"These Flying Fish have left us no choice. We're going to shoot a bunch of them, and I don't know if you're brave enough, but I intend to eat a bunch of them," said spokesman Mike Everett on the first-ever Flying Fish Festival and Bowfishing Tournament.
Details on the Festival were announced Friday at Bass Pro Shop in East Peoria. Everett says the event brings together preservation, conservation, and family fun.
The bowfishing tournament will bring in hundreds of fishermen to help make a significant dent in the species' numbers. It will also kick-start an effort to switch the script in the Flying Fish's impact on Central Illinois.
"We're trying to bring a lot of minds together, and focus some attention on this, so we can find a way to commercially use these fish and turn a problem into an asset," he said.
Area chefs will also be competing to see who can come up with the best recipe using the fish.
Below is the rundown of the event, which is on July 11 and 12. Registration for the tournament opens up March 1.
Friday, July 11:
- Meet & Greet at Bass Pro Shop in East Peoria - 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, July 12:
- 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Tournament
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Food sampling and education displays at Bass Pro
- 2 p.m. - Weigh-ins at Bass Pro
- 6 p.m. - Dinner at the Civic Center (open to the Public)