The 17th Annual Salmon Arm Kids’ Fishing Derby, which is hosted by Salmon Arm Recreation, took place this past Sunday morning, June 16 down at the end of the wharf at Marine Park – under sunny skies and ideal conditions. It was also, to say the least, a huge success.
The derby is held each year in conjunction with the Province’s Family Fishing Weekend program and has become a popular event in the Shuswap for kids, parents and people who just want to come down and watch all the activity.
As in past years, it did not take very long for the first fish to be caught – except this year there were two fish caught, hooked and landed at exactly the same time at opposite ends of the docks. A tie was declared and both Jayda Koppel and Logan Merry received First Fish honours along with a plaque and a fishing outfit.
Throughout the course of the morning, Cadence Tulak made a total of five trips to the weigh-in station to secure first place in the Most Fish category. She received the Westside Stores Most Fish Trophy, as well as a rod-and-reel outfit and a $100 gift certificate from Westside.
Nicole Andrews place second in the Most Fish category and Marissa Materi placed third. Both received rod-and-reel outfits and gift certificates. All three received plaques as well.
Charel Venter won in the Largest Fish category and will have his name inscribed on the William J. Murray Memorial Trophy. He also received a glass “keeper” trophy, a rod-and- reel outfit, a $200 SASCU Credit Union scholarship and will be taking his whole family on an all-expenses-paid trip to a fishing lodge. Nicholas Barbosa placed second in the Largest Fish category and received a rod-and-reel outfit as well as a $100 Rotary scholarship.
Riley Beleck placed third and received a rod and reel outfit and the CUPE scholarship. Both also received plaques.
Lanaya Edmondson and Shirtina Holman won in the Hidden Weight category sponsored by Canadian Tire and both received brand new mountain bikes and helmets.
Aly Vann received a special Girls In Outdoor Sports Award, sponsored by Sheena Haines, co-owner of Westside Stores, and received a $100 gift certificate from the store. Vann, who is 20 years old now and lives in Kelowna, is a former winner in two separate categories at the derby. She spent the morning showing young anglers (and often their parents) how to rig their rods and bait their hooks as well as showing them where to fish and how to cast.
As one of the organizers of the Kids’ Fishing Derby, it makes me feel good to see young adults like Aly Vann, and all the other former participants who give back by coming back to volunteer and help out with the derby. They’re not only mentors for the younger kids, they are pretty darned good role models.
This year, 238 young anglers registered for the derby with 62 kids catching a total of 125 coarse fish. Close to $5,000 in scholarships and prizes were handed out. Events like the Kids’ Fishing Derby could never take place without a lot of work by many volunteers, so I tip my hat and say thank you to everyone who helped out.
Salmon Arm Recreation program co-ordinator Donna Flatmann and I are already planning for next year’s derby. I guess when it comes right down to it, I’m not sure who it is that gets the most excited about the derby – me or the kids.