Instead of offering a one-day adult fishing derby this year, the Forest Preserve of Will County will host a three-month “Big Fish Contest” for anglers at Monee Reservoir.
The contest kicks off on Saturday, June 1, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 31. In past years, the Forest Preserve held an “Adult Fishing Derby” in June at the 46-acre lake.
“While it was always fun, the derby was only one day, and not everyone can make it on a specific date,” said Bob Bryerton, an interpretive naturalist for the District. “This new contest allows anglers to participate whenever they have time.”
Participants will bring their catches to the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center to be measured, photographed and recorded, which will serve as an entry into the contest. The photos will be included in a display at the visitor center. Entries can only be recorded when the visitor center is open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
At the end of the contest, prizes will be awarded for the longest bass, catfish and pan fish. One random winner also will be chosen. Each winner will receive a $75 gift certificate to a sporting goods store, a one-day boat rental at Monee Reservoir and a supply of bait. The total prize value is $150.
The free contest is for ages 16 and older. Registration is not required. Fishing licenses may be purchased at the visitor center. Personal fishing boats cannot be launched at Monee Reservoir, but row boats, fishing poles, trolling motors, trolling motor batteries and anchors are available for rental, and bait and snacks can be purchased at the visitor center.
Monee Reservoir is located at 27341 Ridgeland Ave. in Monee Township. For more information on the contest, fishing in the preserves or other programs and events, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.