The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has stated that it is looking into “a matter” connected to the Top 50 Classic Pike Series tournament that took place earlier this month on Lake Nipissing.
“The ministry is currently investigating these matters and as such we are unable to provide any further comment at this time,” the MNRF said in an email Thursday.
According to sources speaking to CTV News, the controversy revolves around accusations that two teams tampered with the northern pike they caught on September 2nd in an attempt to gain an advantage in the tournament, which offers a grand prize of $10,00
According to tournament regulations, three out of the five northern pike caught by anglers must measure 61 cm or less. In this situation, the anglers are alleged to have caught pike exceeding this length and subsequently shortened their tails to meet the 61 cm limit.
“These anglers are denying these acts,” a post on the tournament’s Facebook page said.
“That means without definitive proof that the anglers altered fish during tournament hours, they (were) entitled to fish on Sunday.”
The post mentioned that the individuals facing cheating allegations have expressed their willingness to undergo a polygraph examination as a means to demonstrate their innocence.
The controversy centres on allegations two teams altered the northern pike (pictured) they caught Sept. 2 to give them an advantage in the tournament, which has a top prize of $10,000.
Dated September 5th, the post further mentioned that event organizers were in the process of coordinating these tests and emphasized that individuals declining to participate in the polygraph examination would face being “permanently banned from top 50 Pike Series” and any related tournament.
“We know the 2023 season didn’t end the way any of us wanted it to, however we wanted you to know it is being dealt with,” the post said.
In a message sent to CTV News, tournament organizers said that they were unable to provide any comments regarding the incident until the completion of the MNRF investigation.
“But we would be more than happy to once it’s concluded,” the message said.