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Midwest Walleye Challenge prize winners announced

  • 4/16/2024 12:45:00 PM
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BOONE - Midwest Walleye Challenge participants from across the southern Midwest have submitted their first two weeks of walleye and sauger catches.

Prizes for the longest fish, most water bodies fished, random draws from submitted fish, and hard luck prizes for logging a fishing trip without a catch will be awarded every two weeks until June 30.

The following individuals are first round prize winners.

  • Jake Masterson, a Shimano Stradic reel, courtesy of the American Sportfishing Association, for catching the first fish of the competition
  • Jacob Tank, for the longest fish, a 25-inch walleye
  • Geoff Taylor, for the most water bodies fished, with three
  • Stacy Thorson, a random draw cash prize for a submitted catch

The first 100 individuals from each state to submit a catch will receive a $20 gift card from Discount Tackle. Gift cards are still available for Iowa anglers. Grand prizes and overall prizes will be awarded following the completion of the challenge.

Over the first two weeks, 86 anglers completed 290 fishing trips, with 46 anglers reporting catches of 178 fish. About 36 percent of the first caught have come from the Des Moines River. 

“This year’s earlier start should increase walleyes reported from Iowa’s rivers. Catches from lakes and reservoirs will pick up as fish recover from spawning and water temperatures increase,” said Jeff Kopaska, fisheries research biometrician with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Previous walleye challenges started May 1.”

The Midwest Walleye Challenge is a citizen science data collection effort sponsored by the Iowa DNR and Angler’s Atlas to help improve walleye fishing across Iowa. DNR fisheries biologists use the data entered to assess and manage walleye populations. The MyCatch mobile app maintains anonymous location data, so anglers’ secret spots stay secret.  

Anglers can register for the Midwest Walleye Challenge at Participants can choose the free entry option to qualify for non-cash prizes or pay the $25 fee to qualify for all prizes including cash payouts.