At least 70 two-person teams representing nine states and provinces have entered the Washington Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament for June 24-25, sponsored by the Kettle Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
The tournament will pay 15 places, said Chris Sanders, tournament organizer. If the maximum field of 150 teams is achieved, the prizes would range from $8,100 for first to $600 for 15th, she said.
Last year, 81 teams entered the debut tournament - the first major walleye tournament to be held in Washington.
In granting permission for the event, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission enacted stiff criteria for walleye conservation, including minimum sizes for livewells.
Fishing in temperatures that soared to 109 degrees last year, 3 percent of the fish caught by registered anglers died before they could be released, Sanders said.
“Out of 636 fish, we lost only 22,” she said.
The tournament is scheduled a month earlier this year. It is based out of Lake Roosevelt Marina at Kettle Falls.
Ron Boggs of Montana, the top western performer in the Professional Walleye Trail fishing tournament series, will present a seminar on walleye fishing strategies June 23 at 6 p.m. at Kettle Falls High School. Cost is $2 or $1 with a can of food for the local food bank.
John Carruth of Davenport, Wash., and his brother, Guy Carruth of Vermont, won last year’s event. The duo caught 30 pounds of walleyes in two days to win more than $4,500 in cash and prizes.
They also caught a 6.26 pounder, the largest of the tournament.
Entry for the Governor’s Cup is $270 a team. However, entry for the affiliated June 24 walleye derby for kids is only $2. Info: (509) 738-2300.