Wolford Reservoir Ice Fishing Contest winners
Kyle Comer, of Longmont won the top prize of $1,200 for the biggest fish in the adult category this past weekend in Kremmling at the Wolford Reservoir Ice Fishing Contest.
This was his first time in Grand County. He left at 4 a.m. to come up to Kremmling for the day-long event. He caught his fish at noon in shallow water, about 4 feet, he said. The winning fish was a 31 3/8 brown trout (combined length and girth).
Trevor Scheele, 10 of Loveland won the youth category. He came up to Kremmling on Friday to fish with his friends at the Saturday event. The Wolford Reservoir Ice Fishing Contest was his first tournament and his second time ice fishing.
“I didn’t expect it be that big,” he said about reeling in his big fish. His brown trout measured 26 5/8 (combined length and girth).
“Our numbers were up quite a bit this year,” said Jeff Miller who volunteers at the event every year.
“The reason: good ice, nice weather, and the contest in Leadville didn’t happen,” he said.
Jeff Miller was the operations volunteer for the contest helping with set up and organization. He owns several businesses in Kremmling including the Wolford Campground and Red Mountain RV Park and donated several of the door prizes.
“Everyone was happy and there were no complaints,” he said.
Another reason the event is popular: the door prizes, about $2,500 in door prizes, he said.
Tom Carey is a resident of the Kremmling area and is regular volunteer to events. His role during the tournament was measuring fish in the judge’s tent on the ice. He has been measuring fish at the Wolford Resevoir Ice Fishing Contest for over 10 years and helps with the parking in the morning.
“The fish were colorful and I like to feel them when they are flopping around. When you feel that strength in the fish it is pretty exciting,” he said.
Many of the fisherman were excited to get their fish measured because they never caught a fish in a tournament, he said.
“It’s pretty cool when kids come in and bring a small fish, even if it’s not a big fish, just coming into the tent to get it measure is an accomplish they can live with,” Carey said.
“We like to see people catch a fish. It puts a smile on their face to get it measured, and it puts their name in the book.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife fisheries biologist Jon Ewert helped weigh fish, too.
“It’s fun to see what people were bringing in,” he said.
“We started stocking more rainbow in the fall [in Wolford Reservoir] and by spring they are in really good shape; and do well in winter.”
The event is one of the Kremmling Chamber major events of the year, said Shelly McManus, Executive Director of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We had approximately 450 registered contestants, including 35 free children. (15 and under is free).
Lodging sold out in Kremmling with fishermen and their families staying in Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby. “The surrounding communities benefited from this event,” she said.
Kenny Bentler, owner of the Rocky Mountain Bar and Grill, told McManus he was busy throughout the weekend.
“With the epic snow, snowmobilers and ice fisherman have been keeping the Kremmling area businesses busy,” McManus said.
“This place is filled with fisherman”
The coupon sheet we hand out to people, was working, said McManus. She said she talked to fishermen throughout the weekend and the most reoccurring comment was how much they loved this tournament, specifically because they can drive on the ice.
“It’s a family tradition, too,” she said.
“Moms and dads bring the kids, and then their kids bring their kids. It’s a generational thing for a lot of families.”
Unfortunately, no tagged fish were caught. “We were bummed because we wanted to give out that money prize”, said McManus.
Due to overwhelming popularity and success of the event the chamber is considering extending the event to two days next year.
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