Chris Johnston speeds down the St. Lawrence River during last year’s Bassmaster Elite tournament, looking for a location to cast a line. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CLAYTON — Local officials say they were ready for Saturday’s arrivals of the Bassmaster Elite fishing competition that will take place this coming week.

Scott A Gray, chairman of the Jefferson County Legislature announced that anglers and Bassmaster staff, who arrived Saturday, were fully informed of the current conditions in the river community with respect to recent outbreak of COVID-19 and for the safety of anglers and the public.

In an email, 89 involved in the Bassmaster event all tested negative for coronavirus, Mr. Gray said.

They were given rapid COVID test and participants will continue daily screening to ensure the safety of the anglers and the community.

They are adhering to all state guidance for professional sports and the travel advisory specifically for professional sporting events, according to Mr. Gray.

Many of the anglers were tested before leaving their home state to avoid driving two days to get here and being turned away.

“BASS has had regular communication with Jefferson County regarding the health and safety for everyone,” Mr. Gray said.

The anglers will practice daily before the competition begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday.

A gathering people on boats on Picton Island, off Clayton, during the Fourth of July weekend were blamed on an outbreak of COVID cases in Clayton during the past week.

On Friday, 427 people were tested for the virus at the Clayton Fire Department. The results of that testing are still pending and are expected to be known early next week.

Not counting those tests, eight more tests came back positive on Friday, bringing the total number of new cases in Jefferson County to 34 since Monday. Not all of those confirmed cases were attributed to the July Fourth gathering.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment


Sooo does this mean if the drivers at Can Am Lafargeville test negative they can open? If they tested negative in Clayton...can they now fish out of Waddington?

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