When my out-of-town friends visit Sandpoint, Idaho and Lake Pend Oreille, they are always amazed that there is actually a bounty on some of the best tasting fish in the world. Every lake trout of any size and rainbow trout more than 13 inches long harvested from Lake Pend Oreille through March, 2010, pays $15.00!
This opportunity is pretty amazing and easy to cash in on.
Rules For Getting Paid:
- Only rainbow and lake trout are eligible.
- Rainbow trout heads must be a minimum of 2 3/8 inches long from tip of nose to end of gill cover. Only whole heads with the entire jaw and throat area intact are eligible for payment.
- Cutthroat and cutthroat hybrids are not eligible.
- Harvesting bull trout or kokanee is illegal, and will be investigated by a conservation officer. Know how to properly identify fish.
- Your signature is required. They cannot pay anglers if slips are not signed.
How To Check Your Fish In:
- Please clean your fish on the lake – not on the dock or the freezer!
- Leave the head of the rainbow or lake trout in the drop-off freezer, not the whole fish. You may put multiple fish heads in one bag.
- Ziploc bags, water-proof slips and pencils are provided at freezer locations.
- Fill out your name, mailing address, phone number, Idaho fishing license number and date of birth on one slip for each bag. You must sign the data slip to be eligible for the cash reward.
- Put the bag through the small hatch door in the freezer and close the door.
- A headless carcass is legal, so long as the tail is attached, by a special exemption from the Fish and Game Commission. Normally it is not legal to have a trout, bass, salmon or steelhead (any fish with a length limit) in the field or in transit without the head attached.
Fish Head Freezer Locations
- Holiday Shores Marina - Ellisport Bay
- Hope Marine Services - Ellisport Bay
- Anchor Gas - Garfield Bay
- Hudson's Bay Marina - Bayview
- IDFG Field Research Station - Bayview
- IDFG Regional Office - Coeur d'Alene
Checks will be mailed to anglers twice a month. Be sure to fill out the angler information slip properly.
The reasons for living in North Idaho just never end. I have friends with a freezer full of trout heads ready to turn in for a nice payday. In addition, most Idaho fishing waters are located in the public domain, and are open to the public. Access is free.
This program has been in effect for the last few years but I am still waiting to see if it will be continued after March of 2010.