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GWC OFFICIAL RULES
2023 GWC OFFICIAL RULES – UPDATED May 2023
Tournament Format and Eligibility
a. The Kenogamisis Fish and Game Conservation’s Geraldton Walleye Classic Tournament format is a two person team, fishing for two days, total combined weight, live release Tournament.
b. The Tournament Directors have the right to delay or shorten the Tournament, subject to weather and/or safety considerations or due to reasons deemed necessary.
c. The Tournament Directors retain the right to change and or amend these rules at their discretion without prior notification. The final approved tournament rules will be supplied to all competitors at the Friday night rules meeting.
d. The Kenogamisis Fish and Game Conservation, Geraldton Walleye Classic Tournament, it's promoters, employees, sponsors, organizers, hosts, Directors, Officers and affiliated organizations assisting the operations of any of the Tournament, their agents and/or agents and assigns are not responsible for any death, injury, damage, liability, fire, theft or loss that may result prior to, during or after the Tournament howsoever caused. ALL COMPETITORS MUST SIGN THE ENTRY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THE WAIVER OF CLAIM, RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT.
e. Competitors must be a minimum of eighteen (18) years of age unless they have the permission of their parents or guardians. All participants under the age of 18 will require a WAIVER OF CLAIM, RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT signed by their parents or guardians.
f. Entry fee per Team is $350.00.
g. All Anglers must cease pre-fishing by 5:00pm Friday June 23, 2023.
h. ANGLER REPLACEMENT PROVISIONS - If, after competition has been started, a team captain or partner is unable to compete because of medical, family, or other justified reasons, the remaining team member will be given the option to replace the leaving team member with another angler. The replacement angler must not have been on tournament waters during competition. The director of the tournament operations must be advised and approve of any angler replacements.
- If the angler chooses to continue to fish alone, they must abide by Ontario fishing regulations (they can only retain to a maximum of one fish over 46cm and three under 46cm). If the angler chooses to replace the missing angler, the replacement angler must not have been on tournament waters during competition. The Tournament Director must approve all angler replacements.
a. The rules meeting will start at 7:30 PM, Friday June 23, 2023, at MacLeod Park Beach.
b. At least one member of each team must attend the rules meeting.
c. Participation packages with boat identifiers will be passed out at this time.
d. BOTH TEAM MEMBER MUST SIGN THE ENTRY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THE WAIVER OF CLAIM, RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT.
Live Release of Fish
a. Every effort must be made to keep the Walleye alive through the use of built-in or securely fastened, properly aerated or circulating live wells.
b. Fish, which are brought to the weigh scale, must be alive in order to be weighed in as part of the team’s daily limit. If the fish is belly up but still breathing and fins are moving it’s weighable. Dead fish count towards the (6) six fish limit however the weight of the fish will not be added to the total weight for that team. Tournament officials will have final say whether a fish is releasable or not.
c. Under no circumstances can fish be purposely altered. Any fish mauled, stringed, injected with water or other fluids, containing foreign matter to add weight or showing white gill or soft flesh that causes suspicious that it is being fraudulently entered into the tournament will result in that team(s) immediate disqualification. Any participant found violating this rules of the tournament may be disqualified. The case will be reviewed by the tournament and NOWT board.
d. All fish must be released into Kenogamisis Lake by tournament officials.
e. Any fish deemed unrealisable will be returned to the angler.
