MN Traditions Frank Schneider Memorial Muskie Tournament

MN Traditions Frank Schneider Memorial Muskie Tournament


(up beat music) (country music) – This is a 50th annual Frank Schneider Muskies Memorial Tournament this year. This was start in 1968 and was originally started to
help the community up here. They asked could you run an event to bring people up here after Labor Day. Usually after Labor Day nobody
came back up north to fish and our first original
group said absolutely. – At first it was a kill tournament, where everyone would
actually kill their fish and then bring them on
over, put them on the board, throw them on ice and over
time we have been working with the DNR where it’s eventually just a catch and release tournament. – Muskies Tournaments were the first species directed tournaments in Minnesota to go to completely
catch, photo and release, where there are no weigh ins. So Muskies Inc has been a proponent of that for 30 plus years. – There’s no other
tournament really like this. It’s 24 lakes, for three days. We had over 480 participants this year. And in order to allow that many people to recreate in that form
in an official event you have had to make a lot
of changes over the years in working with the DNA to make sure that we use this resource responsibly. – You know there’s probably only about 30,000 adult Muskies
in the state right now. There is almost a quarter million Muskie Anglers in the state. So that’s where the
whole catch and release aspect comes, where people say
I just want to keep my one. There isn’t one for everybody. That’s why catch and
release is so important. – About five years ago is
when the DNR talked to us and said with re-age of milfoil, with zebra mussels,
with spiny water fleas, and a lot of these other species that are showing up in our lakes, how can we tackle the lake
association to make sure they understand that its not you that’s helping promote the spread of this. – There are a lot of people that wanna pin a bum wrap on tournament anglers as being a primary cause
for the movement of AIS, so we know that that
is greatly exaggerated. So it’s really awesome
to see at Muskies Inc and the particular Twin City chapter can work with our managers
here really progressively to organize this big event, to actually have these zones where by we can actually minimize the opportunity to potentially move an
Aquatic Invasive Species inadvertently from an infested water to an un-infested waters. – They’ve acknowledged that preventing the spread of invasive
species when they have a multi-lake tournament
like this that they have to set up their procedures and protocols to prevent the spread, because some of the lakes they fish are infested with zebra mussels, some with Eurasian water-milfoil,
and some lakes are not. So innovated from the stand point is that they have each
angler sign a pledge as to whether or not they have been on an infested water
prior to the tournament. If they have, they have to
get their boat inspected. – We have worked with the
Cass County AIS department and a few of the others around, and we set up in order
for our participants, we set up a schedule, we have an AIS information
hotline on our web site. – The second thing they have done, is they have worked with us, or we’ve worked with
them to cluster the lakes so that the anglers aren’t
moving from lake to lake during the tournament,
from an infested water to an un-infested water. So they declare at the
beginning of a tournament what group of lakes or
lake they’re gonna fish and they have to stay there for the duration of the tournament. – We put an inspector in
the Norther Lights Casino parking lot from 9:00am to 10:30pm and a decontamination station
for the same amount of time. – We have created an avenue so that they can easily do the right
thing and everyone of them has. – I think we have a
short-term and a long-term responsibility for the
health of our lakes. I think we have to be
responsible in making sure we clean our boats at
the appropriate times, drain them at the appropriate time, but also take on that
one on one conversation at the grassroots level to talk about how if we don’t take on this
important initiative to educate ourselves
and the people around us then ultimately it’s not
going to be the great resource that is has been for so many years. – I don’t know that I’ll
ever leave this state because of the waters that we have here, because of the four season we have. And I want to be able
to continue to recreate the way my dad taught me how to do it, my uncles taught me how to do it, and I want to go to opening weekend, and I want to be able to do that stuff. But if we don’t continue to
take care of our own business we won’t be able to do that anymore. And if that happens in
the generations after us and they don’t get to experience what we get to experience every day that would be a tragedy. (up beat music)

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