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Time to gear up for the 8th annual Ice Fishing Challenge

The 8th annual Ice Fishing Challenge, sponsored by the Alexandria Sertoma Club and Viking Sportsmen, is set to take place Saturday, February 9 on Lake L'Homme Dieu near Krueger's Creek public access from noon to 3 p.m.

The 8th annual Ice Fishing Challenge, sponsored by the Alexandria Sertoma Club and Viking Sportsmen, is set to take place Saturday, February 9 on Lake L'Homme Dieu near Krueger's Creek public access from noon to 3 p.m.

Tickets for the Ice Fishing Challenge are $35 if purchased in advance or if anglers pre-register online by January 24. Tickets can be purchased through the mail, but must be postmarked by January 24 for the discounted price.

After January 24, tickets will be $45. No refunds will be given for any reason.

Tickets are available at Koeps in Glenwood, Shooting Sports Outlet in Parkers Prairie, Holiday Super Stop in Sauk Centre, Fisherman's Corner in Osakis and the following Alexandria businesses: Christopherson's Bait, Elden's Food Fair and Alexandria Appliance.

To purchase tickets online, log on to www.icefishingchallenge.org . If purchased before January 24, tickets will be mailed. After that date, tickets can be picked up at the "will call" booth the day of the tournament.

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This year's contest features more than $100,000 worth of prizes, including a new Ford F-150 4x4 as the grand prize.

One of the best things about the contest is that you don't need to have a large fish to be a winner; many of last year's winners had fish that weighed less than one pound.

In fact, the way the prize system works, even the participant in last place can walk away with a valuable prize - a pair of diamond earrings.

Here's a list of some of the prizes:

2nd: The Lodge Fish House.

10th: Kawasaki 360 4X4 ATV.

20th: 42-inch plasma HDTV.

30th: Sportsman 90 youth ATV.

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40th: Triton trailer.

50th: Arctic Cat Panther snowmobile.

60th: SkiDoo Freestyle snowmobile.

70th: Cub Cadet RTZ42.

80th: Storage shed.

90th: Polaris Sawtooth ATV.

100th: Diamond earrings.

Other prizes include underwater cameras, ice augers, fish finders, $100 gift certificates, cash prizes, and many other types of merchandise, lodging and recreational prizes.

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For more information about the contest, visit the Ice Fishing Challenge Web site at www.icefishingchallenge.org or call Jim Stratton at (320) 808-5096.

RULES AND REGULATIONS

The following is a partial list of the rules and regulations for the upcoming Ice Fishing Challenge. For a complete list, visit the tournament's Web site at www.icefishingchallenge.org .

The Tournament is scheduled for February 9 from noon until 3 p.m. on Lake L'Homme Dieu near the Krueger's Creek public access. No access is allowed into the fishing area prior to 8 a.m. the day of the tournament.

Should inclement weather cause cancellation, the Tournament will be held on Sunday, February 10 at the same place and time.

Tournament prizewinners are determined by the largest weight and time registered. In the event of a tie, the first fish registered takes priority. Any species and size fish is eligible to win a prize.

Each person will be allowed to fish one hole per ticket, two holes maximum. You may register as many fish as you want, but only the heaviest fish per contestant will be qualified for a competition prize. No contestant will be eligible for more than one competition prize. There is no age requirement for tournament participation.

All fish must be brought to the judge's stand immediately after being caught and still be alive. Dead or frozen fish are ineligible. Judges shall have the right to verify that the fish were legally caught. The decision of the judge is final. All prizewinners may be subjected to take a polygraph exam as part of the contest requirements. In the event deception is detected, the contestant's prize will go directly to charity.

Contestants are responsible for verification of the weight of the fish at the time of weigh-in. All weigh-in tickets must be certified by a tournament official.

All fish must be caught and the contestant must be on the way to the judge's stand by 3 p.m. on the day of the contest.

Contestants must fish in the area designated for the contest and will be required to have their tickets visible at all times. Ticket checks, as well as container inspections will be performed.

Contestants will be allowed to move to other unoccupied holes in the contest area. You are allowed to bring as many poles as desired, but cannot use more than one pole per hole at a time. Contestants must use holes provided.

Contestants must be in plain view from all sides at all times. No shelters of any kind will be allowed.

Prizes are the responsibility of the winners. Licensing, taxes, registration, transportation and all incidental or sequential expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participants.

No motorized vehicles are allowed in the contest area other than contest officials and police personnel. Call (320) 808-5096 for handicap access information.

Coolers and large containers are discouraged. No spears allowed. Heaters, chairs, bait pails and depth finders are allowed. No bait or licenses will be sold on the lake. Small chisels are recommended as holes are drilled the day before. The use of augers is not allowed. Weighted lines without hooks can be used to check depth prior to 11:45 a.m.

Anyone pre-fishing within 24 hours prior to the day of the contest must register with contest officials at the public access.

Failure to comply with any of the contest rules subjects the contestants to disqualification and removal from the competition site as determined by contest officials.

All contestants and others hereby consent to the use of any photographs or likeness of themselves to be used in the promotion of our contest, including but not limited to print, radio, television, etc.

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