2017 Leech Lake Walleye Tournament Rules


PARTICIPATION & ELIGIBILITY

The Leech Lake Walleye Tournament is a team tournament. Contestants must enter as two-person teams (no "Partner TBD" or unknown partner names on the entry forms) and must fish together from the same boat. Fishing alone is discouraged. If a situation arises where only one member of the team is able to participate, proper notification must be made to the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament chairperson as soon as possible. Upon approval, the chairperson may provide an observer.

Each team member must complete, sign and submit an official entry form with complete entry fee by the published due date. (No refunds after May 7, 2017). The Participation Agreement releasing the Walker Area Foundation and Leech Lake Walleye Tournament's officers, agents, employees and sponsors from all damages must be signed and dated by both team members.

Any person 17 years of age or younger must be teamed with a parent or guardian. No persons under age 12 may participate as contestants. A team must consist of one contestant 17 years of age or younger to be eligible for the Adult/Youth division prizes.

The Leech Lake Walleye Tournament reserves the right to refuse entry to any individuals who have been barred or disqualified from any tournament for rules violations.

ENTRY

The entry fee for each team is $400. Complete payment must accompany each entry. Acceptable payment is check or money order. The check or money order should be made out to:

WAF - Leech Lake Walleye Tournament.

This entry form must be signed by both team members. Failure to do so will mean return of entry form. Entries will only be accepted when all information is complete and signed.

PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE, REGISTRATION & RULES MEETING

All participants must be off the water by 3 P.M. the day before the tournament. Fishing is allowed only during tournament hours thereafter. From 3:00 P.M. the day before the tournament through the events conclusion, direct travel to and from boat docks and or docking facility is the ONLY lake travel allowed.

Boat positioning will be determined by witnessed random draw. 

Attendance is mandatory by at least one team member at the Rules and Procedure Meeting on Friday, June 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the Northern Lights Casino & Hotel. Failure to register and check-in BEFORE the start of the rules meeting results in disqualification for the tournament.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

Teams must check in each morning prior to the tournament starting.

Each team must also check in again with the Official Timekeeper at the conclusion of each fishing day - this applies even if you do not have fish to weigh in. Teams who return late to check in will forfeit their total weight for that day. Failure to check in may result in team ineligibility in future events.

Teams must remain within tournament boundaries during the tournament hours.

All team members must remain in their boats each day during tournament hours. In the case of an emergency, teams may leave their boat to enter another team's boat or rescue craft. In such a situation, partners must remain within sight of each other and their catch until they reach tournament headquarters.

Trailering of boats during tournament hours under any circumstance is prohibited.

Teams must abide by all local navigation laws and avoid restricted areas at all times.

Tournament dates are Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, 2017.

Tournament waters include all navigable waters of Leech Lake east to Highway 8 and west excluding Benedict Lake. Fishing in Kabekona Lake and Steamboat Lake is prohibited.

Fishing hours begin at 7:00 A.M. with the field divided into five flights departing in 20 minutes intervals.

Returning flights will be in 20 minute intervals beginning at 3 P.M. and subsequent flights every 20 minutes thereafter. The order of field is reversed on Day 2.

Official tournament communication during the event to participants on the water will be via VHF Marine Radio (Channel 88). Channel 88 will be monitored by during tournament hours by all judge boats and tournament headquarters. Take-off and returning boats may be asked to monitor another marine radio channel when inside the staging area.

EQUIPMENT AND TACKLE

Artificial and live bait are allowed.

Only one line per competitor is allowed.

Every boat in competition must have all Coast Guard required safety equipment and an operable bilge pump, live- well pump and source of aeration that will adequately maintain alive the walleyes.

Any cellular phone and radio communications (broadcasting and/or monitoring) during tournament hours, other than on a prescribed tournament frequency or in the case of emergency or for safety reasons is prohibited.

Any magnified viewing device used to observe competitors is not allowed. Competing Press members must obtain permit to carry professional camera equipment.

No underwater cameras are allowed.

