The Cabela’s National Walleye Tour, in conjunction with the Red Wing Convention & Visitors Bureau, announced a relocation for the season opening event, taking place May 10-11. In response to flood warnings impacting the Red Wing, MN area, the NWT event will now take place on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, WI.
Rapid melting of snow, coupled with rain in the forecast, has created a perfect storm of conditions. After significant research and deliberation with both state and local authorities, the NWT Tournament Director Anthony Wright has made the decision to relocate the event to Oshkosh.
Wright also worked closely with a hydrologist from the National Weather Service (NWS) tracking the expected flood level in Red Wing over the next two weeks. The river will crest in Red Wing May 2 at a flood level of 17. The Harbor Master in Red Wing also confirmed ramps in the area will close starting at level 12. And with more rain expected before the event would take place, the NWS expects the river to still be at level 12 or above as the event was scheduled to kick off.
“Ultimately we wanted to do everything possible to keep this event in Red Wing,” said Wright. “At the end of the day, the safety concerns associated with the flooding are simply too great to ignore.”
Wright consulted with the Lockmaster at Lock 4 on the decision as well. The gates on Lock 4 are currently wide open ahead of the expected snow melt and rising water on the way. After cresting on May 2, the gates will eventually start closing to gain control of water levels, however, this will also introduce greater concerns with floating logs and debris which will impact safe boating.
“We can’t say enough about how great Eric Olson, local pro, and the Red Wing Convention & Visitors Bureau have been throughout the planning of this event and, ultimately, the decision to relocate,” said Wright. “We fully intend to bring the NWT back to Red Wing in 2019.”
Fortunately with the move to Oshkosh the dates for the event remain unchanged. Activities begin Wednesday, May 9, with tournament registration from 2-4 p.m. The registration location will be announced soon. The mandatory pre-tournament meeting will start at 5:00 p.m. and will include pro- and co-angler pairings.
The last day to register for the Oshkosh event will be Friday, May 4th. Registration can be taken over the phone at 501-794-2064 or online by visiting www.nationalwalleyetour.com/tournaments/register. For more information on rules and tournament payouts, visit www.nationalwalleyetour.com
National Walleye Tour events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Mercury, Minn Kota, Triton Boats, Power-Pole, Lowrance, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, Atlas, G-Juice, Powertex Group.
2018 NWT (Updated) scheduled events:
May 10-11 – Lake Winnebago (Oshkosh, WI.)
June 14-15 – Saginaw Bay (Bay City, Mich.)
July 26-27 – Devils Lake (Devils Lake, N.D.)
Championship- September 5-7 – Lake of the Woods (Baudette, Minn.)