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(PHOTOS) Families and friends ice fish in annual tournament Saturday at Curt Gowdy

Four youth in the competition had a chance to win a $500 cash prize.

Ice fishers are settled out on the ice Saturday on Granite Springs Reservoir at Curt Gowdy State Park. Around 40–50 teams decided to fish at Granite Springs, according to tournament manager Merrill Bassett. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Families and close fishing teams set out to Curt Gowdy State Park on Saturday for an annual ice fishing tournament.

Close to 200 teams were scattered across three frozen bodies of water, nabbing fish swimming below more than a foot of solid ice. The competition, put on by Wyoming Fishing Tournaments, promised $3,500 in cash prizes to contestants who could catch the largest fish. The top winner won $1,500 from the total cash pool, according to tournament manager Merrill Bassett.

“It’s a family-friendly, fun time on the ice,” Bassett told Cap City News. He said that the annual event not only attracts Laramie County residents but also Wyomingites statewide, as well as people from Colorado and Nebraska.

In addition to the regular cash prizes, anyone under 18 years of age who participated in the event had a chance to win a separate $2,000, which was donated to the tourney by Domino Construction. Four participants had a chance to win $500 from a raffle.

Teams at the state park were Granite Springs, Crystal Lake and Upper North Crow reservoirs. According to the fishing organization, eight fish species can be found in the area:

  • Granite Springs: Rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, perch and sucker
  • Crystal Lake: Rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, perch and sucker
  • Upper North Crow: Rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, splake, tiger muskie and sucker
Quentin Shaffer, left, and Rickie Holt stand for a photo Saturday on Granite Springs Reservoir at Curt Gowdy State Park. Shaffer said he has been fishing for 40 years and ice fishing for 15. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
Quentin Shaffer holds up an ice fishing auger he used to cut a hole into the ice. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
Jeff Appleman and his daughter, Brinlee, hold their fishing rods. “You got a day like this, you have to be out on the ice,” Appleman said. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
Jeff Appleman uses an ice fishing sonar to detect fish below nearly 14 inches of ice. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
A fishing tournament team uses a remote control camera to view underwater. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
A fishing tournament team utilizes a sonar screen to detect where fish are moving under the ice on Granite Springs Reservoir. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)
Kit Parrish and his son, Maddux, pose for a photo in front of their ice fishing equipment. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

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