Anglers fish for a $1000 top prize
MOLSON – The 16th annual Northwest Ice Fishing Festival will take place this Saturday, Jan. 18 on Sidley Lake near Molson with a prize of fishermen and women angling for a $1000 top prize.
“It is that time of year again when over 300 people converge on this historical community of 35 for some outdoor adventure and fun,” said Karen Frisbie, president of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. “The event is hosted by Molson Grange and iis a statewide favorite.”
Registration takes place at 7 a.m. at the Molson Grange and prizes for adults and youths will be presented after a great day of fishing and enjoying and sharing our community, says Frisbie. Fishing will start at 8 am and go to 3 pm.
“For those who wish to stay warm, there are activities inside the Grange all day; starting with a pancake breakfast in the morning, the traditional arts & crafts fair, Makerspace activities for the kids, a silent auction and the return of Joyful Thai for lunch,” said Frisbie.
These activities combine with visiting with friends new and old, according to Frisbie, who reminds everyone not to forget the Ice Hut Contest, which awards a special prize to the best decorated ice hut.
Last year’s catch exceeded the records broken in 2018 and the sponsors are hoping for even better fishing this year. 2019 boasted 63 fish caught for a total weight of 63.75 pounds fish. The daily limit was raised by the state Department of Fish & Wildlife to daily catch limits of five.
“Anglers from as far away as Michigan make the trip for this annual event,” said Frisbie. “One of the most important pieces of this tournament is continuing the tradition of our outdoor sportsman culture while bringing friends and neighbors out in the middle of winter to experience our amazing natural resources.”
Frisbie said the tournament could not take place without the chamber members and the tournament’s sponsors. This year’s Gold Sponsors are: The Country Store, Midway Building Supply, North Cascades Broadcasting and Upper Valley Disposal. Silver Sponsors include: Oroville Dental Center, Oroville Reman & Reload and The VIP Agency Group.
“We appreciate our sponsors’ commitment to our community,” she said.
Many local organizations come together to raise funds for their annual budgets through providing services, according to Frisbie. The Oroville Chamber handles the logistics, sponsorship and registration of the event and can be reached at 509-557-5165 with any questions. The Molson Grange has Penny Cole to assist vendors with questions regarding the arts & crafts fair, as well as the Grange Breakfast at 509-485-2343.The Oroville Library is bringing Makerspace activities for the youth this year. In addition, the Chamber is organizing a Silent Auction to help local youth get an awning for the Okanogan County Fair to show their feathered friends and to the Sidley Lake Aerator for power costs and maintenance.
“A huge thank you to Keven Myrick, Dave Mullins and Jerry Nelson for all the work you put into keeping the lakes healthy and aerator running. You are greatly appreciated!” she said.