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From the Mouth of the River

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Mistakes have been made on Lake Pend Oreille

The dummying down of America has finally reached a point where we will believe anything!

When our government says, "Here," let me help you" we still have the audacity to say "Okay, bring it on."

As most of you are aware, I love to fish; in fact, that is one of the main reasons I moved here. That, and all the mountains, streams and wildlife, scenery beyond compare and one beautiful young lady who, by the way, loves all of the above! And so far has tolerated me!

We try to contain our fishing from the Clearwater and Snake to the south, north to the Kootenai and everything in between. Well call that area "local water." Then there are those occasions when our feet have traveling spasms and we can be caught fishing anywhere in the world.

If you were looking for a place to live and fish and you looked down on a map of North Idaho you would see mountains skirted with small feeder streams to rivers feeding large, deep, cold-water lakes.

When you looked in the regulations for fishing this area you would find the largest array of fish to be found anywhere in the U.S., from the largest, Sturgeon to the smallest, Perch.

World record class fish have been taken here and there are other record fish to be taken. (That’s a Known Fact.)

Forty years ago we committed ourselves to settle here, built a home and started to enjoy the abundance of what Mother Nature had to offer. In no time we started to notice that things were not what they seem. The logging community was in full swing, after all; everywhere you look there are trees. Logging trucks have the right-of-way on all roads. There are wide spots for you to pull out on all logging and Forest Service roads and you used them! Today, people don’t even notice those wide spots.

Clear-cuts are everywhere, as it was easier to cut down everything than it was to select only those trees big enough to make lumber; after all, trees are a renewable resource, right? Maybe somewhere, but not here. "Wrong climate!"

There are clear-cuts east of Sandpoint you can see from everywhere. They were left over from building Noah’s Ark. The Forest Service, trying to cover up their mistakes, tell everyone those are crop circles created by alien loggers!

If you think your government can’t help you, just ask the F/S about Lightning Creek drainage.

If a clear-cut is out of sight and no one sees it, they won’t complain until all the mountains wash into the creek and through the town. We the people stopped the clear cutting on Trestle Creek thanks to the listing of bull trout. Seems the flood from clear cutting blocked off the streams so the trout couldn’t go up to spawn. We had the U.S. of fish fighting the U.S. of trees. We won!

Along with threatening the life of any F/S personnel we caught up Trestle Creek, ever again.

Now, the F/S spends their time entertaining tourists and developing new words with the same old meaning!

All of the natural resources of Idaho, such as fish and wildlife, are managed from the Governor’s office, which means it is subject to change on a whim or every time we get a new Governor. This does not allow the wildlife department any leeway to make or implement any long term plans. As all the money created through their efforts, such as license sales, etc. goes through the Governor’s office, a Republican who is managed by all the rich tater farmers in the south whose theory is, "We got ours and you don’t!"

The greatest thing that has happened in Fish and Game in the last forty years, happened just a few days ago. One of their own stood up and in an article written for a big city newspaper, publicly admitted mistakes had been made concerning lake Pend Oreille, dating back to when mankind first stated "We can improve on what Mother Nature had intended this lake to be!"

Since that time, everything that has been tried has compounded the lake’s problems, one disaster after another , each one worse than the one before. And today is no different!

Look at it this way. A farmer has ten cows and one goat. The cows keep the goat away from the feed and the goat is wasting away. If Idaho Fish and Game was managing his farm, they would just kill all the cows!

I go out with a guide, pay him five hundred dollars to go fishing. We’re fishing with hooks on a lure. Right next to us, big boats are fishing with nets and killing the fish we are paying to catch! What’s wrong with this picture?

Now the talk is, they want to net all the white fish and sell them back east! That would leave… What? Pike Minnows. Come on Walleye, come on Tiger musky! Let’s face it, if our government helps us any more with this lake, in twenty years we won’t even have water in it!

I know all these people went to a bigger SKOOL than I did, but if they would just leave this lake alone it would straighten itself out in less than twenty years and I would be happy to fish for whatever fish lives here.

"How dumb can we be?" you ask. "Here, let us help you!"

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Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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