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New Hampshire derby using polygraph to cut down on lie-fishing

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Anglers in this year's Winni Derby on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire will have to pass a lie-detector test before claiming any prizes.

There will be no fish stories at this year's Winni Derby in New Hampshire.

Organizers of the annual landlocked salmon-fishing contest will force the winner to take a polygraph exam to ensure the grand-prize specimen isn't imported from another lake or caught earlier.

"It's something that's always been in our rules, but it was never done before," derby chair Diane LaBrie said Thursday, the eve of the three-day competition.

She said no one has been caught cheating, but "there's a lot of rumors."

"People talk. Fish and Game hears things. We just feel it's necessary to do."

The derby costs $40 to enter and the grand prize is $12,500. The rules say that the salmon and lake trout must be caught on Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire.

LaBrie said over-eager anglers could be tempted to take their boats out on smaller lakes that might have bigger salmon because they're less fished and then bring them to the derby weigh station.

It's even possible someone could land a big fish before the derby and then keep it alive until the weigh-in.

So to make sure the scales of justice are not compromised, this year's winner will have to submit to a lie-detector exam within a week, as first reported by the New Hampshire Union Leader. If they flunk, the title will be stripped.

Last year's top winner weighed 5.4 pounds and was almost 25 inches long.