After reading your Feb. 28 outdoor section article on walleye in Lake Pend Oreille, I just have to add my two cents.
The article states the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has spent millions to revive the kokanee and kamloops population (millions extorted from Avista and Bonneville Power, by the way). Who was responsible for the decline in the kamloops in the first place? How about a $15 a head bounty on the kamloops that went on for YEARS. Thousands killed.
Kamloops and IDFG’s god-like kokanee were originally trucked in and introduced to LPO (if you or I did this we would be arrested), making both varieties not a natural occurrence. The walleye, on the other hand, had migrated into LPO and established itself into the north end and river sections associated with LPO. This makes the walleye a naturally occurring species. Which has more rights to exist — naturally occurring or trucked in? The IDFG should let nature decide.
Because of varying habitats on LPO, it is perfect for a diverse fishery. I believe the IDFG cannot show any evidence that an extremely healthy walleye population would be hazardous to the IDFG’s sacred cow golden Idol Kokanee salmon, which is now grossly overpopulated and severely undersized. This will not change in the foreseeable future.
Just as in the past 25 years, the population of North Idaho and its sportsmen has diversified; so have angling tactics. Native Idahoans who believe the Kokanee and King are a declining population. Non-native resident anglers enjoy fishing for more species (tasty walleye, crappie, yellow perch and sporty bass and northern pike), not just species that have the IDFG’s sacred symbol: the adipose fin.