BUCKEYE LAKE – More than $3,500 in cash prizes will be awarded for carp caught during Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow’s first ever Buckeye Lake Carp Fest July 15 -17.
It might sound like a Beacon April Fool’s Day story, but it’s the real deal.
“The Carp Fest is designed to promote awareness of the challenges we face as a community in improving the overall water quality throughout the watershed,” BLT President Merv Barthlow explained. “Reducing the carp population is only one part of the process, but a very important part.”
As a bottom feeder, carp uproot aquatic vegetation and resuspend phosphorus from the lake sediment. The fish themselves also produce significant amounts of phosphorus which helps bluegreen algae grow.
The Carp Fest is modeled after Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission’s “Get the Carp Outta Here” tournament held June 3-5. About 300 registered fishermen removed more than 8,000 lbs. of carp from Grand Lake St. Marys.
Registration and weigh-in will be done at the North Shore boat ramp off Ohio 79 in Buckeye Lake Village. Registration is just $5 per fisherman and begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 15. All fishermen age 16 and older must have a valid Ohio fishing license. Cash prizes will be awarded in 12 different categories. Fishing may begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 15 and ends at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. Two prizes will be awarded over the entire 48-hour period.
The BLASST Monster Carp award pays $500 for the largest by weight carp caught during the entire tournament. Second place and third place pay $250 and $100 respectively.
Buckeye Lake Marina is sponsoring the Most Carp Caught by Weight prizes which are the same as the BLASST payments.
Art and Ann Lowe are sponsoring the Team/Family 24-hour prizes for BLT. Teams with a maximum of two members and families (a maximum of four fishing with no more than two adults) compete during each 24-hour period for the Most Fish by Weight. Prizes are $250 for first, $125 for second and $50 for third.
Sponsorships are still available for 24-hour contests for the Most Fish By Weight and the Largest Fish by Weight for adult and youth (under age 16) fisherman. Daily prizes for adults are $100 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. Youth prizes are $50 for first, $25 for second and $10 for third.
Contact Art Lowe at 740-262- 6315 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Charlie Prince at 740- 928- 5541 or email@example.com to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
Any registered fisherman weighing in at least 12 lbs. of carp during the tournament will receive a Carp Fest t-shirt.
All fish must be caught in Buckeye Lake or a canal or other water body directly connected to Buckeye Lake. By registering, participants agree that major prize winners (more than $100) may be asked to undergo a polygraph test at the sole discretion of the tournament directors. Failure or refusal to take the test will result in the forfeiture of ALL prize money.
The Buckeye Lake Carp Cook-off also makes its debut on Saturday, July 16 at the North Shore boat ramp. Contestants will have up to six hours to prepare their best carp dish. Entries will be presented to judges for tasting at 4 p.m.
Buckeye Lake carp will be provided to contestants or they can fish for their own that day. All carp must be prepared at the North Shore on their own grills. Prizes are $200 for best tasting, $100 for second best and $50 for third. Detailed rules will be available by July 1 at www.buckeyelakefortomorrow.org