Fishermen rejoice. The annual Cash Salmon Derby formerly hosted by Port Sidney Marina has been picked up by the Sidney Anglers.
The April 30 derby is traditionally the first derby of the year on the south coast of Vancouver Island and generates interest in Sidney as a tourist destination and income for local businesses.
The Sidney Anglers have been involved in the derby for several years providing volunteer manpower for the weekend event. “I’ve been involved for five or six years as volunteer coordinator,” said Dave Stephen, chair of the derby committee.
“It raises quite a bit of money for projects like our fish enhancement programs,” said angler Dennis Fea.
“Traditionally the old derby was a two-day affair that attracted about 100 boats. Anglers weighed in from 80 to 125 salmon during the derby,” said Stephen. “We plan to modify the event to a one-day derby that sells entries by the rod, rather than by the boat. We anticipate 200 to 300 rods fishing, but the one-day format should decrease the number of salmon intercepted.”
The anglers expect some 300 to 400 people to attend the derby which includes a dinner, $10,000 in cash prizes and prizes donated by local businesses.
The derby home-base and boat launch is at Tulista Park. The Saturday banquet dinner will also be at Tulista Park. Port Sidney Marina has offered derby participants a deal on moorage.
All the money raised from the derby will be turned back into local fish enhancement programs.
“We support Peninsula Streams, Goldstream Hatchery, Conuma River Hatchery and many others,” said Fea.
To buy rod tickets, $100 each, check out the Sidney Anglers online at www.sidneyanglers.com/salmon-derby or purchase them at Home Hardware or Port Sidney Marina in Sidney; Island Outfitters or Trotac Marine in Victoria.