LCI Father's Day fishing derby a go with some changes

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File photo (WCAX)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 3:35 PM EDT
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Many events have been canceled this summer because of the coronavirus but one is still going on. That's the Lake Champlain International Father's Day Fishing Derby.

"Yeah this is something we look forward to every year," said Brent Navari of Colchester.

Navarisays every year he brings his four boys out for the LCI Derby.

"I like spending time with my brothers, my dad. I like going fishing, just a really good time," Gunnar Navari said.

"All five of us in the boat," Brent Navari said. "It's tough. Sometimes they argue."

It's one event that will still go on this year. Organizers say it will work because anglers will be distancing in boats or onshore. But it will look a little different.

"As it stands right now, Vermont residents would need to utilize weigh stations on the Vermont side and likewise for New York residents," said the derby's Elizabeth Ehlers.

There will be an added weigh station, making a total of 13 to help make physical distancing easier. But there will be no awards ceremony this year. And the number of anglers signed up is down.

"What we are seeing right now is our registrants are from Vermont and the North Country of New York," Ehlers said.

Right now, there are 1,500 people signed up, compared to last year where 4,700 participated. Organizers say it's still early, though.

"People even in a normal year people wait until the two weeks prior," Ehlers said.

And when it comes to people who are traveling to Vermont to fish, questions remain about who can make it under the current guidelines.

"The families, the anglers who have historically traveled for the derby-- they are watching, they are waiting," Ehlers said.

But for now, those signed up like Brent Navari are excited to keep the tradition going.

"At this point, I think the kids have picked up fishing pretty well," he said. "They're doing better than I am!"

The derby is still about a month away. Organizers hope there are fewer restrictions so more people can safely participate.

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