Morning Equipment Inspections
a. Boat inspections will take place each morning at the MacLeod Park Beach. Boat inspections will start at 6:00 AM each morning.
b. Teams must have all coolers, hatches and live wells open for easy inspection.
c. Upon completion of daily inspection, tournament officials will give the boat a proof of inspection sticker at the weigh-in station. Failure to show up for morning inspection will result in disqualification of that day.
d. Once a team’s boat is inspected under no circumstances will a competitor’s boat pull alongside another competitor’s boat at any time.
a. The Official Starter will release the teams one at a time using a trickle start, beginning at 7:30 AM. Each boat will start approximately 5 seconds apart.
b. Following check-in, boats will stage inside the buoys next to the MacLeod Park Beach. Officials, who are located on the pontoon boat, will display boat numbers in order of departure. The numbers will outline the next three boats to go and in what order.
c. The Official Starter will announce the boat number over a megaphone. One member of the boat must raise their hand and get the attention of the starter. Boat numbers MUST BEaffixed and visible from to both sides of the boat ie: motor/windshield. Once the starter verifies the team number and the prior boat is safely away, the announcer will announce ‘TEAM # __ GO’ over the mega phone. The boat can power up after the buoys. All anglers must ensure no wake until they have cleared the buoys. All boats must travel between the starting buoy and pontoon boat.
d. If a boat is unable to start during its official time, the boat must remain inside the buoys until all boats have started. The official starter will restart the remaining boats after the entire field has departed using the same procedure used for the main field.
First Day Start
FISHING HOURS 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Boats will start one at a time. Starting order will be determined by their team numbers.
Day Two Start
FISHING HOURS 7:30AM - 3:00 PM
Boats will again start one at a time. The first boat will be determined according to DAY ONE RANK. Largest weight day one means first out on day two and so on. Ties will be broken by the earlier registration/lower team number.
The tournament boundaries are outlined on the official Kenogamisis Lake Tournament Map.
NO FISHING ZONE: There will be no fishing within the starting buoys next to the MacLeod Park Beach.
Penalty for Late Check-In
a. Any team that has not crossed the designated buoys by the appointed return time will not be able to weigh any fish they might possess.
b. The official time will be kept on the official tournament clock and a horn will sound at the end of each day.
a. Only walleye qualify for weigh in.
b. The Tournament Directors and/or officials are allowed at any time to refuse a walleye that are in bad condition. A dead walleye will be refused to be weighed in but no penalty will be given (this dead walleye will count amongst your daily limit of 6).
c. A daily limit of SIX (6) walleye per team will be weighed, only two (2) of which can be greater than (46 cm) in length. If a fish tail, while being pinched touches the 46 cm line the fish will be deemed an “over”. The tournament measurer has the final say as to whether a fish touches or exceeds the 46 cm mark.
d. Any team which comes to the scale to weigh fish and possesses more than the allowed daily limit of walleye (6) or more than the daily limit of “overs” (2) will have that day’s entire catch disqualified. Possession includes any fish that have been weighed during that particular day.
e. The daily Ministry of Natural Resources limit may be kept while angling.
f. Every walleye close to the 46cm will be measured before being weighed.
g. All walleye brought to the weigh station count in the daily total weight. The Tournament Officials will not measure or weigh any fish just to verify your equipment. The official tournament measuring device will be available Friday evening prior to the event for teams to check their measuring device against the tournament measuring device for accuracy/consistency.
h. A Tournament Official and/or the Weight Master must confirm the walleye are living and fill out the weigh-in form appropriately.
i. The members of the team are responsible to make sure that the weigh scale and the weigh in slip are the same. One team member must sign the weigh-in form recording the weight of the catch.
j. All weights, upon verbal acceptance by the team member, and then publicly called by the Weigh-Master are immediately official and are not thereafter contestable.
k. THE DECISION OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR AND/OR WEIGH MASTER IS FINAL.
l. Both members of the team must remain in their boat until a tournament official comes to the boat with a weigh-in bag. *Please double check your bags for possible holes.
m. Each team's fish must be presented to the Tournament Director and/or Weigh Master or his/her Assistants in the bag supplied by the Tournament.
n. The team is then responsible for placing their own fish in the weigh-in bag and carrying them to the weigh scale. If assistance is required the team captain MUST give a Tournament Director permission to assist the team with the removal of walleye from the boat. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THE TOURNAMENT OR ITS VOLUNTEERS BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTS OF ASSISTANCE.
