DUNKIRK, NY (WNY News Now) – After a contest last week reeled in some fishy results, it was found that one entry was not legal. Now, the founder of the tournament explained to WNY News Now that everything may not be as it seems.
Mark Mohr believes highly in fisherman’s integrity, but also recognizes the importance of mental health.
“Our rules stipulate several different things but one being that any fish that is entered into the payout structure will be cut open for inspection, it’s right in the rules. When this individual, Pete Smith, came in and weighed in on Sunday, we cut the fish open and we found two different fish,” said Mohr.
Before disqualification, Mohr wanted to be sure he had collected all evidence.
“The day before, he’s had some other trouble in recent weeks, and I was really kind of concerned about what was going to happen if I did disqualify him so I just let everything calm down. I weighed all the scales, looked at all the options, looked at all the evidence, and made sure 100 percent, in fact, he did enter those fish illegally,” Mohr said.
Mohr considers Smith a friend and is seemingly very worried about him.
“Pete’s been a friend of mine for a number of years and I don’t think that that was the Pete that I knew, and I think that he has some concerns and I think the family is dealing with it properly and I would appreciate the rest of the fishing world to just accept it at that,” said Mohr. “He needs no more trouble. He needs no mockery, he obviously has some issues and his family is dealing with that.”
In the end, the fisherman just wants to see his friend get better.
“Mental illness is absolutely horrible, I could tell you some real bad stories about my family so I feel for their family. His son reached out to me on Facebook and thanked me for what I did, doing the right thing, it only means that he’s one step closer to getting the help he needs,” said Mohr. “I would really like the fishing world to reach out to the family with prayers and hope that Pete gets better very soon.”
Mental health affects many every day. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, you can contact the Chautauqua County Mental Hygiene Services at (716) 753-4104 or the Chautauqua County Suicide Prevention and Crisis Hotline at 1(800) 724-0461.