Mahlen Expands Lead at Spring Mack Days

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell angler Jason Mahlen continues to expand his lead in the Spring Mack Days fishing event.

Mahlen turned in a total of 331 lake trout in the second weekend of this year’s competition. Mike Benson of Lonepine is second with 207 entries. Craig Morigeau of Polson is third with 205. Steven Benson of Four Lakes, Wash., is in fourth with 189. Fifth place belongs to Dean Vaughan of Charlo, 158.

Anglers have turned in a total of 5,114 lake trout so far. There were 2,223 fish caught in the first weekend and 2,891 landed last weekend. The top 10 anglers are place by their best 18-day average out of 34 days. Up to $150,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to anglers at the conclusion of the event.

The “Heaviest Bucket of Fish” category opens March 29. Anglers may enter as a boat team or a single angler can enter as a team. Anglers should mark their heaviest four lake trout before coming through the door to enter them. They will be put into a bucket and a weight will be taken. Heaviest bucket of fish will win $200. There are two other Bucket of Fish Days: April 20 and May 5. Overall prizes will be given at the conclusion of the event for the Bucket Day Category. Visit the Mack Days website for more information.

Susan Martin of Polson leads the ladies with 51, second place is held by Nicole Peters of Missoula with 31 and Julie Vacca of Florence is in third place with 27.

Youth leaders (13-17) are Kobe Cox of Charlo with 46; Connor Kowalski of Florence with 44 and Danner Shima of Kalispell with 39. Garett Vaughan (12 & under) expanded his lead to 135, Abby Hodgson of Kalispell is second with six and Cole Gillard of St. Ignatius has four.

Mack Days events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The events are a management tool developed to implement the Flathead Lake and River co-management plan. The events are used as a tool to slowly suppress non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to benefit native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. The prospects for future contests will be determined by the outcome of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be completed this spring.

RELATED: No More Mack Days?

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