No fish, but most enjoyed annual Ice Fishing Fest

The annual ice fishing festival is like a family reunion of sorts as many of the anglers gather every year to try their luck and catch up with family and friends. Sixty-nine adults and 17 youth participated in this year’s Northwest Ice Fishing Festival on Molson and Sidley lakes. Gary DeVon/staff photos

Several anglers try their luck in annual contest

MOLSON – Even a two time previous winner of the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival couldn’t land a fish last Saturday, although she had one on that threw the hook. But that didn’t mean the 86 participants, including 17 kids, didn’t have a lot of fun trying.

Just because this was the third fish-less year for the festival also didn’t mean there weren’t fish, there were many reports of fish on angler’s fish finders, just none willing to leave the icy waters of Sidley and Molson lakes to be claimed for a prize.

“The first fish caught wins this thing,” was the comment from most of the participants.

That elusive first fish and all his fellows weren’t cooperative, but all the prizes were awarded by the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event at an awards ceremony at the Molson Grange, event hosts. The prizes were the names of the anglers drawn from a coffee can.

And the winners were:

Grand Prize winner Dan Robinson of Oroville got a $500 gift certificate to Prince’s Department Store. Chamber President Clyde Andrews awarded the prize after volunteer Robin Stice drew the name from a can.

Grand Prize: Dan Robinson, Oroville – $500 Gift Certificate (Prince’s Dept. store)

Adult 1st:. Dave Granstrom, E. Wenatchee – Duffle (Midway Bldg) & Rod (Big R)

Adult 2nd: Craig Broadhead, Wauconda – Sled (Big R)

Adult 3rd: Harrel Rounds, Oroville – Camaray Certificate

Adult Smallest Fish: Frank Grunert, Oroville – $25 Certificate (Oroville Pharmacy)

Adult Mystery Weight: 16 ounces: Jason Llewellyn, Chesaw – Rod (Big R)

Eldest Fisherman: Walt Jennings, Oroville – Rod (Big R)

Youth 1st: – Seth Miller, Oroville – $75 Fish camping package (MaryLou’s Gifts)

Youth 2nd: – Karsyn Thrasher, Oroville – Gift basket (Sterling Bank)

Youth 3rd: – Joel Nesper, Oroville – Rod (Big R)

Youth Smallest Fish: – Machara Richter, Oroville – Fun Pole (Big R)

Youth Mystery Weight: 16 ounces: James Sutton, Oroville – Explorer Toys (Lee Frank)

Rev. Gary Forgery gives a demonstration ride to Jessica Ashley from Deer Park, Wash. The dog sledding demonstration was free, educational and fun with rides until the dogs tired. Riders ranged in age from two-years-old to mid-seventies. This was the best track yet put in by Matt Beecher with a large snowmobile, according to Robin Stice, a volunteer who helps organize the festival. The track was larger and worked better going with the topography.

“Ice Fishing in the Okanogan Highlands has been a historic treasure for generations of local people. This event provides the social aspects of a fishing tournament, yet preserves the culture and history for visitors in a living tradition,” said volunteer Robin Stice who helps to organize the event.

Money raised goes towards helping to support Oroville’s Visitor Information Center and the Grange breakfast, which attracted 227, will go towards repairs to the Grange roof.

“Chamber President, Clyde Andrews and wife Sandy of the Camaray Motel were invaluable along with Vickie Hart of Vickie’s Unique Boutique of Oroville for many aspects of preparation and registration. Jeanette Lamont of Molson coordinated the Arts and Crafts show. It takes many volunteers to pull off an event of this magnitude and all were appreciated,” said Stice.