‘Classic’ testament to Emo’s spirit

This weekend will mark another milestone for the Emo Walleye Classic, which has become yet another annual festival for the community in which everyone participates.
Where once, because of pollution, people hesitated to fish the Rainy River, today anglers have rediscovered its bounty.
Each year during the EWC, the river provides a different face for anglers—and this year is no different.
The spring run-off continues unabated, and the river is as high as it will go, making for strong currents but easier navigation. These changes will make it more challenging for the 60-plus teams that will compete for the coveted trophy and cash prizes.
My hat goes off to the volunteers who organize and co-ordinate all the activities.
I especially would like to give recognition to those people who stand in the cold water first thing in the morning, and again late in the afternoon, to both launch and retrieve the boats. In this high water, their job is made much more difficult because the traditional launch ramp is now underwater and the current is stronger.
This team of volunteers has developed a good system to co-ordinate and launch the boats.
This walleye tournament, and the one in Rainy River each September, showcases the recovery of the fishery on the river. It is not uncommon at the launch at Emo to see sturgeon rolling on the surface in the early-morning hours prior to the start.
The eagles have returned along the length of the river, and it has been suggested the river could be renamed “Eagle River” since so many nesting pairs can be seen.
And the catches that are showcased on Friday and Saturday demonstrate the quality of the walleye in the river.
A parade, a talent contest, and activities for youth and adults alike will mark the three days of activities beginning tomorrow evening (May 28).
The tournament isn’t just about walleye fishing. The Muskie girls’ hockey team will host their traditional walleye fish fry on Thursday evening. Then Friday night, the Emo Figure Skating Club will host its spaghetti dinner prior to the “Walleyedol” talent contest.
Saturday, as the excitement builds for the crowning of the EWC champions, the district 4-H clubs will be serving up a prime rib dinner.
Following the awarding of the prizes, you can be entertained late into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
The three days of activities are created through the work of a dedicated group of volunteers. The committee which oversees the tournament has been working behind the scenes since the first week of June following the 2008 tournament.
This tournament is a testament to the spirit of the citizens of Emo, who can come together and create a great district event for everyone to participate in. The Fort Frances Times and Rainy River Record are pleased to be a sponsor.
We encourage you to begin participating in the activities tomorrow evening and continue to take in the events through Saturday night.

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