SAULT STE. MARIE – Now in its second year, the St. Marys Walleye Club is looking to give back to its community starting with a special fishing day for past and present military servicepeople Sunday, Aug. 4th 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. followed by a cookout.

Any United States veteran and active military personnel will be able to fish with a club member beginning at 9 a.m. at the Conley Point Boat Launch on South Scenic Drive in Barbeau. The free day of fishing will give a serviceperson a chance to competitively fish for walleye and other sport fish.

“There is no cost,” said club vice-president Samantha Marzean. “It is 100 percent free to all veterans.”

Fishing gear, a boat, bait and a t-shirt will be supplied for veterans. The only thing they will need to bring is a Michigan Fishing License, appropriate clothing for the weather and snacks and drinks.

Members of the recently formed St. Marys Walleye Club (SMWC) suggested the idea after similar events downstate netted success. There will be no cost to participating veterans for the fishing or for the following fish fry. Family members of participating veterans are also encouraged to attend the fish fry at the St. Marys River Sportsmen Club in Barbeau.

St. Marys Walleye fishing family

Eli, Liam, and Randy MacDonald are proud members of the St. Marys Walleye Club. (Photo courtesy of the SMWC)

Thanks to support from sponsors and partners, such as the Sault Convention & Visitors Bureau and Apex Welding, Inc, the SMWC has continued to grow and looks forward to hosting more community events.

“We’re excited to see them recognize our military veterans,” said Sault CVB Executive Director Linda Hoath. “We appreciate what the walleye club is doing and the hard work that they’re putting into growing in our community.”

The SMWC formed in February 2018 when club president Andrei Sawruk was encouraged to start it after years of participating in other area’s clubs.

“There is a friendly walleye tour atmosphere,” said club president Sawruk, of the collection of over 200 members. “The club lets local anglers compete against other anglers in the area and local professionals.”

Sawruk said the club gives members an equal playing field and promotes camaraderie amongst anglers. Over the course of the year four one day tournaments are held with an emphasis on promoting youth participation. The tourneys aren’t as strict as the professional circuits and allow anglers to bring their families on board, as long as no boat has more than six poles in the water at a time.

Veterans are asked to sign up no later than Sunday, July 28. To register please contact the SMWC at, message them on Facebook here, or contact one of the directors for more information. Sawruk can be reached at (906) 203-8971.