Procedure for Weighing Fish each day
Weigh-ins with more than 1 hour of fishing time remaining each day:
a. Boats can approach the beach immediately.
b. Both members of the team must remain in their boat until a tournament official comes to the boat with a weigh-in bag and weigh-in form.
c. The tournament official must confirm the walleye are living and fill out the weigh-in form appropriately.
d. The team is then responsible for placing their own fish in the weigh-in bag and carrying them to the weigh scale.
e. The fish and weigh-in form are then handed to the weigh scale operators. One member of each team must verify the scale weight and sign the weigh-in form.
Weigh-ins with 1 hour or less of fishing time remaining each day:
a. Boats check in at pontoon boat where they are given a weigh in number on a weigh-in form. Boats are to remain on the water inside the buoys until their weigh-in number is called.
b. ONCE YOUR WEIGH-IN NUMBER HAS BEEN CALLED, PROCEED TO THE DESIGNATED AREA ON SHORE TO HAVE YOUR FISH CHECKED AND WEIGHED.
c. Both members of the team must remain in their boat until a tournament official comes to the boat with a weigh-in bag.
d. Boats will be given a weigh-in bag in the order they arrived (according to weigh in numbers).
e. The team is then responsible for placing their own fish in the weigh-in bag and carrying them to the weigh scale.
f. The fish and weigh-in form are then handed to the weigh scale operators. One member of each team must verify the scale weight and sign the weigh-in form.
Day 2 Top Ten Weigh-in
a. Those teams which are in the top ten following day one will weigh their catch following all other team weigh-ins.
b. These teams will weigh in reverse order starting from 10th place to 1st place.
c. There will be a top ten meeting Saturday night where teams will be given instructions for Sunday.
Sportsmanship and Courtesy
a. It is strictly prohibited for any competitor to give, offer, accept or suggest the exchange of any item including weighable fish to, from or with any competitor or non-competitor.
b. All competitors must remain twenty (20) feet from another competitor’s boat.
c. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, particularly with regard to boating and fishing in the vicinity of a non-competitor.
d. Use of cellular phones, CB's or VHF radios are prohibited unless for emergency purposes.
e. No obstructing the centre passageway of any bridge on Kenogamisis Lake.
Rules(s) Violations, Protests and Appeals
a. Any participant has the right to enter a protest against another participant. A protest form will be available from the Tournament Director (TD) and must be completed and presented to the TD within 1 hour of the weigh in.
b. $150.00 dollar protest fee must accompany the form. The fee will be returned if the protest is found to be valid.
c. Where a team is charged with a rule infraction by an authorized Tournament Official which could result in disqualification of the daily catch or tournament disqualification, the team has the right to appeal the decision to the Tournament Protest and Appeals Committee. Appeals must be submitted to Tournament Director at the weigh‐in site within 10 minutes after weigh‐in, on the day of notice of the rules infraction.
d. An infraction witnessed by a competitor can be reported to the Tournament Protest and Appeal Committee at the weigh‐in site. In the event that an infraction is reported or a protest is entered, a three person Protest Committee, appointed prior to the Tournament, shall convene.
e. Witness (es) may be called to appear before the Protest Committee to provide evidence relating to the alleged rule infraction.
f. The Protest and Appeals Committee will interpret the rules according to their spirit and intent. The decision of the Protest Committee is final and not subject to review of any kind.
g. “SPIRIT OF THE RULE” All rules have “loopholes”. It is the intention of the NOWT to provide an honest, sportsman-like tournament. In the interest of good sportsmanship contestants are reminded that the “spirit of the rule” will prevail in all judgement cases.
h. General Penalties: Teams may be disqualified from the tournament for frequent or major infractions of the rules and will not receive a refund of their entry fee. Examples of major infractions include unsafe boating practices, gross angling ethics violations and violations that clearly give the competitor an unfair or illegal advantage over other competitors, such as; movement of fish, fishing out of bounds, caged fish, violation of provincial and federal fishing and boating regulations, exchanging fish between teams and unauthorized use of underwater cameras, drug and alcohol violations.
