Fish Ratings Downgrades Five Walleye to ‘CCC-’ on Discovery of Lead Weights, Disqualification from Tournament

Photo: Lead balls found in Walleye at Lake Erie Walleye Trail, September 30, from Lake Erie Walleye Trail Facebook Group.

Fish Ratings – Cleveland – 05 Oct 2022: Fish Ratings has downgraded five Walleye from ‘AA+’ to ‘CCC-’ after they were disqualified from the Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament in Cleveland on Friday upon the discovery of lead weights and fillets of other fish hidden inside them.

The five Walleye had weighed in at a weighted average weight (WAW) of 6.8lb each, which would have implied positive fish cash flow (FCF) of approximately $30,000 in prize money from the tournament, enabling a significant distribution to sponsors Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky.

But the organiser of the tournament, Jason Fischer (sic), became suspicious and cut open the fish, discovering several egg-sized balls of lead as well as fillets of Other Unidentified Fish (Unrated), leading to the disqualification of the five Walleye from the tournament.

“We got weights in fish!” yelled Fischer, according to video evidence reviewed by Fish Ratings analysts.

As a result, adjusted FCF for the five Walleye is now estimated at $0 under our current rating assumptions.

The downgrade of the Walleye from ‘AA+’ to ‘CCC-’ reflects not just the new estimated WAW of the fish and reduced FCF but also takes into account heightened governance risks at the level of sponsors Runyan and Comnisky. Fish Ratings understands that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has gathered evidence from the tournament and is preparing a report for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. The Outlook is Negative.

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