Could a fish worth $1 million be swimming around Washington, Oregon or Idaho?
In a nationwide contest put on by Cabela’s and with cooperation from game agencies, Henry Hagg and Detroit Lakes in the Beaver State, Potholes Reservoir and Washington, American and Sprague Lakes in the Evergreen State, and CJ Strike and Lucky Peak Reservoirs and Lake Couer d’Alene in the Gem State are among the 65 waters across the country where specially tagged trout, bass and other species have been captured and released.
Many will win their catchers prizes like Costa sunglasses, Sterry Topsider shoes, Abu Garcia reels, Berkley line, AT&T computer routers, and Cabela’s gift cards, and one will be worth $1 million.
According to ODFW, the contest starts May 14 and continues through July 14, and participants must register on-line to be eligible for prizes. Register by going to the Cabela’s Web site, cabelas.com/fishformillions.
“We are very excited about Oregon’s participation in the ‘Wanna Go Fishing for Millions’ contest,” said Matt Eastman, host of Outdoor Channel’s “Wanna go Fishing” program. “If $2.2 million doesn’t get your juices going I don’t know what will.”
That’s the combined value of the prizes, with a grand prize of $1 million. Participating water bodies have from 10 to 15 fish, each tagged with small “spaghetti” tags with unique numbers. Anglers lucky enough to catch a fish with one of these tags can claim their prize by entering the tag number and other information on the Cabela’s website.
In addition to the prizes, anglers will have the benefit of catching some nice fish. At Hagg Lake, for example, ODFW biologists have tagged a total of 15 bass ranging from 2 to 5 pounds.
“Can you imagine the excitement of catching a 5-pound largemouth bass and finding a tag that could be worth a million dollars?” said Gary Galovich, ODFW’s Western Oregon warmwater fish biologist.
At Detroit Lake, ODFW’s Marion Forks Fish Hatchery tagged and released 12 3-pound rainbow trout for the contest.
“Trout don’t hold up like bass, and you could find them just about anywhere in Detroit Lake,” said Alex Farrand, assistant district fish biologist for ODFW’s South Willamette Watershed.
ODFW opted to participate in the contest in an attempt to encourage people to get out and discover the joy of fishing, according to Rhine Messmer, ODFW’s Recreational Fisheries Program manager.