j. The official announcement of the results will take place at the host communities designated area.
k. Protest your team’s total weight: Determine by the host community
a. All competitors must practice safe boating at all times during practice and tournament fishing.
b. Every competitor must wear a fully secured Coast Guard approved life jacket or chest type floating device whenever the main combustion engine is in operation, unless at trolling speed.
c. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed by competitors during the tournament fishing hours.
d. In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning, or severe weather, teams may pull onto the nearest shoreline until it is safe to continue fishing.
e. Competitors may not leave their boats during the tournament except at the Official weigh-in site or if severe weather forces them ashore.
f. Every team, whether weighing fish in or not, must check in with a tournament official at MacLeod Park Beach located at the starting location.
g. Only tournament official boats are allowed to tow a competitor's boat during fishing hours if the team wishes to weigh in their catch. However those boats requiring to be towed by tournament officials are still required to check their catch prior to end of day fishing time. The tournament official is not responsible to get the towed boat back in time.
h. A team that has a mechanical problem may use a different boat to finish the day's fishing. The switch must be made at the MacLeod Park Beach.
i. Teams must notify a tournament official if an emergency or breakdown has occurred by calling or sending a text message 807-854-7772 or 807-853-0814.
j. All boats must check in at tournament headquarters prior to and following fishing each day.
In the Interest of Safety, we have made the following amendments to the rules:
a. This section refers to the town Bridge, First Bridge on the highway and Iron Bridge (train trestle).
b. Each Bridge will be a "No Wake" zone.
c. When traveling beneath the bridges, boats must travel at trolling speeds and stay to the right 10km or less.
d. SECOND BRIDGE ON HIGHWAY: When traveling between the marker buoys under this bridge, boats must travel at trolling speeds and stay to the right 10km or less. This bridge will be a “No Fishing" zone and will include all areas between the marker buoys.
e. No competitor will allow his/her bait/lure to enter the area between the marker buoys. You may fish up to the marker buoys.
f. A NO WAKE ZONE has been added to the Kenogamisis River entering at the southwest Arm. No boat shall travel more than 10 km per hour between the posted signs. The small lake is exempt from the no wake zone.
Tackle and Equipment
a. Live bait and artificial lures, manufactured baits, pork rind and commercially available liquid attractants may be used.
b. Landing nets may be used.
c. The use, in live wells, of commercially available fish care chemicals is permitted.
d. The use of the underwater cameras or any similar device is prohibited during fishing hours and cannot be present in the boat during tournament fishing hours.
e. No fishing information may be given to participants during tournament fishing hours by anyone in any fashion.
All prizes will be split equal for all position ties.
Registration Ticket Purchase
a. Registration for the 2024 tournament will go on sale Friday June 23, 2023. The cost is $350.00 ($325.00 + $25 NOWT fee) CAD.
b. All entries paid in full by Monday June 26, 2023, at 4 pm will go into one of two draws (Main Starting Draw or Supplemental Draw).
Supplemental Draw Eligibility - The below procedure will be followed if by Monday June 27th there is more than 120 teams registered
a. All those teams who finished outside the top 80 in the 2023 GWC final standings.
b. All those teams which wish to register for the 2024 tournament but did not participate in the 2023 event.
c. Any individual of a team who wishes to enter as a new team while his 2023 partner fishes separately and retained the Main Starting Draw spot.
d. All those teams above must register and pay in full by Monday June 26, 2023 at 4pm eastern to be eligible for the Supplemental Draw.
a. All teams which meet the eligibility for the Supplemental Draw from above will be randomly selected.
b. All teams will be recorded in order they are drawn with the first team drawn designated number one, second number two and so on until all supplemental teams have a designated number.
c. Approximately the top 30 teams drawn in the Supplemental Draw will be eligible for the Main Starting Draw. This number can vary depending on the number of teams that qualify for the Main Starting Draw due to registrations and ties.
d. Those teams which do not make the Main Starting Draw will be placed on the waiting list in the order they were drawn in the supplemental draw.
e. Those teams which are not successful in qualifying for the Main Starting Draw will receive their full payment back.
