Bite-Me Fishing Derby gives to SSES

Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society benefits from donation

President of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society Robert Gamache accepts a cheque from derby president Richard Jones.

President of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society Robert Gamache accepts a cheque from derby president Richard Jones.

The 2014 Bite-Me Fishing Derby President, Richard Jones presented a cheque for $10,000 to Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society President, Robert Gamache on Tuesday, Sept 23.

The Bite-Me Fishing Derby, this year sponsored by Alpine Marine, celebrated their 20th anniversary. A total of more than $143,000 has been raised by this small derby in the last 20 years and the net proceeds have been donated for local salmon conservation to ensure the continued future of sport fishing.

The hatchery raises and releases many thousands of natural salmon into local spawning streams from where they migrate into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and then to the open Pacific Ocean. They return to spawn in local waters, thus ensuring the survival of a most precious asset – the wild Pacific salmon!

As well as supporting local salmon conservation, this year the derby, with contributions from some generous Victorians, provided AED’s to five local marinas including Pedder Bay. This was the brain child of Ted Litster, Bite Me Derby committee member. Having been shocked back to life with a defibrillator in January of 2013 Ted knows firsthand how effective AED’s are for the victims of cardiac arrest, but, he also knows that if his attack had happened on his boat at Pedder Bay his chance of survival would have been slim.

The derby continues to support their local community by processing the top three winning fish and donating it to the West Shore Food Bank to help fill the Christmas hampers. Linda and Bryan Mooney, owners of the E-Fish-Ent Fish Company Ltd, have generously donated their time to process the salmon.

When the fishing is done everyone on the committee looks forward to organizing and driving the hay wagons for Metchosin Day.