EAGLE RIVER - If you were out on a lake near the Eagle River area last weekend, you might have seen a lot of gray hats. Anglers spread out on seven lake families. They were all hoping to win the 28th National Championship Musky Open.
Anglers take part in many musky competitions in the Northwoods, but one continues to break records with participation.
Larry Slagowski is the president of the Musky Clubs Alliance (MCA) of WI. He says, "This year we had 1,222 people."
Charlie Pulchinski (Rudolph) "If we catch a fish, that's going to be great," adds Charlie Pulchinski of Rudolph. "But just to be out here is something special."
Dave Allen, the MCA's executive director explains, "Basically we're all fishing for trophies. There's no money involved. Everyone just comes here and has a good time and we give away a lot of prizes."
The largest amateur musky tournament in the U.S. prides itself on bringing fun to fishing.
Steven Tilque (Pound, WI) "There's more friendly people than any other tournament I've fished, ever," Steven Tilque of Pound, WI adds.
This tournament also stresses the importance of families bringing out the younger generations of fishermen, in order to grow the sport.
"It's a really great feeling when you catch a fish and then when you show it to your dad," 12-year old Joseph Pulchinski of Pound says. "and he says I wish I caught that one."
There were 219 muskies caught over the weekend. And for the first time in the open's history, a woman took home the top prize.
Michelle Peplinski of Bear Creek was all smiles after the tournament. "It was a great way to end the summer."
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
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