Lake Hatcher Ice Fishing Tournament
The below article is from Dan Appenzeller about the February 2005 Ice Fishing Tournament on Lake Hatcher. During the winter months, the Pagosa Lakes Property Association and other organizations sponsor a series of ice fishing tournaments for adults and kids alike.
It was like a day at the beach. Sunny skies against the bright white snow made for a fantastic yellow perch fishing tournament last Saturday at Hatcher Lake in the Pagosa Lakes area west of town. With the perfect weather, all that was needed was for the perch to be hungry– and hungry they were. Around 115 anglers including me, women and children from all over the community brought their augers and fishing rods for a shot at more than $700 in prize money.
Contest categories included largest perch and largest quantity of perch. Prizes were awarded for first, second and third place in each category. The entry fees for individuals 16 and over was $7. Kids under the age of 16 fished for free. With the huge overpopulation of perch in the Pagosa Lakes, PLPOA Property and Environment Manager Larry Lynch and tournament organizers have found a way to decrease the species, allowing the more sought after trout and bass numbers to increase.
The winner in the most perch caught category was Doug Burkholder with 180 perch; second place went to Ron Geers with 175 perch and third place went to Steve Paradill with 169 perch. In the largest by weight category, Joe Rivas Sr. took first place; second and third place was a tie between Gary Rowe and Don Tweet. First place winners received $150, second place $100 and third place winners received $50.
Winners in the kids’ categories received ice fishing rods, reels and other fishing-related tackle. In the 12 to 16 year old age group, the winners were Chris Moody with 61 perch, Brad Gore with 9 perch and Nicole Vincin with 8 perch. In the 11 and under category the winner were Ethan Brown with 28 perch, Dillon Martinez with 21 perch and the tie for third place went to Carter Walsh and Zach Brown with 17 perch apiece.
If you didn’t make the tournament this Saturday you’re in luck. There will be another ice fishing tournament on Lake Pagosa Saturday February 12 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Discounted $5 entry tickets can be purchased in advance at the PLPOA administration office, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, Ponderosa Do It Best and the Chamber of Commerce. Registration on the day of the contest will be $7. There’s no entry fee for kids 16 and younger. So break out your short rod, auger and lunch for some great family fun.