The idea of organizing an important fishing tournament on the James Bay territory was launched in 1999 by Mr. Richard Laplante. A businessman in the town of Chapais, Mr. Laplante is the founder of the James Bay Walleye Festival.
Chapais, a small municipality of approximately two thousand people located to the southeast of the territory of James Bay, hosts the event. The main site around which most of the activities gravitate is located 10 kilometers from Chapais, near the shores of Lake Opémisca.
The James Bay Walleye Festival is a legally constituted non-profit organization. Since its foundation, the organization has received the support of many partners.
Every year, nearly one thousand people participate in this mega provincial fishing tournament. Since its inception, awards and prizes have increased from $ 50 000 to $ 150 000. The success of the festival is maintained thanks to a promotional strategy targeted at fishing and outdoor enthusiasts.
The image of the event is broadcasted by several major media platforms such as the Sports Network (RDS), the Magazine Sentier Chasse-Pêche, the very popular Québec Pêche website and via the spokesperson for the event, Norman Byrns, professional fisherman.
Over the years, the Baie-James Walleye Festival has undoubtedly become a significant appeal in the region. It is also the most important walleye fishing tournament in Quebec. Moreover, the organization of the festival has developed a professional tourism expertise, thanks to the involvement of more than 150 volunteers, all eager to contribute to the economic development of their region. The mission of the organization is to prepare a major event that helps local development and promotes the Baie-James region.