The Ogdensburg-Massena stretch of the St. Lawrence River boasts exceptional fishing opportunities for early season walleyes. In celebration of that fishing, the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association (SLRWA) and the St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmens Club (SLVSC) are hosting opening-day derbies on May 5. The two organizations certainly have the right to celebrate the kickoff of walleye season as the groups on-going stocking programs have been instrumental in enhancing walleye numbers in the river.
The St. Lawrence River Walleye Associations Opening Day Walleye Derby is a two-person team event. The winning team will be determined by the total weight of its three largest fish. Derby organizers ask that fish be kept alive so that they might be released after being weighed in. Non-releasable fish will be subject to an 8-ounce penalty.
Interested anglers can register at Massena Bait and Tackle on East Hatfield Road in Massena or Steves Stop and Shop in Louisville. On-site registration will also be available. The entry fee of $50 per two-person team is due by 5:30 a.m. on the day of the event. Also, participants who are not members of SLRWA will be assessed a $10 conservation fee. The derby is a 100 percent payback affair (minus $200).
The Waddington Boat Launch at Whitaker Park will serve as the starting point for all participants, and the launch will also serve as the weigh-in station. Fishing boundaries extend from no more than 100 yards above the Iroquois Dam in Waddington to the top side of Robert Moses Dam in Massena. Fishing hours are from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. Weigh-ins will be conducted at the boat launch from noon until 3 p.m., and awards will be presented at the nearby JC River Run Bar and Grill at 4 p.m. In addition to cash prizes for the winners, numerous door prizes will be awarded.
The derby also includes an optional Big Fish Contest. The entry fee is an additional $20 per team, and there will be 100 percent payback for the largest walleye entered. In addition, that winning walleye will be mounted courtesy of Ralph Miller of Natures Trophies Taxidermy.
SLRWA conducts four tournaments during the open-water season, and those events are the Opening Day Walleye Tournament (May 5), Opening Day Bass Smackdown (June 16), Annual Walleye Challenge (Aug. 11), and Fall Bass and Walleye Classic (Sept. 15). Based on the results of those four derbies, the SLRWA will crown its Subway Angler of the Year.
For more information on any of the derbies, call Mike at 384-3450, and for a complete set of rules for the Opening Day Walleye Derby, visit ww.stlawrenceriverwalleyeassociation.com.
SLVSC WALLEYE DERBY
In efforts to raise funds for its walleye stocking program and to promote St. Lawrence River walleye fishing, the St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmens Club is hosting its sixth annual SLVSC Walleye Derby on opening day. The event is an open-boundary one, and fishing hours extend from midnight until 4 p.m. Winning fish will be determined by weight.
Interested anglers can register ($15) in Ogdensburg at Bills Tire Center, Vinns Tavern, and Fisher Chips and in Lisbon at Sandys Bait and Tackle. Eligibility requires that all anglers in the boat be registered for the derby, and the minimum length for eligible walleyes is 21 inches. Weigh-ins will be held at the waterfront park adjacent to the Ogdensburg Community Center from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The waterfront weigh-in site allows anglers who wish to do so to release their catch.
Based on 100 entries, the prizes will be $500 for first place, $300 for second, $200 for third, and $100 for fourth. In addition, numerous door prizes will be awarded. For more information, call Kevin Bateman at 393-0206 or Jerry Lincoln at 393-7506.
Like the SLRWA, the SLVSC will host an opening-day bass derby on June 16.
Today-May 1: Passengers on Vessels Less Than 21 Feet Must Wear PFDs While Underway.
Monday: Lisbon Sportsmens Club Hosts Trap and Skeet Shooting at Pray Rd. Property.
Thursday-Saturday: Dexter and Brownville Host Hunter Education Course (Pre-register at 785-2533).
April 30: Lisbon Sportsmens Club Hosts Trap and Skeet Shooting at Pray Rd. Property.
May 1: Spring Turkey Season Opens in New York State.
May 1, 4-5: Adams Center Sportsmans Club Hosts Hunter Education Course (Pre-register at 232-2942).
May 3-5: Redwood Fire Hall Hosts Hunter Education Course (Pre-register at 785-2533).
May 5: Seasons Open for Northern Pike and Walleyes in NYS Waters.
May 5: St. Lawrence River Walleye Association Hosts Opening-Day Walleye Tournament at Waddington.
May 5: St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmens Club Hosts Opening-Day Walleye Derby at Ogdensburg.