HUNDREDS or young people from around world are expected to join British actor Tom Felton in search of the biggest carp in America’s St Lawrence River and a whopping $10,000 top prize.
The first ever St Lawrence International Junior Carp Tournament will take place hand in had with a new ‘I Love NY Carp Fishing School’ on the St Lawrence River on August 19-23, 2003.
The event is the result of partnerships between the St Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the St Lawrence County Anglers Association, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The New York State Division of Tourism, the St Lawrence Aquarium & Ecological Centre and the Carp Angler’s Group of North America.

They are pooling resources to put up first prize of $10,000, thought to be the biggest junior carp angling prize anywhere in the world.
British born Tom Felton, known from his part as Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter’s Slytherin antagonist is a carp aficionado. He is also know for his parts in The Borrowers and alongside Jodie Foster in Anna and the King. He will be joined at the event by BBC North angling broadcaster Martin James will also be lending a hand.

On Day One of the event, Tom Felton is scheduled to talk about his love for the sport with his brother, Chris, and why British kids are fascinated by carp.  
Martin James, who has visited the region several times and filmed shows on fishing in St Lawrence County, will present four classes on Days Two and Three showing youths and adults alike how to fish for carp. James, along with other anglers, will teach carp clinics near the waterfront at Waddington.
In addition to the ‘classroom’ chat, carp fishing experts will accompany budding anglers to the banks of the river for some ‘hands-on’ experience fishing for carp.
The grand finale will be the St Lawrence International Junior Carp Tournament on Day Four between Ogdensburg and Massena. The two bridges linking the U.S. and Canada will be the boundaries.

Thirty groups of ten youngsters between the age of eleven and eighteen will be pegged along the riverbanks based on a pre-tournament draw and the one will win a $10,000 first prize. All the fish caught during the competition will be weighed by marshals and released, and the angler who has the heaviest four fish bag total at the end will win the big money prize.

The competition is endorsed by the Carp Anglers Group of North America which is the official carp fishing organisation in the United States and Canada.

An entry fee and rental fee for equipment will be charged, and the rules and restrictions are posted on the County Chamber’s website along with an on-line registration.

Karen St Hilaire of organizers St Lawrence Chamber of Commerce commented: “This tournament is a great event for the region. We have been researching the possibilities of a world class competition for over a year.

“The idea of a junior tournament all began when Tom and his brother Chris Felton came to the St Lawrence Experience in Waddington last summer after Tom had completed the filming of the second Harry potter movie.

“His parents gave him a trip to any place in the world and he and Chris chose to come here and for eight days fished for carp at the edge of the St. Lawrence River. At the end of their trip they had caught 140 fish weighing a total of over a ton and a half.
“When we visited him at the river front, the idea was born to have a tournament for juniors. Tom and Chris promised to co-host it, and lend their expertise, so we were off and running.
 “With the marketing assistance of I Love New York in Europe, and the Carp Angler’s Group in the United States, I think we’re on our way to a tremendous international tournament.

“The fact that so many foreign visitors speak so highly of this stretch of the river, made it impossible to ignore. The local support has been overwhelming and the network of carp fishing enthusiasts is amazing. I think the residents and businesses along the river will be amazed at the impact of this kind of event.”
For more information check out the website .