By Renae Counter Explorebigsky.com Editorial Assistant

HEBGEN LAKE – Kirkwood Resort and Marina is holding its fifth annual Trout Cook-Off Saturday, Aug. 18.

Last year the event hosted approximately 300 people, and the resort is anticipating reeling in a larger crowd this year, according to Kirkwood manager Pamela Sveinson.

“Last year the event doubled from the year before,” Sveinson said.

The event starts at 9 a.m. with Zumba by the lake, followed by the second Annual Hebgen Lake Sailboat Reggata hosted by the Hebgen Lake Yacht Club starting at 10:30 a.m.

Throughout the day, chefs will prepare their best trout recipes. Chefs using fish caught in Hebgen Lake this summer will get additional points; even more bonus points will go to those using fish caught the weekend of the event.

“The first couple years we had professional chefs come in for the event and they were beaten by the local fisherman who got the extra points for catching the fish in Hebgen Lake,” Sveinson said.

There are still openings for people to show off their trout cooking skills, she said. The resort will provide cooking utensils and barbeque equipment.

There are two chances to win the cook-off. The top $250 prize will be judged by Chef Jim Gray, “The Kitchen Guy” from Missoula and Suzi Rasdale, who will also be the musical entertainment for the evening. The $150 people’s choice award will be the attendees chance to sample the trout dishes and vote on their favorite. Along with cash, the winner is also awarded bragging rights.

Throughout the evening there will also be free beer tasting from Montana breweries, kayak rides and fly casting lessons. Awards for both the sailboat regatta and trout cook-off will be presented at 7 p.m. and followed by an evening of live music by Rasdale, an open jam session and a bonfire beside the lake.

For further information or entry forms, contact Kirkwood Resort and Mariana (406) 646-7200 or visit kirkwoodresort.com.