Fish tales: One good,but one bad
Herald editorial board Two news happenings: One good, the other bad. Both, curiously, are about catfish. That's the way things go up here on the banks of the Red River, we suppose. First, East Grand Forks this weekend is hosting its 30th annual C...
Herald editorial board
Two news happenings: One good, the other bad.
Both, curiously, are about catfish.
That's the way things go up here on the banks of the Red River, we suppose.
First, East Grand Forks this weekend is hosting its 30th annual Cats Incredible Catfish Tournament. It starts today, runs through Sunday and will include more than 100 two-person teams probing the Red in search of the hard-fighting and underappreciated dwellers of deep that make this section of the Red River famous.
It's hard to believe catfish are one of the area's main tourist attractions, but it's true. Teams from all over - some from as far away as Nebraska - will be here this weekend competing for upwards of $5,000 in prize money. For those not interested in fish tales, the tournament probably doesn't mean much - but it should. Many of those participants will sleep in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and buy gasoline at local convenience stores.
Grand Forks wasn't blessed with snow-capped peaks or pine-ringed lakes to attract guests. In lieu of topographic good fortune, the community has adapted, creating events like Blues on the Red, the Happy Harry's Beer and Bacon Festival, Wild Hog Marathon, Cats Incredible and many others.
Bringing guests to Grand Forks takes effort and ingenuity, and that perfectly describes Cats Incredible, which began in 1988. If fishing for the namesake creatures isn't your thing, we suggest residents witness the weigh-ins, see the process of releasing the fish back into the river or simply watch the flurry of activity while enjoying lunch or a refreshment on the Boardwalk.
Now, the bad news about catfish.
Who are the idiots leaving stringers of catfish to rot on the banks of the Red River in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks?
Thursday, a manager at Red River State Recreation Area on the eastern side of the Red shared a photo of at least seven catfish rotting near Eagle Point boat landing. This comes after stringers of catfish were found at LaFave Park and the Whopper John Little boat landing. After media reports, residents are calling in with their own sightings.
Catfish are a prized resource in the Red River. They are the very reason the Cats Incredible tournament is happening, as well as the basis for a unique fishing industry that runs along the Red each summer. Leaving fish out to rot is an insult to fishermen everywhere.
It also is cruel and, less important, it's disgusting.
Wildlife officers are aware of the strange incidents, but it's probably going to take the public's help to find out who is doing this. Anyone with information is urged to call Greenway coordinator Kim Greendahl at 701-738-8746.