Highland: Sports

IHSA Bass Fishing Finals postponed due to high water levels

The Illinois High School Association announced that the 2017 IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 19-20 at Carlyle Lake in Carlyle, has been postponed due to potentially dangerous water levels and will be rescheduled to unfold in Carlyle later this spring.

The IHSA Board of Directors made the decision to postpone the finals based upon discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who oversee Carlyle Lake. IHSA staff members also visited the lake to assess the situation.

“We cannot hold the tournament as scheduled on May 19 and 20 due to safety concerns,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We hope to make a decision on the new state final date as soon as possible so that Carlyle and the qualifying schools can plan accordingly. We obviously can’t control the weather, but we can control safety, and that will always be paramount in our decision-making.”

The IHSA was forced to postpone the state final tournament in 2011 and 2013 when Southern Illinois was hit by a series of storms that produced high water levels. At that time, the tournament was conducted in early May, but was later moved back two weeks, in part, to help with weather-related situations.

“This is a unique tournament with unique obstacles,” said IHSA Associate Executive Director and Bass Fishing Administrator Kurt Gibson. “Carlyle Lake has begun to release water to lower its levels, so we think we will have a new date scheduled soon. We have navigated similar situations in the past and managed to conduct great state final tournaments. I have no doubt that will happen again in the coming weeks.”