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Opening weekend kicks off with a bang for Mack Days

By Paige Sedgewick, Reporter, psedgewick@kcfw.com
Published On: Mar 15 2014 09:42:09 PM MDT
A 13-year old bringing in the fish he caught to be counted
BIGFORK, Mont. -

Mack days are back in Flathead county. It started yesterday with a bang. Anglers brought in 1-thousand and fifty-five fish.

The confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes started Mack days as a way to reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. While reducing those numbers fishers are having fun in the process.

 Mack days are held twice every year, once in the fall and once in the spring. For every fish you catch, you get a ticket which enters you into lottery drawings where you can win prizes. There are tagged fish out in the lake, and if you catch one you will win a money prize. The amount of money depends on the tag, the amounts are all different.

It may only be the second day, but fishers came in with coolers full of fish. Organizers of the event said 460 anglers have signed up and they expect over 1-thousand.

Anglers can keep the fish they caught but the majority decides to donate them.  

"They're filleting these fish, we get them right in the freezers, their frozen and then they will be delivered to the food banks next week, starting then. And then they go from Missoula to Whitefish,” said Cindy Benson, Mack Days Organizer.

If you want to sign up and participate in Mack Days, it’s not too late. Check out Mack Days website to get all the details.