Treasurer of the Owego Hose Team John Loftus said all safety information was made available people, and that participants were asked to maintain a safe distance between each other. Saturday marked the Inaugural Virtual Trout Derby, an event encouraging people to get outside, but also to maintain safe practices to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “To continue to create community events, get people out, good cause, have some fun, and create something year after year and look forward to,” Loftus said. While in-person fishing may be more traditional, Loftus sees the event as one that could catch on in the future. The winner of the Brown Trout competition was Bob Haskell, who caught a 17,7/8″ trout. “Honestly I believe the right thing to do for the fishery is to do it where the fish are documented on a smart phone or something and then released back in,” Smith said. “That way we aren’t taking a bunch of trout out of the system.” “Well this far into it, I think everyone is grasping for something to do to keep their minds at ease,” said co-chair of the event Brandon Smith. Participants signed up on the Owego Hose Team’s Facebook page and were given a check-in IDFisherman went down to the Owego Creek’s east and west ends to fish for Brooke and Brown troutIf a trout was caught, the fisherman took a picture of the fish next to a measuring unit and submitted it to either the Owego Hose Team’s FB page or their email account with their check-in IDFrom there, the fisherman then released the fish back into the water as part of the tournament’s catch and release emphasis Here’s how the tournament works: Smith explained most fishing derbies are done through a weigh-in process or by checking in fish, but believes this is an environment-friendly event. “All the documentation we put out is pay attention to the PAUSE effect in New York, pay attention to social distancing, take all the proper precautions,” Loftus said. The tournament ran from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m with the winner receiving a $100 grand prize for the largest trout caught. OWEGO (WBNG) — When the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Owego Hose Team from hosting a chicken BBQ and a fishing tournament, they didn’t let it stop them, instead choosing to cast a new line into a new pond: virtual fishing. The winner of the Brooke Trout was Jimmy Wagner, who caught a 10, 3/4″ trout.