History of LPOIC

A huge thank you goes out to Bill Schaudt for providing us with what must have taken many hours of research to write. This is the history of our beautiful Lake Pend Oreille and Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club and why the club formed. It is the most comprehensive gathering of information about our lake and club.

Back in the Good Ole Days, History of Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club

By: Bill Schaudt, 1994


Ed Hahn- 20 lb. 5 oz Rainbow, November 2003

It’s interesting how “history” becomes accepted. I started researching something as simple as the beginning of the K&K Fishing Derby. I have now read conflicting articles from the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I have seen pictures and read accounts that are incredible. It does seem, though, that dates and recollections of times can easily vary, and yet, they blend together. One thing is clear: the story of the “Kootenay Rainbow” being introduced to Lake Pend Oreille is both fascinating and unbelievable. I don’t presume to claim what follows are the true facts, only the history as I have sorted through it.

Back in the late 1930’s, a number of Sandpoint anglers made several fishing trips to Kootenay and Trout lakes in British Columbia. There, they found a fighting fish that so impressed, that they began to envy their northern neighbors. Plans were hatched by these fishermen, who were also members of the Bonner County Sportsmen’s Association (BCSA), to investigate the possibilities of transplanting these “giant rainbows” to their own backyard, Lake Pend Oreille. Among these farsighted fishermen were Jim Weaver, Wray Farmin, Laurin Pietsch, Ross Hall and Ross Brown.

To make a long story short, after two years their lengthy negotiations resulted in the acquiring of 100,000 eyed eggs from the Kaslo Rod and Gun Club’s rearing ponds. These eggs came from spawn taken at Gerrard, B.C., on the Lardeau River just where the stream breaks out of Trout Lake. These precious eggs were brought to Sandpoint in June 1940 by Ross Brown, then-superintendent of the Sandpoint hatchery of the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Out of that first batch, only 2,500 fry survived a virus to make it to the lake in 1941. there was no evidence that any ever survived to become catchable fish. Read more…