By BassFan Staff
B.A.S.S. announced late Wednesday night that this week's Bassmaster Elite Series event at the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland has been postponed due to extremely high water brought on by recent heavy rain in the Mid-Atlantic region. No make-up dates have been determined.
It's the second time this year that high water has interrupted the Elite schedule – the Sabine River tournament, originally scheduled for April, was pushed back 2 months due to flooding in Texas.
According to a report from Baltimore TV station WJZ 13, more than a dozen floodgates at the Conowingo Dam have been opened, with more gates expected to be raised in the coming days as the rain continues. The Conowingo is the last Susquehanna River dam above the bay.
The TV station's report quotes officials who believe the event will have a devastating impact on the bay's commercial fisheries. The officials also state that it'll have a negative effect on the grass in the bay – the introduction of hydrilla has been credited for the rebound of the bass fishery in the wake of a downturn in the 1990s.
There are three available weeks without a previously-scheduled Bassmaster Open or Elite Series between now and the Angler of the Year championship at Lake Chatuge, scheduled for Sept. 20-23. Those weeks are Aug. 6-12, Aug. 13-19 and Aug. 27-Sept. 2. The first option is the same week as the Forrest Wood Cup (Aug. 10-12) and B.A.S.S. and FLW traditionally do not schedule tournaments opposite the other organization's premier event.
The latter two would potentially create a back-to-back scenario with the St. Lawrence River Elite Series, which is set for Aug. 23-26. The Aug. 27-Sept. 2 option would also coincide with Labor Day weekend.
The B.A.S.S. press release is reprinted below in its entirety:
Due to recent heavy rainfall and increasingly dangerous water conditions, B.A.S.S. officials decided to postpone the Huk Bassmaster Elite at Upper Chesapeake Bay presented by Mossy Oak Fishing that was originally scheduled for July 26-29 out of Harford County, Md.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our anglers and anyone else who might be on the waters of the Upper Chesapeake Bay,” said B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon. “After consulting with authorities regarding increased water releases, debris and current hazardous conditions on tournament waters, B.A.S.S. is postponing this week's event.”
The tournament will likely be scheduled for later in the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series season, which concludes with the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship in September.
Officials from B.A.S.S., event sponsors and local host organizations will be meeting in coming days to discuss options pertaining to rescheduled dates.
For more information, visit Bassmaster.com.