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Thousands participate in ice fishing competition on Sacandaga Lake
BROADALBIN -- From near and far, ice fishing enthusiasts from around the nation flock to the Great Sacandaga Lake. The popular summer tourist destination was a winter wonderland Saturday, drawing people from all over the nation, some came from as far away as Ohio.
They're here for two events, the sixth annual Walleye challenge, and the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation Ice Fishing Derby.
Because the ice conditions have been so great this year this event has grown by about 50 percent. Good news for the lake because all of the money goes right back into it.
"All the money goes back, we purchase the fish we stock the fish at different locations around the lake," says Randy Gardinier, chairman of the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation.
Also in an otherwise slower season, it's events like these that help boost the local economy here.
"People come to the area they spend a lot of money on lodging and gas. They buys stuff for oil and bait and tackle and everything. So, this time of year without the tourism and the people coming to the area, the restaurants do well it really really helps. It brings people to the area, and it shows how great the area really is," Gardinier tells us.
These fisherman are hoping to cash in from the catch. With $70,000 in cash and prizes being awarded throughout the tournament.
but perhaps the real prize, is know that with each entry, more money goes back into this community.