BAI preisdent Ed Devries sent this account of the State Bowfishing Championship on the Illinois River out of Henry:
That's Darryl Dunn on the left and Tony Infusino on the right.
Here's Devries repot:
The Bowfishing Assoc of Illinois has just completed the Innerloc State Bowfishing Championship this past weekend out of Henry Illinois.
The shoot was the largest so far in the state totaling 31 boats and around 100 shooters.
Conditions were perfect on the Illinois for jumping Silver Carp. The water was low and there was nowhere for them to go but up. 15,000 to 18,000 silver carp were removed from the Illinois river at the tournament. Weight totals were 10.4 tons of fish.
While bowfishing wont stop the spread of invasive fish, totals like these will surely put a dent in their population and hopefully give our native fish room to grow.
Here is a letter from our tournament director Ed Hoffman to the alderman of Henry who helps us so much with our shoot, Tom Davis.
"There were 31 boats. Total prize money was $2955 including $500 donated by Innerloc. We had around two hundred door prizes probably totaling around $2,000 in value. The Innerloc big fish was awarded to a 16.3 lb Bighead Carp. The top team in the numbers category had over 4,000 fish. The top team in the Big 30 category (weight up to 30 fish - 10 silver carp max.) was 216.5 lbs. There were four places paid in the numbers category and four in the Big 30 category and 4 awards for individual big fish categories plus the $500 Innerloc fish (biggest fish taken with an Innerloc fishing point, excluding silver carp).
There were 12,764 fish counted from 14 boats. The other 17 boats probably averaged at least 200 fish. Well over 15,000 silver carp were taken out of the river. Best guess, I would say the total was 17,000 to 18,000.
Thanks a lot for all your support. We always have a great time coming to Henry."
More than removing fish from the river, the shoot and bowfishing offers great outdoor recreation for Illinois outdoorsmen as well as those from Wisconsin, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri who also came to Illinois to hunt fish in the Illinois. All these bowfishermen helping local economies by using Illinois hotels, restaurants , fishing licenses and much more.
While just getting these fish out of the water is great enough, the BAI has always strived to find ways to utilize any fish taken by bowfishing. Many fish were brought home for the freezer by our members. But tons of fish were picked up by the processing plant in Havanna who are considering Henry for their next processing plant location. Also, a company from Indiana was there with specialized tanks to take fish to their processing facility where it is turned into high grade fish emulsion fertilizer. A couple pictures have been included here of the fish harvested, the transportation trailer (along with the company reps.) and the finished product.
AND a crayfish farmer from Wisconsin took a load home with him to feed the crayfish in his pens.
We expect this shoot to continue to grow making it not only Illinois premier bowfishing event but one of the top bowfishing events in the nation.
Pres. Bowfishing Assoc of Illinois