For 10 years now, the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society (SSES) has been hosting the Chinook Salmon Derby. This year, it will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4. On Saturday, the derby takes place between dawn and 7 p.m, and on Sunday from dawn until 1 p.m.
SSES hosts this annual event in support of the Jack Brooks Hatchery, which was established in 1981. The SSES website (sookesalmonenhancementsociety.com) provides additional information.
“While times and technology have all but ended commercial fishing in Sooke, the community continues to be a premier location for sports fishing for Pacific salmon,” says their website. “As the volunteers say, ‘We hatch them. You catch them.’ ”
To participate, entrants must hold a valid Tidal Waters fishing licence or a Status Card, and you’re allowed one rod per ticket. The licence and ticket must be presented at weigh-in. Additional people are allowed in the boat to steer or help land a fish, but they cannot fish. Additional rules apply.
Everyone, though, is allowed to have fun.
The weigh-in station — the only weigh in station — will be at 6639 Sooke Road, which is the empty lot across the Evergreen Plaza and Sooke Home Hardware. Short-term parking will be available on site.
The entry fee is $50 per rod, and you can buy your ticket at Sooke Marine Centre, Eagle Eye Outfitters and The Crab Shack in Sooke. In Victoria, tickets are also available at Wise Buys Fishing Supplies, Island Outfitters and Trotac Marine. Your ticket includes a t-shirt and a plate at the awards dinner. The dinner will be held at the Sooke Flats campground on Phillips Road on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m.
Over $7,500 in prizes are available, and categories include junior, seniors and ladies. There will be a number of other prizes and draws.