Now that there is finally getting to be fishable ice on local lakes, the Troutarama Committee would like to remind all area fishermen the annual Troutarama Fishing Contest opened Jan. 1, 2016. The contest runs until the Wednesday of Troutarama, which is July 20. There are 10 categories in the contest: brook, brown and rainbow trout, large and small mouth bass, bluegills, perch, crappies, walleye and northern pike.

There are two age groups: 14 years and under, and then everybody else. There is no charge for entering a fish and you can enter as many times as you like. Rules for the contest are:

  • Fresh or live fish only (no frozen fish)
  • Fish must be caught in Lake County
  • Contest runs from January 1 to the Wednesday of Troutarama.

Fishermen can weigh-in/register their catches at Baldwin Bait and Tackle, Ed's Sport Shop, or the Pere Marquette River Lodge.

There is a $25 first prize for the largest fish in each category. The prizes awarded in each category will be in the form of gift certificates to the three participating sport shops. There is also a $100 grand prize awarded to the largest fish in any category that is closest to the state record for that species.

As the Troutarama mascot, Teddy the Trout says, "Catch a Big One!" Then enter it in the Troutarama Fishing Contest. So remember, all you area ice-fishermen, the contest is open for you as well as the spring and summer time anglers.

The Troutarama Committee would also like to remind everyone that this will be the 60th anniversary of Troutarama. The dates for this years festival are July 20 to July 24, 2016. To keep up to date on all Troutarama happenings go to troutarama.com. We hope to see you in July.