Rules and Regulations – 42nd Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey in Memory of Stephen Harrington
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018 through Sunday, August 26, 2018
Time: Fishing to begin at 5 a.m. Saturday (8-18-18); ending at 1 p.m. Sunday (8-26-18). Awards will follow at 4 p.m. at the Newfane Community Center, 2737 Main St., Newfane, NY.
Location: Only fish caught in the U.S. and Canadian waters of Lake Ontario and its tributaries including the Niagara River, with the eastern most boundary being the Orleans-Monroe county border and an imaginary line extending north to the Canadian shore; also the U.S. and Canadian waters of Lake Erie and its tributaries (including the Niagara River) with the western-most boundary being the NY-PA border. From that point, the boundary will be a straight line that extends across the lake to Long Point, Ontario Canada. Fishing from shore can only take place from the counties of Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties. Only fish taken from these waters, along with the public waters of Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties, will be eligible. All trout entered must be a minimum weight of 8 pounds in the Adult Division. Salmon must be at least 15 pounds. Junior Division fish must simply be legal in the water where it was caught.
Weigh Stations: Weigh stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from August 18-25, 2018; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 26 (unless posted differently by the weigh in site). Fish may not be weighed prior to 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
Entry Fees: Adult is $20. A one-day pass is available for $10. Kids 15 and under can register in the junior division for free. Young anglers from 12 to 15 years are eligible to fish the adult division by paying the $20 entry fee. However, once registered in the adult division, they can no longer compete for youth prizes.
Registration: To become a contestant and participate in the 42nd Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey, and in order to be qualified and compete for derby prizes, each person must be properly registered and possess an official derby registration. Each derby contestant must carry his or her official derby registration at all times in the angling competition and it must bear the personal signature of the derby contestant, as well as the signature of a recognized derby agent. Derby registrations are not transferable; they must be presented on each occasion a fish is offered at the weigh stations. One or more fish may be offered by a derby contestant using the official registration.
To register by mail: All entries must be received at the address stated below by 5 p.m. on Friday, August 11 to allow for adequate mail time and processing. After August 10, please register in person or online (see next section). Send check or money orders (U.S. funds only) payable to: Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey. Be sure to enclose a $20 registration fee for each adult to be registered. Youth anglers less than 16 years of age are free but still must be registered. Youngsters between 12 and 15 years of age may register as an adult by paying $20 (U.S. Funds only!), but they are no longer eligible for junior prizes. Each person must have their own derby registration, complete with name, address, phone number and which division they intend to fish appropriately marked. Mail registrations to: Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey, c/o Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303.
A) To register in person: There are numerous locations throughout WNY to register in person, including any weigh station for the event starting August 1, 2018 (or before if available). You can register the same day if registration takes place before fishing. One-day tickets are available for $10; the entire derby ticket for an adult is $20.
B) Prizes: All prizes will be issued on Derby awards night. The awards presentation will be held on Sunday, August 26 at the Newfane Community Center, 2737 Main St., starting at 4 p.m. in Newfane. Announced winning contestants must be present and show proper identification, along with their official derby registration, at the awards night. All first place winners must be present at the awards ceremony (adult division) for possible polygraph testing by 3:30 p.m., along with their corroborating witnesses unless approved by Derby Director. You must be present at the awards ceremony for random door prize drawings. Contestants are encouraged to release all fish not in contention unless for personal use. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is intended to stimulate recreational fishing and business activities in WNY.
1. Each Derby contestant through registration in said derby agrees to abide by the derby rules. Failure to observe these rules will result in automatic disqualification of that contestant and the forfeiture of all prizes and recognition as prize winner. This derby reserves the right to deny entry to anyone. Any person who knowingly attempts to deceive/defraud the derby may be barred from future participation. It may lead to being banned from other fishing competitions on the lake. Further action of a legal nature may be taken.
2. Each contestant, upon registering to compete in the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey, agrees to hold the sponsors, their agents or employees harmless from any liability of any nature and kind for any injuries and/or damages suffered by the entrants during the period the derby is held.
3. All eligible fish that are entered at the weigh station will become the property of the derby committee until released by the derby committee. A Derby weigh master will not weigh/enter fish of an immediate relative.
4. All fish entered in the derby must be freshly caught on hook and line and retrieved by rod and reel. Bowfishing is not an eligible means for taking carp. These fish must be caught in the mouth, only in a legal angling manner as designated under laws set forth by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Article 11-0103) or Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. Snagging, snatching or lifting in any way, whether from vessel (boat) or land, or altering these fish in any way to increase weight, will automatically disqualify any registered contestant and their accomplices. A registered contestant who brings a fish to the weigh station should examine it very carefully. Any fish that has cuts, wounds, punctures, gaff marks or gill net marks anywhere on said fish, except lamprey marks, will render such fish ineligible. Additionally, the derby judges may, in their sole discretion, disqualify the contestant for the remainder of the
derby. Further, any previous fish entered by said contestant will be removed from the derby and disqualified for all prizes and recognition as a prize winner. All fish entered must be whole and not gutted.
