CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some of West Virginia's most high-profile muskellunge anglers plan to honor slain state Trooper Eric Workman by holding a fishing tournament named for him.
The first annual Eric Workman Memorial Fishing Tournament will be held June 1 on waters throughout the state. Participants will fish for muskies, Workman's favorite species, and proceeds from entry fees will help fund efforts to make muskie fishing better for all West Virginians.
The 26-year-old trooper, an avid and well-liked hunter and angler, was shot last Aug. 31 and died three days later. "Eric laid down his life in the line of duty. We wanted to do something to honor him," said Scott Smith, one of the tournament's organizers.
Several of Workman's buddies held a deer hunt in his honor last December. The muskie-fishing community decided to hold a fundraising tournament in his name as well.
"We've been planning this for quite some time," Smith said.
Donations came pouring in to the Workman family soon after the shooting that led to Eric's death. His father, George Workman, used it to establish a memorial fund in his son's name, and has since used some of the money to benefit muskie fishing.
Earlier this year, the elder Workman had 26 tons of gravel delivered to shore up an unofficial Elk River boat ramp that had fallen into serious disrepair. The ramp, located at the mouth of Sugar Creek near Gassaway, is a favorite access site for muskie anglers.
Smith said tournament proceeds would be used for similar infrastructure projects, and might also be used to purchase food for muskies being reared at the state's Palestine and Apple Grove fish hatcheries.