ALGOMA, Wis. (WFRV) For nine days, the Kewaunee-Door County Salmon Tournament hooks anglers from all over the country. but the pandemic has affected who pumps dollars into the local economy.
Kevin Naze, organizer for the Kewaunee-Door County Salmon Tournament says, “We just fish strictly the king of the great lakes as we call it the Chinook salmon. They’re the biggest meanest best tasting and best fighting fish out there on Lake Michigan.”
But there’s another battle on Lake Michigan–getting tourists back to the Salmon tournament. This year, dollars from local anglers have kept the tournament afloat.
Kevin says, “I think we’re actually going to be up this year in numbers, couple places have already asked for more books than they usually get. There’s a lot of interest there’s a lot of excitement about the big fish.”
While local anglers are still fishing in the tournament, businesses that depend on tourists tell a different ‘tail’.
James Sullivan owns Fishin’ Magician Charter boats and says, “This year business has been slower. We had a lot of cancellations in early April from COVID-19.”
Organizers say in a five year period, 33 states have been represented in this tournament, but most anglers come from Minnesota.
Kevin adds, “One of the neat things about our tournament is that you don’t have to be a professional. A lot of times the biggest fish is won the last couple of days of the tournament.”
The tournament runs through July 25 and if you catch the top fish, you could reel in $10,000.