Naze: Lured by salmon, anglers pack local ports
A near-perfect opening day for the 34th annual Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament is in the forecast, adding to the excitement for thousands of anglers dreaming of hooking up with a trophy.
Close to 3,000 people fished the event last year, with ticket sales split between three Kewaunee County and five Door County locations.
All those salmon fanatics packing the port communities of Algoma and Kewaunee drive an economic engine that fuels dozens of businesses in each city.
That fact’s not lost on mini marts like Algoma BP and Lakeshore Lighthouse, which roll out the welcome signs for visiting fishermen. They’ve even got limited edition T-shirts, tanks, hoodies and caps.
Algoma BP and the Kewaunee Marina are the county’s official weigh-in sites, with scales open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 23-30 and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 31.
More than $50,000 in cash and prizes are on the line this year, including mounting of the winning catch by Scott Mansur’s Northland Taxidermy and guided trips with Kinn’s Sport Fishing and Fishin’ Magician Charters.
With three of the past five winning salmon larger than 31 pounds, it might take one at least that big to earn the top prize of $10,000 cash, a silver salmon ring and free mount.
Cost to enter is $25 for a full tournament ticket, or $13 for a one-day chance. Everyone on the boat must have an entry ticket before fishing.
For the second straight year, Shipyard Island Marina on Washington Island is giving away a 9.9 Yamaha motor among those who purchase a ticket.
Last call on ‘kings’
I’m hoping the Wisconsin DNR will recommend putting off plans for a salmon stocking reduction for 2017 — and then stand its ground if the other states refuse.
Unlike the lean years a decade ago, salmon and trout — as evidenced by bellies stuffed with alewives — are having no trouble finding baitfish this season. While the late summer and early fall acoustic and trawl survey data should be taken into account, that data should be as current as possible before decisions are made.
I think this year’s numbers will show an increase in alewife biomass. Granted, it’s a big lake, and it’s possible that Wisconsin’s good fishing and solid bait numbers isn’t happening everywhere.
Either way, one year will not make or break this fishery, and we’ve already had a 50 percent lakewide Chinook stocking cut three years ago.
There’s still time to comment on the proposed reduction. Check out some of the information and comments from meetings at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/LakeMichiganSalmonandTroutMeetings.html.
The direct email link to comment is [email protected].
If you’re one of millions who downloaded the Pokémon Go app and got hooked, you know it can be a smartphone battery eater.
The reality-game-meets-exercise app that has taken the nation by storm this month is being called the most successful mobile game ever. It features characters that players capture in the real world using a combination of GPS and augmented reality.
The national boating advocacy group BoatUS says Pokémon-mania has also come to the water.
While searching for a Magikarp or other prize catches, remember to pay attention to your surroundings; inattentive boating is one of the leading contributors to accidents.
Additionally, with many recreational boaters relying on their cell phones for communication, limit use of the game while boating, use battery-saving mode or bring along a charger or spare battery.
DNR office closed
The Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center was closed to the public July 1, and has not reopened.
However, it appears the move is temporary.
DNR spokesman Jim Dick said the agency was “actively recruiting” after a retirement, and planned to reopen the office.
Bonnie Miller, a fixture at Sturgeon Bay as lead customer service representative, retired July 5 after nearly 35 years with the agency.
The Sturgeon Bay location, adjacent to the Sawyer Park boat launch on the water’s edge, has been a one-stop shop for licensing, registration and getting questions answered. In addition, fish and wildlife mounts, exotic invader exhibits and local state record catch photos make it a fun and educational visit.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Naze: Lured by salmon, anglers pack local ports