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Bowfishing tournament returns to Randolph County

Submitted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
updated: 6/22/2022 8:36 AM

The annual Kaskaskia River Rough Fish Round Up is returning to Randolph County for 2022. The annual bowfishing tournament will be held Saturday, July 16, at the Jerry F. Costello (Kaskaskia) Lock and Dam in Modoc.

All bowfishing enthusiasts are encouraged to make plans now for the annual tournament, which is open to anyone who fishes with a bow. The tournament is hosted by the Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders Incorporated in cooperation with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The tournament will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will consist of Boat and Walking/Shore divisions. The Boat division will feature a Big 10 fish format, and the Walking/Shore division will feature a Big 3 fish format. There will be side pots for the total number of fish, big fish, and small fish.

This year participants will be required to check in, register, and will receive the pretournament speech at the Lock and Dam upstream boat ramp. At that point anglers will be able to travel to any waters located within the Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area, with the exception of Baldwin Lake and the tailwaters below Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam.

As always, the community is invited to the takeoff and weigh-in to learn more about invasive carp, view the weigh-in, taste-test various river fish species, and look at the variety of bowfishing boats and equipment. Fish will be given to anyone who brings a container and requests it for fishing bait, fertilizer, etc.

Boat division entry fees are $100 per boat; teams may be made up of one to four members. The Walking/Shore division entry fee is $25 per participant. Both divisions will be 100% payback. Payback amounts and the number of places paid will be based on the number of entries, with payout guaranteed for the top three places in both divisions. Please note that no catfish or gar will be weighed in at the tournament as fishing areas are an alligator gar reintroduction site.

Takeoff will be in order of registration. Participants may register in advance by emailing or on-site the morning of the event. The tournament will be limited to 40 boats, so advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Camping is available on-site at the Lock and Dam, with 15 sites potentially available. Sites cost $20 a night and include amenities such as electric, picnic tables, grills, asphalt pads, trash pickup, a shower house, and comfort stations. Campers must pay before camp setup; the fee station is open 24 hours. Checkout time is 4 p.m. The maximum number of campers per site is eight.

Contact John Hartleb at Kaskaskia River Project, 4800 Lock and Dam Road, Modoc, IL 62261 or (618) 284-7160.