EMERALD ISLE — Town commissioners Tuesday night voted unanimously to seek $5,625 from the Carteret County Tourism Development Authority to help put on the 2020 Emerald Isle Fall Fishing Tournament, set for Saturday, Sept. 19.
The event, which started last year, funds college scholarships for one student from Croatan High School and one from Swansboro High School and aims to bring in visitors to fish and shop in local businesses. Proceeds from fishermen’s entry fees also go into a fund to help pay for dredging Bogue Inlet when it becomes necessary.
According to a resolution the Emerald Isle board adopted Tuesday during the meeting held on GoToWebinar, the TDA money would be matched by $27,875 from the town to give the event a $33,000 budget.
The TDA money, the resolution states, would help offset town expenses for setup, cleanup and public safety costs associated with putting on the tournament at the town’s regional boating access facility on Bogue Sound.
The TDA provided $7,500 to the tournament last year.
Tournament officials expect 50 boats to participate this year, competing in a number of categories. Each boat, officials say, brings in an average of four people, a large percentage of whom travel from out of town and use lodgings and docking facilities.
Also during the meeting, the tournament committee announced the second winner of the annual $3,000 scholarships. This one went to William Rueh, who recently graduated from CHS. The first recipient this year was Bailey Inga, a graduated senior from SHS.
Applicants for what are expected to be annual scholarships from the tourney must have been accepted into an accredited two-year community or technical college or a four-year college or university at which they plan to major in marine biology, ecology, oceanography, fisheries biology, geology, environmental science, climate change, marine policy, ocean engineering/ship-building/maintenance or the chemistry or physics of the ocean. The scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements and an essay. Entry fees and sponsorships generate the money for the scholarships.
Last year the tournament offered cash prizes in a number of categories, including king mackerel; Spanish mackerel; kayak fishing for Spanish mackerel, bluefish and speckled trout; and surf fishing for those same species.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.