The government shut down has canceled the annual Fishing For Freedom Bass Tournament on lake Belton.  That’s the big tournament that pairs up a professional angler with a Purple Heart recipient, wounded warrior, active-duty soldier, or retired service member.   The anglers provide the boat and all the equipment too if necessary.

According to KXXV  more than a thousand people were expected to attend this weekend, including around 400 veterans and soldiers.  The winner of the tournament gets a brand new boat, but not this year.

The shutdown has closed the lakes, and the organizers say they cannot wait for a last minute settlement to figure out if the tournament can go on.

KXXV spoke with the tournament director Cliff Brown who said the Fishing for Freedom Board has been planning the event for eight months.

"It's frustrating to me to know that I got to tell these guys, all the volunteers, all the sponsors, soldiers, boaters that due to the government shutdown and the lakes closing by the Ft. Worth Corps of Engineers, we are going to have to cancel this event," said Brown. "We got hundreds, literally hundreds of hotel reservations that need to be canceled."

Within the last few weeks, Brown and the board have been in contact with the Corps of Engineers to see if they can open a few gates for the event. The answer was NO.