THREE LAKES AREA - Anglers in the high country over the weekend had the benefit of nice weather and good fishing, according to Granby Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Findley.
"Everybody was having a great time," she said. Findley had the chance to visit with fishing groups out on the ice over the weekend. "All in all, every one looks forward to the tournament."
The Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest this year drew 905 participants to the the lakes area in Grand County, compared to about 1,090 participants last year. The struggling economy may be one reason for the slight drop in numbers this year, Findley ventured.
The Granby Chamber and its sponsors gave away raffle prizes worth $1200 to $100, and unlike previous years, not one person in the audience of the raffle drawings won; all were absent winners and none were from Grand County, according to Findley.
One change contest organizers are considering for next year is bringing back the ability to include in the contest a "big fish" category. "We would do it in a way that would protect the fish," said Richard Crager, of Granby, who sits on the contest committee. The committee, he said, is discussing having a side award for lake trout over the limit of 19 inches. This part of the contest would be catch and release, and depend on the honor system.
Crager heard from customers that the fishing was good over the weekend. One angler caught a 30-inch fish on the first day, but couldn't enter it into the contest due to the size limits, he said.
Findley also reported that Parks and Wildlife monitored the event and found it went smoothly. "Everybody was playing by the rules," she said.