WEIGH-IN AND LIVE RELEASES

The Leech Lake Walleye Tournament is a live release tournament. Each contestant should do all they can to insure the well being of their catch. Fish deemed unfit for release will be donated to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Only Walleyes will be weighed. Each team may weigh SIX (6) fish daily. Minimum size for walleyes is 14 inches. All walleyes from 20-26 inches must be immediately released and will not be weighed. Possession of walleyes from 20-26 inches will be grounds for disqualification. Each TEAM is allowed only 1 walleye over 26 inches per day. No culling of fish over 26 inches is allowed, however you may upgrade the remaining portion of your 6-fish tournament limit that are under 20 inches.

Each fish determined to be non-releasable by the tournament judge will be assessed a .30 pound penalty. Any balance weights used must be removed prior to fish being presented to the judge or a 1 pound penalty will be assessed.

Any fish altered (before or after being caught) which enhances the weight or circumvents tournament slot limits will not be allowed and will be grounds for immediate team disqualification if so determined by the tournament rules committee.

The official ruler will be "The Judge." Fish will be measured by an official in any manner that results in the longest length.

SCORING

Total accumulated weight in pounds less non-releasable penalty will determine the final standings, the big fish awards and any additional awards.

If a tie occurs, the team with the heaviest weight on the second day of the tournament will determine the tiebreaker. The second determining factor in case of tie will be determined by the most releasable fish. If a third tiebreaker is needed, any cash awards of the two finishers will be added together and divided equally to each team.

At least one team member must accompany the catch to the scale. Each team must initial the official weigh-in slip and will receive a copy for their records.

Cash awards and prizes are based on a full field of participants. The tournament committee reserves the right to adjust cash/prize values accordingly.

SAFETY

Each participant must observe safe boat conduct at all times.

Each participant is required to wear Coast Guard Approved chest-type life preserver, which is fully secured whenever the main combustion engine is running above idling speed.

Instant engine stop switches must be operating properly when contestants are using the main engine above trolling speeds.

Main combustion engine horsepower may not exceed the Coast Guard B.I.A. or N.M.M.A. horsepower rating plate on the boat.

Boat registration numbers on all boats must be clear and identifiable.

All boats must carry a minimum of $100,000 liability insurance.

Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those prescribed by a licensed physician; or purchased over the counter), during the tournament is prohibited. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification from present and future events.

Tournament officials reserve the right to delay, cancel or restrict tournaments waters in case of severe weather.

During the tournament official weather announcements will be made on Marine Radio Channel 16. In the event of a thunderstorm, lighting and/or severe weather, contestants may pull into the nearest shoreline until it is safe to continue fishing. Contestants my not leave their boats during tournament hours except at the official weigh-in station or if severe weather forces them ashore.

Tournament officials reserve the right to disallow the use of any boat and/or motor they deem to be unsafe, inappropriate, or unsuitable for use. The Tournament Director's decision in this matter is final and may be made at any time.

SPORTSMANSHIP

All contestants will be expected to act in a sportsmanlike manner at all times towards non-competitors and competitors alike. This shall include the areas of safety, conservation and courtesy. Violators of this rule will be subject to disqualification.

Any unfavorable conduct or action by a competitor which could negatively reflect on the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament will be grounds for disqualification and/or future rejection of entry application.

During tournaments fishing hours, contestants will not discuss techniques, tactics or fishing spots with any other contestant; nor will they be allowed to receive fishing information from non-competitors. Non-competitors are not allowed to anchor or hold spots for contestants.

RULES AND INTERPRETATION

Contestants are responsible for knowing tournament rules as well as state and local rules and regulations, which pertain to the tournament waters. Any team violating state or local rules may be disqualified at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

All protests must be lodged with the Tournament Director in writing within 30 minutes of completion of daily weigh- in. Following interviews with concerned parties, a ruling will be made. The Tournament Director will interpret rules accordingly to the spirit and intent of the rule and his decision in all disputes is final. A $100.00 fee must accompany protest.

Tournament officials reserve the right to polygraph any contestant.

In the event that rules infractions are brought to the Tournament Director's attention at anytime, and investigation proves a violation occurred, a penalty of daily and/or tournament weight may be made. Also, cash prizes and awards must be returned if requested.

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