The 2020 Qualla Country Trout Tournament was held in Cherokee on Sept. 4-5. A total of 6,000 lbs. of fish were stocked in the days just prior to the tournament on Sept. 1-3 and 217 tagged fish were stocked on Sept. 4 after fishing hours.
According to the EBCI Fisheries & Wildlife Management program, the hosting organization, a total of 706 people registered for the tournament and 60 anglers turned in tags. Of the fish tagged, 88 of those tags were redeemed for cash prizes and 183 tags were not redeemed.
Following are the results:
- $5,000 grey tag: W. Driver of Cherokee
- $1,000 green tag: None redeemed
- $500 orange tag: J. Miller Jr. of Bowersville, Ga.
- $100 purple tag: seven redeemed
- $50 clear tag: four redeemed
- $25 white tag: 75 redeemed
“We had a disappointing low tag turn in during this tournament, most likely attributed to the record number of anglers fishing the enterprise waters, hot weather, and warmer water conditions this past weekend, with some anglers reporting that they ‘saw fish, they just weren’t biting’, EBCI Fisheries & Wildlife Management program officials said in a statement. “A huge thank you goes out to the EBCI Tribal Hatchery staff for stocking our enterprise waters, the Natural Resources Enforcement Officers patrolling our waters and providing security during our events, the EBCI Finance Office and the EBCI Facilities Management staff for providing the drive through tag turn in/cash distribution site, and our local fish permit vendors.”
The statement continued, “A lot of planning, coordination, problem solving, dedication and behind-the-scene efforts go in to hosting our annual fishing tournaments here in Cherokee and your service is truly appreciated. The Tribe currently remains in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are truly blessed to have had the opportunity to host this event.”
– EBCI Fisheries & Wildlife Management program release