- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Two of the region’s most prominent walleye tournaments are marking milestones this year.

The North Dakota Governor’s Walleye Cup is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend, and the Dakota Walleye Classic will mark its 20th year next weekend.

Both tournaments are held on Lake Sakakawea. Nearly 1,000 anglers will take part in the two events this year, competing for thousands of dollars in prizes, The Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1JjL9Uz ).

The Governor’s Walleye Cup is being staged from Fort Stevenson State Park marina at Garrison, with fishing on Friday and Saturday. The event will include a special Tournament of Champions within the regular tournament, with 27 past champions competing against one another while also trying to win the overall tournament and its $10,000 top prize.

The tournament has grown from 96 two-person teams to 253 teams this year.

“To think it’s grown and done so well to stay this big is pretty awesome,” organizer Joyce Pfliger said.

The Dakota Walleye Classic will be staged from Beulah Bay July 24-25, with 181 teams competing for the $12,000 top prize.

“We really cater to the fishermen,” organizer Mike Hammerschmidt said. “I always say the Dakota Classic may not be the biggest tournament, but it’s the most fun.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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