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You are here You are here The Red Mill Inn News 2009 News 2009 Archive - Story  Story

B'ville: For the love of Carp?

By Erin Smith, Baldwinsville Messenger
May 6, 2008

B'ville: For the love of Carp?

 

Anglers will line the Seneca River shores this time next week attempting to reel in the biggest catch.

That’s right – the second annual ACST NE Regionals are back in Baldwinsville. With 42 2-person teams signed up as of last week (that’s eight more than last year’s total), this year is in line to be much bigger and better than last.

“The number of teams is up and the number of people coming forward to volunteer has been outstanding,” said Kathleen Kelly, the publicist of ACS Tournaments LLC and a Baldwinsville native. “Both local and some of our own circuit anglers who are not competing are coming in to marshal, and, of course, the community has really rolled out the red carpet again.”

The people behind the red carpet treatment are members of the Baldwinsville Tournament Committee formed by the Greater Baldwinsville Economic Development Agency who Nancy Landon, a committee member responsible for communications, calls problem solvers.

“We have a good blend of people providing a broad scope of resources,” Landon said. “Where other communities only allow the anglers to fish, we get involved because we want to show off our community.”

These efforts have paid off since many of the anglers are bringing their wives and families this year, whereas last year they didn’t.

“This event definitely brings economic benefits to the area,” Landon said. “Once (anglers) get a taste of the area, they come back with family. We have fun watching them enjoy what we know is a great place, the economy gets a shot in the arm and the anglers enjoy themselves. It’s a win-win on both sides.”

Five-day event
The ACST NE Regionals begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday May 13 with volunteer marshal training at the Red Mill Inn.

On Wednesday, the teams and local committees will parade from the Red Mill Inn and around Paper Mill Island ending at the Budweiser Amphitheater for the opening ceremony, which the public is invited to. Adding a unique touch to the ceremony, the committee has invited the Rotary District 7150 exchange students to welcome visitors to Baldwinsville, each in their native tongue. Afterwards, a lottery is held for team placement.

The fishing begins at 9 a.m. Thursday and ends at 11 a.m. Saturday. A community celebration concludes the tournament with an awards ceremony (5 p.m.), live entertainment and fireworks from 3 to 10 p.m. on Paper Mill Island.

There will be $10,000 in cash prizes including a $1,000 cash prize for the highest ranked local team, where both teammates live within 20 miles of the Red Mill Inn.

Community involvement
During the 50-hour tournament, the community can check out what the anglers are doing from Lion’s Community Park and Mud Lock, which is near the Good Dog Park at Longbranch Park on Route 370.

The public can also get involved through volunteering.
Landon said last year she and Kelly were at the Red Mill Inn waiting to begin tracking catches, but heard nothing for hours.

“We thought, ‘What’s happening?’” she said. “The problem was there were so many fish coming in so fast, volunteers didn’t have time to call them in.”

The committee is looking for marshals (serve as the ACST eyes on the course coordinating weighers and ham radio operators and making sure scores are called into headquarters), weighers (weigh fish, record scores and sign-off on official weight), runners (run errands for anglers) and island volunteers (assist with Saturday’s island events). If you are interested, call the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce at 638-0550.

Carp – blessing or curse
Anyone who lives in Baldwinsville knows we have a tremendous amount of carp. But why? Landon said in the 19th century, a Baldwinsville man created a man-made pond stocked with carp in order to sell at market. However, in 1892 a terrible storm hit and broke the pond’s dam, releasing all the fish into the Seneca River (see page 4, Preserving the Past). The result is numerous strong and healthy carp in our river.

The anglers
Since the Seneca River is loaded with carp, the attraction for anglers is the number and the challenge of landing them. So far, anglers represent nine US states, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Canada and England.

“This is not just a guy’s sport,” Landon said. “It’s for everybody.”

Landon said last year there were all types of teams including a husband and wife team, mother and daughter team and a teenager team. Each team consists of two anglers and a runner, who remains on the shore for the entire 50 hours. Each team will receive a five-gallon bucket with supplies including menus to local restaurants.

“Restaurants have stepped up to deliver to participants,” Landon said.

While out there competing, some anglers also take their time to share fishing tips. Last year’s winners, who will be back this week to fish recreationally, shared their techniques with spectators.

“They would explain to little kids how to tie lines while they were competing,” Landon said.

About ACS
The ACST, which is the tournament side of the American Carp Society, stresses good sportsmanship and respect for the environment and species. Bait isn’t live and hooks are not barbed. The ACST also guarantees standards for the tournament.

“Anglers treat the fish well,” Landon said. “They want them to stay and be healthy.”

For a live feed of how each team is doing during the tournament, map of area fishing spots and more, visit www.acstournaments.com.

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