5. All fish entered will have their gill plate hole-punched for weigh-in identification and may be subjected to an internal probe and scanning if questionable.
6. All fish must be entered at a weigh station within 24 hours of being caught. Each participant entering an eligible fish, and his or her witness, must complete a detailed form at the weigh station to the satisfaction of the derby committee. Any person (contestant) who offers a Grand Prize or Division winning fish and all affirming witnesses must be willing to submit to and pass a polygraph (lie detector or voice stress test) examination. Witnesses must be at least 12 years of age in the adult division. The Derby committee reserves the right to conduct polygraph testing at 3:30 p.m. at the awards ceremony. All first place winners should be in attendance at this time. Said contestant and/or affirming witnesses failing to be present could result in the forfeiture of all prizes and recognition as a prize winner.
7. All persons aboard the same vessel (boat) must be registered in the derby and are subject to being checked for same. In the event there are persons on board a boat who are not registered contestants (regardless of whether they are angling or not), all fish caught during that particular outing may not be offered or considered for derby prizes. A witness for a contestant must be present at the time the fish is caught. If fishing from a boat, the witness must be present on the boat the fish was caught from. Charter Captains and mates are exempt from registration unless they would like to enter a fish themselves for prize consideration.
8. In order to discourage angling alone, and also to affirm the integrity of the catch of each fish offered in the derby, there must be a registered witness to each catch whether the catch is from shore or boat. That witness must be present when the fish is caught. A supporting affidavit may be required from all other registered contestants on board a boat at the time a prize winning fish is caught and the said affidavit must affirm the integrity of the catch and also that no unregistered person was on board at the time of the catch and that no unregistered person handled the fishing tackle or line prior to the strike, and on through until the fish was boated or landed. Witnesses for a catch must be at least 12 years of age in the adult division. Junior Division anglers can use any registered angler as a witness.
9. Eligible fish may be offered at a derby weigh station in these categories: Adult Division – salmon; rainbow/brown trout (as one category); lake trout; walleye; smallmouth bass; carp. In the Junior Division, categories will be salmon, rainbow/brown trout; largemouth/smallmouth bass; panfish (perch, bluegill, sunfish, white perch, black crappie, white crappie, rock bass; NOT silver bass); carp; walleye, a total of six categories. Winning fish will be determined by the weight of the fish. For panfish, junior anglers may weigh in one fish per day. Winners will be based on weight. The decision of the judges is final and not reviewable. In the event the weight is equal, the earliest entry will determine the winner.
10. Adult Division Contestants may not win more than one of the following prize categories: Grand Prize or Divisional Prizes but are eligible for door or special prizes. Awards night door prizes are selected randomly, whether a fish is caught or not. Junior Division contestants are eligible for only one Junior Division prize and are not eligible for adult prizes. A youth 12 years of age or older may register in the Adult Division by paying the registration fee, but they are no longer eligible for Junior Division prizes.
11. Contestants agree to submit all disputes to the Derby Committee within 24 hours of the fish being entered. Fish disputed the final 24 hours of the derby must be reported by 1 p.m. the final day of the competition. Any disputes among contestants or derby officials regarding eligibility, acceptability or weight measurement of an official fish at the weigh stations will and shall be resolved by the judgement and ruling of the Derby Committee. Disputes not brought to the derby within 24 hours may be dismissed. A decision by the derby officials will be final.
12. Grand Prize Classic Challenge: In an effort to add excitement to the Fish Odyssey, a special Grand Prize Challenge will be held on awards night. Instead of the largest fish overall winning the Grand Prize, the first place anglers in each of the species categories will be placed into a container and randomly selected for Grand Prize consideration. For the category selected, each place will then move up one slot in the ranking.
13. Eligible anglers: Anyone under 12 years old may only register as a Junior; 12 to 15 year olds have the option of registering as a Junior or Adult. Only one division may be entered. If 16 years of age or older, you must register in the adult division and carry a valid angling license in the waters you intend to fish, follow rules.
14. All contestants agree to the use of their name and/or photograph in any advertising or promotion associated with this derby without compensation or notification. For further information contact the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey at NTCC, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303 or call (716) 282-8992 Ext. 303. One website that’s a good source of info is www.fishodyssey.net. Special LOTSA Prize: $500 will be awarded to the LOTSA member entered in the derby with the largest salmon. $200 will be awarded to the witness of that winning fish (must also be a LOTSA member). The LOTSA member must report that they are a LOTSA member at the time of weighing in the fish and it must be acknowledged on the weigh-in form. Check out www.lotsa1.org for details or to sign up. The same applies for Southtowns Walleye members for the Walleye Division – a $500 prize for the largest walleye caught by a SWA member. NO $200 witness prize but they must be a SWA member. Details at www.southtownswalleye.org or pay an extra $35 when you register.
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