Brown Trout Festival in full swing

ALPENA -The 40th Annual Michigan Brown Trout Festival kicked off over the weekend with good weather, great entertainment, and plenty of fish.

The festival started Friday with the Good Morning Alpena Breakfast, the VFW Family Fish Fry, and a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament in the big tent.

“The food was delicious and there was a good turnout for the meals,” tournament assistant director Dick Cadarette said. “The Texas Hold ‘Em tournament had over 40 players, and a nice prize for the winner.”

Saturday night’s entertainment in the big tent featured the King of Country Meets the King of Rock n’ Roll, and tournament director Doug Niergarth said the show was a big hit.

“Elvis was a great show and filled the big tent,” Niergarth said. “It was more a performance than a concert, and it looked like everyone was enjoying it.”

As for the tournament, the two-day walleye tournament wrapped up Sunday, with Adam Burk taking the largest catch with a 9.65 pound fish.

“There have been a lot of people fishing in the bay this year, they think due to the water temperatures and bait fish,” Niergarth said. “There has been some wind to contend with, and the boats were keeping an eye on a freighter in the fog the other day, but otherwise it has been going well. I think we’ve had more fish caught these first few days than compared to previous years.”

Niergarth said the salmon, lake trout and steelhead that have been coming in are healthy and look great, but no one has caught a brown trout yet for the tournament.

“It’s only the first few days, and with the walleye tournament, they haven’t been fishing as hard to find the browns yet,” Cadarette said. “We’re pleased to see the quantity and variety of fish that are coming in.”

The PNC Bank kids fishing tournament took place Sunday, and both officials said it was a big success.

“The kids tournament was awesome,” Niergarth said. “There were all different ages fishing all over from the river, around the boat harbor, and from the shore. Someone caught a 12 pound dogfish, and they brought in all kinds of fish from gobies to sunfish and blue gills.”

There were around 200 kids that participated in the on-shore tournament, and family members and volunteers were there to help them if they needed assistance.

“It was a lot of fun,” Niergarth said. “I think it was a very successful program, and hope it will happen again next year.”

Tournament fishing continues through the week, and Niergarth said he is happy to see the number of fish coming in.

The tournament and festival continue throughout the week, with events and entertainment scheduled for every night through Sunday evening, when awards will be distributed.

0Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.