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SLR Walleye Association sets derby

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MASSENA - The St. Lawrence River Walleye Association will host its annual Opening Day Walleye Derby on May 4 from 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the boat launch at Whitaker Park in Waddington with the scales opening at noon. 

The entry fee is $50 per two-person team with an optional $20 per team big fish contest. There will also be a $5 restocking fee for nonSLRWA members.

This year’s event will feature wider boundaries and a slot limit. This year’s boundaries stretch from the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge to the top side of the Robert Moses Power Dam.

Under the new format for this year the prize-winning teams will be determined by the best weight for (3) fish 18”-23” and (1) fish over 23”. All fish over 23” must be able to be released and any dead fish will receive an 8 oz penalty.

Any fish between 18” and 23” can be kept by the fishermen and do not need to be released.

“We widened the boundaries to open the derby up to more anglers,” said SLRWA President Mike Gagner who related that use a of slot-limit was two-fold in purpose.

The first was to protect the large female Walleye in what is expected to be a late spawn because of the cold water conditions caused by the weather conditions.

The second was to even the playing field somewhat for the anglers.

“Everyone is expecting a late spawn and we really want to protect the large female walleyes by limiting the number that can be weighed in and by releasing all the big fish which are caught,” said Gagner.

“Also by targeting the smaller males makes it easier for the anglers who only get to fish once or twice a week to do very well in the derby while competing against anglers who have the opportunity to spend a lot of time fishing.”

The awards ceremony will be held at the JC River Run Bar and Grill in Waddington at 3 p.m.

Signups will be taken at the JC River Run Bar & Grill on Friday, May 3 from 6-7:30 p.m.  For a complete list of rules please visit www.stlawrenceriverwalleyeassociation.com or call Mike at 384-3450.

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