Organizers of the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament scheduled for summer in St. Lawrence County are drumming up support for the event from the countys municipal leaders.
The St. Lawrence River Showdown, organized by FISHCAP and sponsored by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, is scheduled for Aug. 8 to 11, with an additional week of practice time before the tournament.
While the planning is in its infancy stages, FISHCAP Coordinator Donald R. Meissner has been busy trying to spread the word to various municipalities and groups, including St. Lawrence County legislators on Tuesday.
They are very excited about it, Mr. Meissner said. They are very eager to help.
FISHCAP, an initiative by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, has begun working with several municipalities and volunteer organizers to form different committees, including a liaison and fundraising committee.
Were getting committees set up, Waddington Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said. We might have an opening dinner for businessmen and college leaders to bring them up to date on whats going to be happening.
The tournament, Mr. Meissner said, will require efforts from multiple organizations, government agencies and businesses in the area.
We need everyone to be on board, Mr. Meissner said. These tournaments tend to bring in $2.5 million to $5 million in revenue.
A grandstand will be set up in Whittaker Park, Waddington, and registration will take place at Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid.
Fishing will take place in the St. Lawrence River in areas as far west as Ogdensburg and far east as Massena, Mr. Meissner said.
The reason Waddington was chosen was because of its need to place a grandstand, Mr. Meissner said. However, I want people to know hotel rooms, restaurants and every kind of business from Ogdensburg, Canton, Potsdam will all be involved.
Event coordinators first became impressed with the area after learning the New York State BASS Chapter Federation tournament had some of the biggest weigh-ins and catches in the country, Mr. Meissner said.
They were also amazed at the vast amount of water and beautiful surroundings, which they thought would make a great backdrop for a tournament, Mr. Meissner said. Coles Creek, they said, was one of the most beautiful campgrounds they had ever seen.
Campsites already have been booked in Coles Creek for next year, he said.
Its our opportunity to put on a tournament like no other Elite event, Mr. Meissner said.
We need to present our special way of life here in the north country, and showcase it to the rest of the world.