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Local charter company fishing for support for mobile phone-based walleye tournaments

A local charter company casting for County support of walleye fishing tournaments based on mobile phones received support from the County’s Community and Economic Development Commission.

It sought the commission to to contribute $1,500 to form a partnership with the Bay of Quinte Walleye Tournament that is to feature a smart phone app for registration, weigh-ins and stats.

Scott and David Walcott, of Bay of Quinte Charters, (operated by West Lake Willows Resort and sister property Picton Harbour Inn) is launching tournaments for four weeks in May, and November – with the possibility of extending the competition beyond a single day, or two.

The tourney proposes to create their own app, or use ‘The FishDonkey App’ for cell phones that promises online payments and registrations, communication with participants, anti-cheating technology for recording fish, live leaderboards and works without internet with its ‘digital livewell’.

A benefit proposed, is that fish can be immediately released back to their natural environment, instead of being contained in a live-well until motored back to a weigh-in station.

Currently the company offers Walleye Charters during May and early June, and following a busy accommodation season, offers charters targeted at “trophy catches” starting in mid-October.

In a report prepared by Karen Palmer, Destination Development and Marketing Co-ordinator, she notes the $1,500 investment allows the County to be listed as the event host, place its logo on marketing and promotional materials as well as to be listed as the geographical pin in the FishDonkey app, linking the County with the Bay of Quinte for professional and amateur anglers.

“In the past, the possibility of a Bay of Quinte walleye tournament had been considered too challenging, due to the likelihood of congestion at the launch; lack of parking; limited accommodations; a shortage of qualified volunteers, and fears of fish mortality in needing to catch, hold, weigh-in and eventually release outside the areas where they were caught,” Palmer’s report states.

While the tournament would be competition to this year’s 40th annual Kiwanis Walleye World charity fishing tournament, competitors would be able to enter both events. The Kiwanis event is held the first weekend in May with a $40-50 fee. The Bay of Quinte tournament proposes a $20 fee and as judging for it occurs through the app, the same fish could be entered in both tournaments.

“The funding model for the Bay of Quinte tournament caps the level of prizes,” the report states. “Once a reserve has been established, it is the stated intention of organizers to channel additional earnings toward charitable donations in the community.”

The Kiwanis derby is a fundraising effort anchored by the Trenton Kiwanis Club, with help from the local Kiwanis, to help raise money for the community in support of the goals of Kiwanis International to support youth. It generally features up to 5,000 anglers hoping to win approximately $50,000 in prizes.

“This is an opportunity for the muncipality to better position itself as a destination for walleye fishing, eaching a non-tradtional demographic that is family-oriented and well-heeled,” the report states. “Already, seven charter companies operate in the county. A tournament would offer benefits to all in raising awareness of the area’s potential for world-class fishing.”


Filed Under: Local NewsSports & Recreation

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