This year’s Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society Salmon Derby drew in just under 300 entrants, a lot of which were women and youngsters, said society vice president Robert Gamache.
The event was “very well attended” and took place all day Saturday and part of Sunday, followed by dinner and drinks at the Flats provided by the Lions Club and the Sooke Community Association.
“It’s a very community-oriented event,” said Gamache. “We have what’s called a junior category, (there were) lots of young kids involved.”
Children came back from catches accompanied by their dads.
“Just to see these young kids weighing in these big fish and getting their picture taken was quite something.”
Women also made a big showing, participating in the fishing end of it as well, he added.
Gamache stressed that what sets the society’s affair apart from other “big boat corporate fishing derbies” offered is the focus on involving everyone.
Proceeds from the tournament go toward funding the SSES’s hatchery operations for the year.
A $5,000 grand prize was awarded to the biggest catch in the open category, that went to Terry Wilson with the heaviest recorded weight in the derby’s eight year history.
• Open category: Terry Wilson, 42.25 lb.
• Hatchery fish (distinguished by a clipped fin): Bryan Jeffries, 24.25 lb.
• Womens: Pam Lacroix, 24.5 lb.
• Youth: Togan Hack, 20.45 lb.
• Seniors: Larry Jay, 20.2 lb.