This June 1-3 marks the 22nd Annual Rotary International Fishing Classic, and all hopes are that it will be bigger and better than ever. One area the sponsor, Plattsburgh Rotary Club, is promoting is the team competition, and there will be increased money for winning teams.

According to Classic Coordinator Bonnie Black, "Our tournament has had all cash prizes and we're enhancing that for this year's tournament. This year the winning team will receive 50 percent of the tournament pool; the second place team 15 percent; and the third place team 10 percent."

Team competition registration is May 19 at 6 p.m.

As usual, the eligible fish are walleye, lake trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon. The tournament runs from 12:01 a.m. Friday through noon Sunday, with the event headquartered at Clare and Carl's Dockside at the Plattsburgh Boat Basin. The awards ceremony is Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Naked Turtle. The entry fee for adults remains $35.

In the past, funds raised during the fishing tournament were put back into the community by the Rotary. The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, YMCA, Literacy Volunteers and the North Country Mission of Hope, among others, have benefited from Rotary donations.

There are weigh-ins on both sides of the lake. Go to the Web site to register and for more details.

Field Notes

I spoke with a Region 5 Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries biologist who said the current viral hemorrhage septicemia (VHS), a virulent fish disease, control measures that affect live fish being moved from New York to Vermont, and vice versa, are undergoing changes and the finalized regulations should be complete in two to three weeks.

APHIS (the Federal Plant and Animal Inspection Service) regulations have been adjusted so there is no problem with a New Yorker having a fish weighed in Vermont, but the current N.Y. regulations still don't allow Vermonters to bring live fish into N.Y. However, he told me DEC is issuing special permits for the tournaments to override this measure, the first being a tournament in Ticonderoga this weekend. The Rotary will also get a permit if the permanent regs aren't done by then.

The thinking is that, after all, it is one body of water, no matter the political boundaries, and if the fish are released back to the same body of water, what difference should it make.

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