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Inaugural Spartan Fishing Tournament announced

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | May 15, 2024 1:00 AM

What's better than one fishing derby? Three fishing derbies, of course.

Fortunately for the region's anglers, they can take part in two of the three derbies at the same time. The third derby is specificially for West Bonner County School District students.

The derbies are part of the inaugural Spartan Fishing Tournament being held Saturday.

"This tournament is pretty unique in the fact that entrants are allowed to catch any species of fish," PRLHS teacher Tommy Hansen said. 

Hansen said the fun twist to the event is that there are three tournaments going on simultaneously, one for the biggest fish by weight overall, one for the combined weight of three different species, and one that is the biggest fish caught by a WBCSD student.

Half of the money from the public tournaments is collected as part of the donation and the other half goes into the prize pool. For the  student tournament, Hansen said that 100% of the money goes back into the prize pool. 

"I hope that this tournament is successful so that we can make this an annual tradition," he said.

The first derby is biggest fish (by weight) with a $15 entry fee. The second derby is for the highest combined weight of three different species of fish with a $15 entry fee. The third derby, for active West Bonner County School District students only, is for the bigest fish by weight. The entry fee is $10 and students must show proof of enrollment.

The tournament, which is hosted by the Priest River Lamanna High School Student Council as part of an effort to bolster council funds, Hansen said.

"The council is in charge of hosting dances, setting up events, and overall promoting a better school culture, all of which the money from the fishing tournament fundraiser will benefit," said Hansen, who took on the position of Student Council advisor this year.

"Both this community and I have a love of fishing," Hansen said. "The class and I both saw this as an amazing opportunity to help bring together the school and the community to help raise funds for the Student Council/Leadership Class through a shared interest."

Hansen, who has experience with fishing tournaments, talked to the students and all agreed — this was a great way to raise funds for the council.

Half of the money from the two public tournaments will go to the student council funds. Hansen said the council hopes to raise at least $1,000 after all is said and done.

"But we are hoping that with enough people involved that we could possibly raise over $2000," he added.

Any legally harvestable species found in the Pend Oreille River from Albeni Falls to Laclede, as well as Chase and Freeman lakes.

Volunteers are needed to help manage the tournament and work with Leadership students to weigh and record the weight of the fishat one of the four weigh stations, as well as manage prizes, Hansen said.

Donations are also sought to add to the prize pool. Anyone wishing to donate to the prize pool, should contact Tommy Hansen at PRLHS by phone at 208-448-1211, ext. 7123; or by email at tommyhansen@sd83.org.