Published DateLACONIA — There's a new twist for the this year's annual Winni Salmon Derby.
The winner of the $12,500 first prize for the largest landlocked salmon caught on the big lake over the weekend, as well as the person who witnessed the catch, will be subject to a polygraph test to ensure that they are telling the truth about where the fish was landed.
''There's been some concern, due to the rumors and information on some fishing blogs, that it's possible that some of the past entries weren't landed in Lake Winnipesaukee,'' says Dianne LaBrie, chairman of the derby which is now run by the Laconia Rotary Club.
LaBrie says that the response from fishermen and on the blogs has been overwhelmingly supportive of the decision to require the polygraph test, which has long been a part of the derby's rules but has never been invoked before.
''It gives people confidence that it's fair for everyone involved,'' says LaBrie.
The polygraph examination will be administered by Crawford Polygraph Service of Moultonborough and will be scheduled after the event at the convenience of all involved.
LaBrie said that registrations were very busy on Thursday and she expects that there will be at least as many taking part as last year, when about 1,300 anglers registered.
''Actually I'd like to see the sun go away. Fishing for salmon is best when it's cloudy and there's a little chop on the water,'' said LaBrie.
Over $50,000 in prizes will be awarded over the weekend in the derby, which is the largest landlocked salmon and lake trout derby in the state.
Only salmon and lake trout taken from Winnipesaukee are eligible for the prizes, which include a $12,500 grand prize in the salmon division, and a $5,000 grand prize in the lake trout division.
The runner-up in the salmon division will won $2,500 and the second place lake trout will net the angler $1,000. The winner of the Junior Division will receive a 14 foot Alumacraft boat and trailer.
Weigh-in station for the event will be at Weirs Beach and the station will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
All fish weighed in between 6 and 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday will qualify for the next day's awards. Daily awards will be presented at the Lacuna Ice Arena starting at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.