Chisago Lakes goes carp crazy May 19

Fishermen show off part of last year’s haul during Carp Fest in Lindstrom. (Photo submitted)

A third-annual event will bring outdoorsmen together for fun and for a good cause next Saturday, May 19. The Chisago Lakes Carp Festival, put on by the Chisago Lakes Lions Club, is slated to run all day at Lions Park in Lindstrom.

The celebration is anchored by a fishing tournament, but it is far from the typical event, according to organizer Steve Levey. It is an effort to rid North and South Center Lakes of carp, which if left unchecked can take over an ecosystem.

The local effort “has gone from basically nothing three years ago to bow fishermen/women and custom carp boats being on the water throughout the warm weather months,” Levey said. “During last year’s spawning period these bowfishermen removed somewhere around 4,000-5,000 carp from our lakes.”

Despite four hours of rain, last year’s tournament brought in about 300 carp, with the largest weighing just under 20 pounds.

The fishing gets underway at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 2:30 p.m. Competition will be in two age groups: 14 and over, and 13 and under. Participants must register by May 17 to be eligible for prizes. Entry forms are available at www.chisagolakeschamber.com or at Frankie’s Live Bait in Chisago City. Entry is $30 for the adult division and $15 for the junior division.

For more information, contact Levey at 462-7900, 257-2966 or Slevey@frontiernet.net.

Much more than fishing is on the docket for the festival. Live music from the blues band ‘Ride’ will be offered from 4:15-6:30 p.m. The non-water activities kick off with a 5K walk/run at 9:30 a.m. Contact Kevin at 261-6091 for more information.

A host of kids’ activities start at 12:15 p.m. The festival king and queen will be crowned at 3 p.m., leading into the fishing awards ceremony.

Concessions will be available. New this year is a beer garden.

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