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Harlan and Margaret Walker, former owners of Talache Lodge, interviewed by Nancy Renk, 24 June 1996, in Sandpoint, Idaho.

 

HW: There is no counting the number of fish I caught…I call them trophy fish if they were over ten pounds.


R: Okay, so one fall, your last fall…

HW: I caught 34 trophy fish for our guests.

R: Oh, my. And where were you catching them? Was there a particular area of the lake that you took people to?

HW: Well, it depended on the time of the year. That was in the fall, that was in October which is the probably the best month of the season for catching the big fish. And, at that time, we would fish mostly over around the monarchs and well, from Granite to Dead Man Point (that's the monarchs) and then out toward the channel and out of Camp Bay and off of Mineral Point. That's the so-called kamloop triangle.

R: And that's where most of the records come from?

HW: That's where we catch most of the fish.

MW: See, we just got picture after picture after picture of those big fish.

R: What about when the dam went in? What did you notice about the lake changing and the fishing changing and all then?

HW: Didn't really notice a big change right off but shortly the fish used to start, the kokanee used to start running in the lower half of the lake early in the year, early in the spring, even as early as February. Some of the commercial fishermen start fishing then down around Bayview, Buttonhook Bay, Lakeview, in that area. And planes have gone over the lake and they can see a mass of kokanee a half a mile wide, a half a mile wide. And two or three miles long. That began to change. The pattern of their migration or movement in the lake began to change. Instead of catching them in February down around Bayview, for instance, then they would be further up the lake – I'd say Maiden Rock to Talache. And then they became fewer and fewer and harder to catch. Their runs, movement wouldn't start as early in the season. I can remember when Memorial Day, you could almost rent every boat three times. People come and go fishing and come in with their limit. You could rent that boat again; somebody else would go out and get their limit. It was that good. And that began to change.

I'm not as optimistic as some; I don't think we'll ever see it again like it was 35 or 40 years ago. I don't see how it possibly can.


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