St. LOUIS, Mo.--The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) crowned a winner in May for the FISHSTL Cup competitive fishing series for fishing teams from St. Louis City and County public and private high schools. Marquette High School emerged as the undisputed victor of the 10 competing teams to become the 2019 FISHSTL Cup Grand Champions.
To help celebrate the St. Louis Urban Fishing Program’s (UFP) 50th anniversary in 2019, MDC developed the FISHSTL Cup as a competitive, catch-and-release fishing event series for St. Louis high school fishing teams. Qualifying rounds took place in 2018 and provided a final field of 10 teams from Chaminade, Kirkwood, Marquette, Oakville (2 teams), Parkway South, Parkway West, St. Louis University, Vianney, and Webster Groves High Schools.
“The FISHSTL Cup series tested teams’ angling prowess at selected St. Louis Urban Fishing Program lakes with teams earning points for landing and releasing target fish during five separate events,” explained MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Kevin Meneau, who organized the Cup.
The fishing competition included four species-specific events; bass, catfish, panfish, trout, and a fifth combined category. Teams with the most points after each event won individual fish species championships. These included: Marquette (bass and catfish), Oakville 1 (panfish), Parkway West (combined), and Vianney (trout). The fishing contests were held at various UFP lakes from February through May of this year.
The Marquette High team accumulated the most total points from all five fish species events and was awarded the 2019 FISHSTL Cup Grand Championship. Marquette earned a total of 700 points, beating out runner up Oakville High School Team 1 by more than 120 points.
The UFP lakes are part of the oldest and one of the largest urban fishing programs in the United States. Since 1969, the program has been providing close-to-home fishing opportunities for St. Louisans. It boasts a five-decade history of improvements, ranging from increased quantity and diversity of fish stocking, to habitat enhancements, to upgraded access for anglers.
“And now that history includes the first FISHSTL Cup ‘big fish’ champions. Congratulations to Marquette High School,” said Meneau.
Learn more about the UFP’s 50th anniversary on MDC’s website at https://tinyurl.com/y5s6j4pz.