Bench Lions Club for hosting me as their guest speaker in August. I enjoyed spending time with some great people, sharing fish stories and learning about all the awesome service work these Lions do in our community. Thanks for having me (and keep all those secret fishing holes between us!)