Turner wins Spring Mack Days by catching 2,089 lake trout

Kalispell angler Kolton Turner caught an average of almost 96 lake trout a day over 18 days to win the 2023 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake.

Turner’s grand total for the top prize was 2,089 fish. In all, the 200 anglers registered in the tournament removed 33,297 lake trout from the large water body. The most ever removed in the tournament’s existence was 40,362 caught in spring 2019.

The event is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. It’s meant to help reduce the number of the nonnative fish to boost the population of native bull trout, a threatened species.

The other top five finishers were: 2) Jason Mahlen, Kalispell, 1,639 and 88.61 average; 3) Robert Turner, Kalispell, 1,696 and 78.28 average; 4) Clint Speer, Kalispell, 1,077 and 52.5 average; and 5) Travis Banyai, Lakeside, 1,085 and 50.67 average.

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The top female angler was Leah Banyai, of Kalispell, with 312 fish. Winner of the 13-17 age category was Brodie Smith of Kalispell with 285 fish. Wyatt Best of Florence won the 12 and under category with 17. And Larry Karper of Florence won the

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