Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby this weekend

GAZETTE PHOTOS / Michelle Tibbetts

Brad Willford, Mark Quinn and Mark Ristau of the Kemmerer Lions Club watch Game and Fish warden Christopher Beard and Travis Krebs from Black Canyon Trout Farm tag the trout for the Ice Fishing Derby on Lake Viva Naughton this weekend.

KEMMERER — Anglers, start up your ice augers! Will you be the lucky angler who pulls out a winning catch? The Kemmerer Lions Club is having its 35th annual Ice Fishing Derby at Lake Viva Naughton on Saturday, Feb. 16, and Sunday, Feb. 17. Last Saturday morning, the Lions Club members, joined by Game and Fish warden Chris Beard, tagged and planted six rainbow trout that will carry a combined total of $35,000 in prizes. In addition to the tagged fish, there is also $4,100 to give away in hourly, daily and biggest fish prizes.

“We will randomly draw the tag numbers and match them with the prize amounts,” said Kori Quinn, Lions Club member. “We pick a tag and pick a prize and stuff it in the envelope for derby day.” Protocol and procedure is always in place to be sure this is a fair contest. Anyone present at the tagging is not eligible for any of the grand prizes, but they are eligible for the hourly prizes, Quinn explained.

Lions Club member Kori Quinn holds one of the rainbow trout from Black Canyon Trout Farm at Lake Viva Naughton on Saturday.

With an estimated 116,000 fish swimming in Lake Viva Naughton, one is bound to catch some nice fish, but we all know that folks are hoping to find one of those tagged trout for the big money prize. Black Canyon Trout Farm from Grace, Idaho, donated about 20 eighteen-month-old rainbow trout. The Lions Club only tagged six of the fish and sent the rest on to their new homes in the frozen lake.

On Saturday, the team drilled several holes through the foot of snow and 2 feet of ice, with no slush in sight, giving the fish easy access to the lake below. Weather forecasts predict mild temperatures and great conditions for the derby this weekend.

Anglers interested in the derby can register early online at kemmererlionsclub.org/icefishing-derby. You can also stop into Kum&Go or Sinclair in Kemmerer and purchase tickets, or just pay the day of the event on site at the Derby Headquarters trailer parked in the Viva Naughton parking area.

Game and Fish warden Christopher Beard and Travis Krebs from Black Canyon Trout Farm in Idaho help the Kemmerer Lions Club get the rainbow trout ready for the annual Ice FIshing Derby on Lake Viva Naughton this weekend.