It has been 16 years since the first Salmon Arm Kids Fishing Derby took place down at the end of the wharf at Marine Park. Since then the derby has grown in size and popularity.
Each year the derby attracts anywhere from 600 to 800 people including participants, parents and people who just come out to watch and cheer on the kids. This year there are close to $5,000 in prizes to be won. Over the years the organizers have handed out some $75,000 in scholarships and prizes.
“But it’s not just about the prizes,” says Salmon Arm Recreation program coordinator Donna Flatman, one of the organizers. “It’s more about kids and families having fun together. A lot of kids have come out to the derby over the past 16 years. Some of them, who are too old now to enter still participate by coming out and volunteering. We have over 30 volunteers a well as six certified lifeguards who are on duty throughout the derby.”
The 2012 Salmon Arm Kid’s Fishing Derby is open to all children 12 years and under. There is no cost to enter the derby, which goes Father’s Day, June 17.
Registration takes place Sunday morning, beginning at 6 a.m., at the end of the wharf and the only restrictions are that each child must be accompanied by an adult, and each child must wear a lifejacket or PDF.
Some life jackets are available for children who do not have one. Only coarse fish are eligible for trophies and prizes, and, fish must be caught and played by the child – an adult, however, can assist in netting a fish.
An awards ceremony will take place immediately following the derby at the end of the wharf where the trophies and major prizes will be handed out.
The winner of the annual Kids Fishing Derby will receive the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – W. J. (Bill) Murray Memorial Trophy, an IM-6 graphite rod and reel outfit, a $200 RESP Education Bond – and – they will get to take their whole family on an all-expenses-paid weekend fishing trip to Beaver Lake Lodge, which will include accommodations, boat and motor, and $100 worth of groceries.
Second- and third-place winners will receive rod and reel outfits and RESP education bonds.
The lucky angler who lands the first fish of the derby will receive the Piccadilly Place Mall Trophy, a rod and reel outfit, and a $100 Rotary Club sponsored RESP education bond.
Two anglers who catch fish closest to predetermined “secret weights” will have their names inscribed on the Canadian Tire Trophy and will win a brand new, mountain bike.
The angler who manages to catch the most fish will receive the City of Salmon Arm Trophy, a rod and reel outfit, a $100 Rotary Club sponsored RESP Education Bond, as well as a one-year pass to the swimming pool.
There are also lots of other great prizes given out throughout the derby. As in previous years, there will also be the special Parent Appreciation draw prize. Adults receive one draw ticket for each child they register.
At the awards ceremony, one lucky person will win a fully decked-out barbecue with all the accessories, as well as $100 worth of groceries.