MEREDITH — You won. Now take a polygraph.
That’s what the grand prize winner in the Winni Derby’s salmon division will be asked this weekend.
“Due to the rumors and information on some of the fishing blogs, there has been a raised awareness that the possibility of some of the past entries for landlocked salmon entered were not fished from Lake Winnipesaukee,” a statement on the derby’s website reads.
The polygraph examination will be completed by Crawford Polygraph Service of Moultonborough, “to be scheduled after the event at the convenience of all involved.”
The grand prize “will not be disbursed until successful completion of this test,” the statement says.
Derby officials said they have not caught anyone cheating, “but the rumors have sounded pretty strong,” said Dianne LaBrie of the derby.
“It’s just something we’re doing to make sure it’s a fair competition for everyone,” LaBrie said.
The Winni Derby will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Lake Winnipesaukee. Derby organizers say it is the state’s leading annual landlocked salmon and lake trout derby, offering more than $50,000 in prizes.
Only landlocked salmon and lake trout taken from Winnipesaukee are eligible for the prizes, which include a $12,500 grand prize in the salmon division, and a $5,000 grand prize in the lake trout division.
The event, which is run by the Laconia Rotary Club, will be headquartered at the Laconia Ice Arena at 468 Province Road in Laconia. Fish entries must be brought to the derby weigh station at the docks in Weirs Beach.
Tickets are selling faster than in years past at A.J.’s Bait and Tackle on Main Street.
“I’ve asked them for more tickets, I ran out of the first batch on Monday,” said owner A.J. Nute. “People seem to be up here fishing early this year; the fishing’s been good.”
Winni Derby organizers said the non-profit’s goal is to support the local community and preserve the salmon fishery on Winnipesaukee. The derby works in partnership with the Fish and Game Department, which stocks the lake with fish.
Derby officials say they have pledged this year to assist Fish and Game with the upgrade of better feed for fish hatcheries by taking and matching donations from anglers at this year’s derby.
More information can be found at www.winniderby.com.