MOLSON – The seventh annual NW Ice Fishing Festival will be held at Sidley Lake near Molson on the Saturday of President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 19.
The popular wintertime event is sponsored by the Oroville Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Molson Grange.
This year the tournament features a Grand Prize of $300 donated by Kinross Gold Company for the combined weight of an angler’s two biggest fish. The first place prize in the adult division for the single biggest fish will be a $150 gift certificate donated by Cabela’s and the prize for second place will be an ice auger donated by Prince’s Department Store. The third place prize has yet to be determined. In the youth division there will also be cash and gift prizes for first and second place biggest single fish. The third place prize is an ice fishing pole donated by Princes. Each angler that registers will also get valuable coupons from Cabelas.
Registration to fish in the contest can be done any time between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Molson Grange Hall or the office on the lake. The price to register is $20 for adults and $10 for youngsters ages 14 and under. Fishing in the contest takes place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with all fish turned into the judges by 4 p.m.
Anglers and others can enjoy a breakfast available at the Molson Grange for $7 between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and there will be coffee and snacks available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Grange Hall. There are also food and beverages available for sale at the edge of the lake.
Other events taking place include a dog sledding demonstration by Rev. Gary Forgey during the afternoon, arts and crafts booths, games, music and socializing in the Grange Hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those that want to set up their own table can do so for free if they reserve space by Feb. 1 by contacting Jeanette at (509) 485-2035 or Robin at Eden Valley Guest Ranch at (509) 485-4002. Starting at 3 p.m. until the judges are ready there will be a bluegrass band performing. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. the Sitzmark Ski Area will be cooking up an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner with salad, bread and desert for $10. Prizes will be awarded about this time when the judges have determined the winners
“All proceeds will help the Oroville Chamber promote local business and tourism in the North Okanogan,” said Robin Stice, a chamber volunteer who serves as chairperson for the event.
Eden Valley Guest Ranch, which is owned and operated by Stice and her husband Pat, has also donated an ice fishing scale to the chamber to use at the event and at future events.
As it has in the past, the chamber donates the profits from the event to running the Visitor Information Center, now operated by the Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society at the Oroville Depot Museum.
Prize sponsors are still welcome for the contest and volunteers to help at the event are also always welcome. To find out more about sponsoring a prize or to volunteer contact Stice at (509) 485-4002 or by email at email@example.com.