|Mercury Marine leads construction of new dock in Lakeside Park|
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (Jan. 11, 2016) – Mercury Marine is partnering with the Fond du Lac City Parks Department and Fond du Lac Festivals to build a permanent fishing dock on the south side of Oven Island in Lakeside Park.
The dock, scheduled to be completed by June, will provide a 130-foot by 10-foot handicap-accessible public fishing platform. It also will enable the Mercury National Walleye Tournament to return to its original site on Oven Island after a three-year absence. The tournament moved its fish weigh-in operations and award ceremonies to a temporary site near the lighthouse in Lakeside Park Marina in 2013 due to a buildup of sediment in the canals surrounding Oven Island. Dredging conducted by the city has removed the sediment, providing easy boat access from Lake Winnebago and throughout the park’s canal system.
The dock will be finished prior to the June 11-12 Mercury National Tournament, which is held annually in conjunction with the Walleye Weekend festival. The highly regarded two-day fishing tournament has historically drawn 250 to 300 two-person teams. The tournament relies on considerable help from volunteers, including members of the Lighthouse Anglers association, to construct and tear down the weigh-in and ceremonies site, and to weigh and process hundreds of fish each day. The longtime alliance between volunteers and the tournament has resulted in an impressive record of healthy fish being returned safely to the Lake Winnebago system.
“Mercury Marine is pleased to work with the city and Fond du Lac Festivals to build this new dock, which will not only provide an improved site for the Mercury National Walleye Tournament, but will also create a safe and easily accessed fishing site for the Fond du Lac community,” said John Pfeifer, president of Mercury Marine. “We’re proud that the Mercury National is an important part of this community’s history, and this dock will help ensure the continuation of our synergistic partnership.”
The anticipated cost of the dock is $40,000. The City Parks Department has committed $6,000 toward construction of the dock, while Fond du Lac Festivals, which produces Walleye Weekend, has committed $5,000. The remainder of the cost will be covered by Mercury Marine. Construction plans have already been approved by the City of Fond du Lac and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The new dock will provide a more efficient and safer system for anglers who have to leave their boats for the weigh-in process after competing in the Mercury National tournament. It also offers safe haven for boats and occupants in the event of storms. Making the lighthouse location a permanent site of the weigh-in and award ceremonies was considered, though a 2015 survey indicated that two-thirds of the contestants preferred that the event return to its historic roots on Oven Island.
About Mercury Marine
Headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis., Mercury Marine is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. A $2 billion division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), Mercury provides engines, boats, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications, empowering boaters with products that are easy to use, extremely reliable and backed by the most dedicated customer support in the world. Mercury’s industry-leading brand portfolio includes Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages; MotorGuide trolling motors; Mercury propellers; Mercury inflatable boats; Mercury SmartCraft electronics; Attwood marine parts; Land ‘N Sea marine parts distribution; and Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils. More information is available at mercurymarine.com.