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Pro walleye circuit scrubs Spring Valley date

State coronavirus directives prevent March 21 Masters Walleye Circuit opener

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PONCA CITY, Okla. — Precautions to prevent the coronavirus are preventing or at best delaying a major fishing event that routinely filled restaurants and hotels with visitors from out-of-town and out-of state.

The Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit staff received notice at 11:51 a.m. Monday after a meeting of the various mayors in and around the Spring Valley area regarding coronavirus cons, the Illinois Public Health Department and the county sheriffs department that the MWC Spring Valley event scheduled for March 20-21 will have to be canceled, the MWC posted on its Facebook page late Monday.

"Therefore, we have no choice but to CANCEL the March 20-21 Spring Valley, IL event," tournament directors said of the season-opening event.

On March 15, circuit officials said they had a good-sized field for the tournament, and on March 14, they noted that they would advise participants that they would take all the precautions possible to prevent the possible transmission or movement of the virus.

"We are very sorry for the hardship on our anglers as we have 80 teams registered so far with registrations still coming in and we know some teams are already there practicing," the Facebook post read: "WE will attempt to reschedule, however to be clear we are NOT sure we can reschedule. The DNR do not need the fish for their hatchery after they have spawned and our open dates are very limited. If we reschedule for early April we run the risk of the state of Illinois extending their bans and rules and cancelling us again. BUT we will do what we can and if we reschedule and you cannot attend, we will gladly issue a refund. So stay tuned for that information forth coming as soon as we can put it together."

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