Main Starting Draw Eligibility
a. All those teams which finish in the top 80 of the 2023 GWC will automatically have an opportunity to enter the Main Starting Draw for the 2024 tournament (only one spot per team). They must however register and pay prior to Monday June 23, 2023, at 4pm eastern time to retain this privilege.
b. The remaining spots to make up the 110-boat field in the Main Starting Draw will be determined in the Supplemental Draw.
c. Teams will be drawn one at a time with the first team drawn being Team 1, the second Team 2 and so on until the 110-boat field is filled.
d. If the 110-boat field is not filled by the above method the remainder of the starting order will be determined by ticket purchase date/time.
e. If two individuals enter the tournament draw separately, and then later decide to amalgamate and become one Team, the newly created single Team will receive the LOWER of the two spots initially held by each individual.
f. Any starting positions guaranteed due to the tournament registration are only guaranteed to those individuals whose names were on the original registration form submitted. Therefore at least one of the original names on the original registration form submitted must remain on the team for it to retain its starting position. If no angler from the original registration form submitted remains on the team, the team’s starting position will be moved to the bottom of the starting order or to the bottom of the waiting lists, if the tournament field is full.
DRAW DATE: Specific date to be announce.
a. There is a $25 processing fee for those teams which withdraw from the event.
b. There is no refund for teams who withdraw from May 1st and on to the event unless the vacant spot is filled.
TOURNAMENT INTEGRITY POLICY & SAFETY:
Participants will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe and ethical manner at all times maintaining professional demeanor in public and in communication with tournament officials. Any unfavorable conduct, speech or action by a contestant could be grounds for disqualification or rejection of entry application. Every participant is expected to participate in the marshaling of the field in order to maintain the highest integrity to the competition. Any incidents observed during tournament hours should be reported to tournament officials on an Incident Report for further investigation. Incident reports carry no fee and are appropriate for communicating issues that would require warnings but not necessarily lead to disqualification. If a team feels an incident has progressed to the point of needing protest they should move to that level of official reporting.
The Sanction NOWT tournaments, it's promoters, employees, sponsors, organizers, hosts, Directors, Officers and affiliated organizations assisting the operations of any of the Tournament, their agents and/or agents and assigns are not responsible for any death, injury, damage, liability, fire, theft or loss that may result prior to, during or after the Tournament howsoever caused.
Levels of DQ
Level 1 (DQ for 1 day – any fish in possession will not be weighed)
- not in the designated finishing area on time at the end of the fishing day (The team’s weight for the day of the infraction is disqualified)
- did not complete morning inspection
- showing up at the weigh in station possessing more than 6 Walleye
- proceeding to shore without Official present
- fishing out of bounds
Level 2 (DQ of the tournament)
- un-sportsmanship behavior
- Sharing information using cell phones or radios with other anglers during fishing hours of the tournament
- drug and alcohol violations (ex. Caught drinking in your boat)
- unauthorized use of underwater cameras
- unsafe boating practices (violation of provincial and federal fishing and boating regulations)
- violations that clearly give the competitor an unfair or illegal advantage over other competitors
- comes to weigh-in station with more than two (2) walleyes greater than 46 cm in length.
- fishing after posted tournament hours between Friday and Sunday
Suspension & punishment (discussed with the NOWT Board level)
- fish was purposely altered. Any fish mauled, stringed, injected with water or other fluids, containing
- foreign matter to add weight or showing white gill or soft flesh that causes suspicious that it is being
- fraudulently entered into the Tournament
- caged fish
- exchanging fish between teams
- gross angling ethics violations