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Sooke nominated as Ultimate Fishing Town

There is one thing Sooke has that many other communities can’t boast about and that is the great fishing.

Sooke has been nominated as the best place to fish in Canada as part of the 2011 WFN Ultimate Fishing Town contest.

WFN: World Fishing Network is North America’s only 24-hour fishing network and is conducting the search through a nationwide contest with a $25,000 prize to the community that gets the most votes. Along with the cash donation comes a 30-minute feature on the town on WFN.

Residents can support the nomination and help reel in a win by adding photos, videos and essays about Sooke at www.wfnfishingtown.com.

Last year Port Alberni won the distinction and it has turned out to be a great boost for the community.

“It was awesome, very good,” said Yvette Carter from the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce. “It gave us tons more publicity and a 30-minute spot on the WFN. People are already booked to come for the fishing season.”

Not only did that community gain the prestige of being the ultimate fishing town it also got $25,000 which will go to salmon enhancement projects.

Mike Carter, executive director of the chamber and a sports fishing enthusiast said, “the $25,000 we considered to be just a beginning. We are using it to leverage more funds for volunteer salmon enhancement projects and some promotion.”

The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce booked two booths at the B.C. Boat and Sportsman Show this year and promoted the heck out of the fact that they won WFN’s Ultimate Fishing Town contest.

“It was a very good move,” said Carter. “People were very aware it happened and we cashed in on the notoriety.”

He said lodges in the valley are already seeing action.

The $25,000 prize will go towards their main salmon enhancement project, which is a fish ladder repair project at the McLean National Historic Site, a big attraction in the valley and a coho hatchery.

“If people in Sooke contact people in Port Alberni we would be behind you,” he said.

The first round of public voting will be open from April 12 – May 3, 2011.  The 18 finalists, comprised of the three entries with the highest vote totals from each of the four regions plus six “wild card” entrants selected by WFN, will advance to the final round of voting from May 10-31, 2011.  The results will be announced in June at a ceremony in the winning community emceed by Mariko Izumi, Canada’s fishing sweetheart and host of WFN’s Hookin’ Up with Mariko Izumi.

“Passionate anglers from around the country – from small rural towns to large cities — have proudly come forward to nominate their community as the best place to wet a line,” said Mark Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Fishing Network.  “We want people to get behind their towns, communities and cities and prove that they deserve the title of ultimate fishing town.”

Originally launched in December 2005, today WFN and WFN HD are available in more than 20 million households through North American cable, satellite and telecommunications distributors including: Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, and more. For more information, visit www.WorldFishingNetwork.com.