FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mercury National Tournament announces cancellation of 2020 event
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (May 13, 2020) — Event organizers today announced cancellation of the 2020 Mercury National Tournament, a walleye fishing competition originally slated to take place June 12‑14 on Lake Winnebago. This is the first cancellation of the annual event, a fishing tradition that began in 1978.
The event’s cancellation is due to the COVID‑19 pandemic and conforms with the state of Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” prohibition of certain business activities and public gatherings.
“Our Mercury Marine team and collaborators at the Walleye Federation arrived at this difficult decision after assessing current public‑health recommendations and considering forecasts of when social‑distancing imperatives might relax enough to allow for a successful event,” said Mercury Marine Senior Manager of Competitive Angling Michelle Kilburn. “We concluded that the timing does not work in the event’s favor or the public’s trust. With less than a month remaining before the tournament’s scheduled start, there is too much uncertainty about whether we would be able to include essential elements that define this event, bring people together and make it something special for the community.”
The Mercury National Tournament has traditionally taken place in conjunction with Walleye Weekend, a community festival for the greater Fond du Lac region. Late last month, festival organizers announced a postponement of the event until the final weekend of August, citing concerns about large public gatherings amid the COVID‑19 outbreak.
Kilburn explained, however, that the fishing tournament could not follow suit. “This is a catch‑and‑release tournament and we’re very proud of our sustainable practices to promote the survival of the catch after weigh‑in. Walleye tournaments are typically recommended for cool weather, when catch‑and‑release survival rates are better.”
She added that an attempt to reschedule would create scheduling conflicts during the active fall competitive‑ and championship‑fishing season.
Mercury Marine and the Walleye Federation plan to relaunch the event next year.
About Mercury Marine
Headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Mercury Marine is a world‑leading manufacturer of marine propulsion systems. A $3 billion division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), Mercury designs, manufactures and distributes engines, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications, empowering boaters with products that are easy‑to‑use, extremely reliable and backed by the most dedicated customer support in the world with 10,000 service points globally. Mercury’s industry‑leading brand portfolio includes Mercury outboard engines and Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages. Mercury’s global parts‑and‑accessories offerings include: propellers; SmartCraft electronics; Power Products Integrated Solutions; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick and Whale marine parts; Land ’N’ Sea, BLA, Payne’s Marine, Kellogg Marine and Lankhorst Taselaar marine parts distribution; and Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils. More information is available at mercurymarine.com.