Last hurrah for Wylie Walleye? - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Last hurrah for Wylie Walleye?

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All signs point to 2014 in Port Clinton as the city gears up for it's annual New Year's eve Walleye drop.

"It grew every year," Tom Brown, former Port Clinton mayor and creator of the Walleye drop told 13abc.  "One year we had 20,000 people here."

The crane is already in place and Wylie Walleye is patiently waiting to be hoisted up to ring in the new year.

But, could 2014 be his swan song?

"He's kind of beat up," Don Clemons, Chairman of the Walleye Drop Committee, said.  "We need to replace him and get him traded in."

Clemons says he would like to see Wylie 3 by the next new year, 2015.

"This one is 16 years old, I think he has 250,000 miles on it if you put it in car years," Clemons says with a laugh.

Now, Wylie is no small fish.  He weighs in between 500 and 600 pounds, but he's seen better days. 

His top fins have already had to be replaced and a closer look shows cracks in his scales, exposing his wooden frame.

"It's starting to rot a bit," Clemons said.  "We want to get somebody like an artisan who works with metal or fiberglass so we can get a new one made."

Clemons says they committee hasn't finalized a budget just yet.

But they've already looked into applying for grants and doing special fundraisers to pay for Wylie 3.

"We've gotten a lot of good years out of him, Wylie 3 will be great," Brown said.

The Walleye Drop committee is looking for different ideas on how to build the next walleye.

If you would like to contact them, visit www.walleyedrop.com or www.walleyemadness.com to send an email.

The current Wylie will stay in the community and serve as an ambassador for the Walleye capital of the world.

 

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