Nothing finny about this tournament...just something very fishy.

And the streams?

They have something to carp about.

"This tournament has two purposes. One is to encourage people to get out and go fishing with their kids, and also to remove less desirable fish from our local waterways," said Chatfield High School FFA adviser Stacy Fritz.

She is eagerly anticipating this Saturday's FFA Rough Fish Tournament, during which invasive species such as carp, buffalo, suckers, sheepshead, bowfins, burbot, cisco, gar, goldeye and redhorse should swim for their little lives.

Fritz continued, "The purpose of this contest is to help protect and promote the native fish populations in the area by removing fish that pose a threat through competition of resources. One of the most common and well known species is carp."

The other purpose, she explained, is to to raise funds for FFA leadership opportunities for students enrolled in agri-science classes at Chatfield high and middle schools. Proceeds for this event will go towards leadership programs and state convention trips.

The event features the tournament, free lunch and a silent auction.

"Anyone with a proper Minnesota fishing license is welcome to participate in the contest," Fritz said.

The day starts out with registration - which can be done prior to June 29 at Dave's Barbershop in Chatfield, or the day of the contest by 10 a.m. at the Groen Park shelter - and there's free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The contest, during which anglers can use any legal fishing means to catch rough fish species, is held with weigh-ins starting at 1 p.m.

A silent auction will conclude following the weigh-ins.

There will be prizes as well with $100 given for the adult team with the most pounds of fish caught, a custom made spinning rod for the biggest fish caught by an adult and a first prize Ugly Stik fishing pole for kids.

Fritz added that each child will receive a bag of goodies, including donated lures from Root River Lures, and there will be additional prizes for second and third places in the kids' category depending on donations the FFA receives.

The FFA would like to encourage families to spend time together at area rivers and streams, lending a helping hook to the trout that live there.

"We are trying to promote fishing with your kids, so please invite any kid you think would enjoy the event," Fritz added. "We feel it is a great way to get people out and fishing with their friends and family. Fishing is a popular sport in Minnesota, and by participating in it, you are having an impact on our local bodies of water. This provides people with the opportunity to help clean up our local streams and rivers, as well as providing a fun way to teach kids why this type of fishing is important."

The Chatfield FFA Rough Fish Tournament is set for this Saturday, June 29, at Groen Park in Chatfield and will go on, rain or shine. Cost is $20 per adult team, $10 per single adult, and children 10 and under enter the tournament for free.

A fish identification guide for invasive (non-native) and native fish is available online at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/invasives/fish_guide_final.pdf.

For more information, contact Stacy Fritz at (507) 696-5853.