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North Idaho Steelhead Derby Called Off For The Foreseeable Future

Idaho Statesman File

A northern Idaho steelhead fishing competition has been cancelled indefinitely because of dwindling attendance and low fish stocks.

The competition once touted itself as the nation’s largest steelhead derby. But on Tuesday, the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce announced it won’t happen as planned in November.

Kristin Kemak, executive director of the chamber, says the once-popular fundraising event for the nonprofit has seen a decrease in participants every year as Steelhead numbers remain low and inconsistent. She says the event no longer makes financial sense.

“The amount of effort it takes to execute the event is now outweighing the financial benefit for our organization," said Kemak. 

The amount of steelhead returns has seen fluctuations for years now. Late last month, Idaho Fish and Game closed fishing of this trout on the Clearwater River because of extremely low returns.

The eight-day derby will now be replaced by a new one-day Rogers Dodge Outdoor Cookoff. The fundraising event will host head-to-head cooking competitions and outdoor food demonstrations.

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