The second Bishop’s Fishing Tournament in Pierre is set for Monday, June 10, at the Oahe Downstream Area north of Pierre. The event has been going on since 1996 and until last year, held west of Gettysburg on a Lake Oahe resort. It’s a fundraiser for the Foundation of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, which comprises East River part of the state. About 20 teams of two or four people will take part.
Registration for fishing begins at 6:30 a.m. with fishing between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. On-site registration for other activities during this event begins at 2:30 p.m.
The parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Pierre is hosting the event, says Galen Jordre, a retired pharmacist who is active in the parish.
The tournament differs from conventional tournaments. A Catholic Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Paul Swain at.3:30 p.m., followed by a social time, and then an outdoor prime rib dinner at 5:00 pm. The Diocese Foundation has obtained a one-day exemption from park fees for those attending the tournament events.
A small plaque is awarded to the fishing winners with walleye and bass categories, team and individual contests and a youth division, Jordre said. There are no cash prizes or large merchandise prizes, since the event is held to raise money for the Foundation, especially aimed at supporting the cost of men attending seminary on their way to being priests, Jordre said.
The tournament also serves as a venue for Catholic parishioners to get to know Bishop Swain and seminarians. Last year about 180 took part n the first fishing tournament dinner in Pierre in the outdoor shelter in the Downstream park area. About 40 to 60 people go out on the lake to fish, Jordre said.
This is the 23rd year the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota has sponsored tournaments, and the second year that Pierre has served as a host. Two tournaments are held each year, one on Big Stone Lake on June 3, and the tournament here in Pierre. Prior to moving to Pierre, the western tournament was at Whitlocks Bay near Gettysburg.
The foundation asks people to support the tournament by participating, volunteering, sponsoring, or by donating. Support of the tournament helps fund seminarian education in the Diocese. It costs an average of $40,670 per year to educate a seminarian. With 21 men from the Sioux Falls Diocese in seminary, the costs can total $850,000 for one year alone. The Diocese is committed to pay the tuition so seminarians can focus on their discernment and not worry about how they are going to pay for their education.
Opportunities to participate include fishing in the tournament. Put together a team or fish individually, from a boat or from shore. Prizes are awarded for walleye and bass. The entry fees include breakfast, lunch, social, and the dinner. You do not have to fish to attend the Mass and the following social and and dinner. A ticket for these events may be purchased by those not fishing in the tournament. To be a sponsor; see the registration form for sponsor benefits and recognition.
Jordre encourages people to donate time, talent and goods or volunteer to host a seminarian for the night of June 9 and to be a part of a prayer group on June 10. He’s also asking people to volunteer to serve on one of the tournament committees to help on Sunday, June 9, and Monday, June 10. Tasks include helping with fishermen’s breakfast and lunch, fishing launch and registration, set-up for Mass and dinner, social, meal service. You can donate crafted or other items for raffle basket drawings or the silent auction, he said.
For more information, contact the local Catholic church, or Galen Jordre, chairman of the Sioux Falls Diocese annual fishing tournament in Pierre, at 605-222-0619.