NW Ice Fishing Festival this Saturday at Molson; Grand Prize $1000

NW Ice Fishing Festival judge Dan Lepley weighs a fish at the 2016 contest.
Gary DeVon/G-T file photo                           NW Ice Fishing Festival judge Dan Lepley weighs a fish at the 2016 contest.

MOLSON – The 14th Annual Northwest Ice Fishing Festival is set for this Saturday, Jan. 13, with fishing at Sidley Lake, as well as several activities at the Molson Grange Hall.

People angling to fish should register at the Molson Grange Hall at 7 a.m., with fishing starting at 8 a.m. and going to 3 p.m. The ice on the lake is supposed to be plenty thick this year, according to Karen Frisbie, Oroville Chamber of Commerce President. While the fishing is going on at the lakes there will be lots going on at the hall. Everyone is invited to start their day with the Molson Grange Breakfast which goes from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., according to Frisbie.

“The good news is the grand prize will be $1000! Registration prices will remain at the current low levels for all to participate,” said Robin Stice, one of the event’s coordinators.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Pete Valentine, with a five pound trout caught in Molson Lake, said Stice, adding that 18 fish were caught in Sidley and Molson Lakes at the 2017 NW Ice Fishing Festival with a total of 36.3 pounds.

“The spring and summer saw high fishing activity with high catch rates and happy fishermen and ladies. The lake is at a higher level than in many years. The health of the lake seems good and currently there were many varieties of ducks with hawks and eagles near the lakes,” Stice said.

New this year will be an ice hut contest with voting on the best hut set for 1 p.m. And, as usual there will be arts and crafts and raffles. This year there will be BINGO, as well. In addition, the Sitzmark Ski Club will be serving lunch.

At 3 p.m. the the competitors, young and old will be making their way to the Grange Hall where they can warm up and the prizes will be awarded.

The outlook for fishing is anyone’s guess this year as the state Department of Fish and Wildlife did not fund operation of the aerator at Sidley Lake. However, Kevin Myrick and Pat Stice kept the aerator going. Bob Hilderbrand and Sharron Cox kept the one at Molson Lake operating, according to Stice.

The annual contest is sponsored by the Oroville Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Molson Grange. Money raised at the event goes toward funding the Oroville Visitor Center and the Sidley Lake Aerator.