Hayward, Wis., is expecting as many as 30,000 crappie anglers to visit it and lakes in surrounding Sawyer County this spring when the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame holds its unaugural "2010 Hayward Crappie Contest.''

The date will be May 1, opening of the Wisconsin 2010 fishing season. About $11,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.

Registration is available at Holiday Stationstores beginning April 1 in Duluth, Cloquet, Moose Lake, Hinckley, Pine City, North Branch, Forest Lake, Lindstrom, Cambridge, Mora and Rush City, Minn. In Wisconsin, participating Holiday Stationstores include those in Amery, Barron, Balsam Lake, Luck, Frederic, Cumberland, Grantsburg, Siren, Spooner, Superior, Hayward, Washburn, Ashland, Ladysmith, Almena, Turtle Lake, Milltown and Webster.

Organizers at the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame (that's the group's giant model muskie in the accompanying photo) say "hundreds'' of Sawyer County Lakes will be open for contestants.
Registrations cost $10 for the contest, which begins at midnight May 1 and ends at the 2 p.m. weigh-in on the Hall of Fame's grounds.
The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit museum and home to Hayward’s landmark four-story-tall muskie (spelled "musky'') in Wisconsin.

Since 1960, the hall has been the authority and repository for all fresh water fishing records. It also recognizes  men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the sport of fresh water fishing through its Hall of Fame Program.