After a three-year hiatus, the 24th Annual Salmon Arm Kids’ Fishing Derby will once again take place this Father’s Day on the docks at the end of the wharf at Marine Peace Park.
The Sunday, June 18 derby, held in conjunction with Family Fishing Weekend and sponsored by the Salmon Arm Recreation Centre, is open to children 12 years of age and under.
Rebecca Scott, the recreation centre’s programs director, invites participants to “come down to the end of the wharf and cast a line. The derby starts when the horn blows at 7 a.m. and ends at 11. Between the start and finish, there’s lots of action, lots of fun and excitement… lots of young anglers heading up to the weight-in station to record their catch.”
There is no cost to enter the derby and registration takes place Sunday morning, beginning at 6, at the end of the wharf. The only restrictions are that each child must be accompanied by an adult, and each child must wear a life-jacket or PFD. Six certified lifeguards will be on duty throughout the event. Some fishing rods and life-jackets will be available for children who do not have one. Only coarse fish are eligible for trophies and prizes. Fish must be caught and played by the child; however, an adult can assist in netting a fish.
Event co-organizer James Murray, who started the derby 27 years ago in honour of his father, said he is pleased the derby is coming back.
“It gives young people a chance to experience fishing and families to spend times together enjoying an outdoor activity,” said Murray. “Some of these kids take the derby pretty serious. They have their gear all rigged up and ready the night before, and are down there early to pick out what they think – hope – will be the best spot.”
An awards ceremony will take place immediately following the derby at the end of the wharf where trophies and major prizes will be handed out.
The winner of the Kids’ Fishing Derby, the angler who catches the largest fish, will receive the SASCU-W. J. (Bill) Murray Memorial Trophy, a rod and reel outfit, and will get to take their whole family on an all-expenses paid weekend fishing trip to a fishing lodge, which includes accommodations, boat and motor, and $100 worth of groceries. Second- and third-place winners will receive rod and reel outfits.
The lucky angler who lands the first fish of the derby will receive the Westside Stores Trophy, a rod and reel outfit, and a $100 gift certificate redeemable at Westside.
Two anglers who catch fish closest to predetermined “secret weights” will have their names scribed onto the Canadian Tire Trophy, and will each receive a brand new shiny mountain bike.
The angler who manages to catch the most fish throughout the course of the morning will receive the City of Salmon Arm-SASCU Recreation Centre Trophy, a rod and reel outfit and a one-year pass to the swimming pool. There’s a whole whack of other prizes that will be given out throughout the derby.
During the event, former participant, past winner, volunteer and now derby co-organizer, Alyssa Vann, will present a special Outstanding Volunteer Award.
As in previous years, there will also be two Ian Gray-Salmon Arm GM Family Appreciation draw prizes. Adults receive one draw ticket for each child they register. At the end of the awards ceremony, two lucky families will win coolers full of $500 in prizes.
“There’s a lot of cool prizes to be won – and a lot of fun to be had. Besides, you just never know when that tug on the line could turn out to be the derby winner,” said Scott.
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