Ten-year-old Dominic Fournier holds onto a very slippery trout with the assistance of family friend and Rod & Gun Club member Mike Phinney at last year’s youth fishing derby. PHOTO SUBMITTED
This year the Sackville Rod & Gun Club and the New Brunswick Conservation Officers Association will be holding their annual youth fishing derby on Saturday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. Open to those ages 5 to 15 exclusive, the event is being held, rain or shine, at a private pond located at #241 Rockport Rd, Rockport, N.B.
Entrants under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, but often all family members will attend and enjoy quality family time spent in an outdoor setting. Participants must bring their own fishing rod, bait and chair. A maximum of five fish may be caught per angler, with no fly-casting allowed during the event due to safety concerns.
At noon, prizes will be given for the longest fish, longest string of fish and youngest fisher with many other prizes passed out to those attending. That’s when all present are served a barbecue lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs and soft drinks, or water if one prefers. Those wishing to participate must register no later than Friday, May 30, at 6 p.m. by calling 506-536-2916. Due to space limitations and safety concerns there is a limit to the number of entrants.
As in previous years, the conservation officers will be preparing and serving the barbecue. Due to recent cutbacks, their numbers continue to grow smaller despite often having to work alone without backup, and frequently in remote areas of the province. Their job is to protect New Brunswick wildlife and their environment from the poacher, and all others that have a disregard for the law. Often the general public is not aware of the hardships and danger inherent in their work or are fully appreciative of their efforts.
A 15-foot WindRiver canoe complete with paddles and lifejackets will be raffled off during this event. Tickets are $20 and available by calling Sean at 871-0081, with only 125 tickets being sold. Any remaining tickets will be available at the derby. Although not required those attending are urged to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the local food bank.
Five dollars of the cost of every fishing, hunting and trapping licence goes into the N.B. Wildlife Trust Fund. Some of these funds are being used to assist in the financing of this fish derby, and that includes the purchase and stocking of over 150 trout. Still in the pond are many left over from last year, and of these, many are now of a size that will overlap a frying pan. Hopefully the enjoyment in fishing for these trout will encourage these young participants to continue to enjoy the outdoor sport of fishing, and, as they become adults, become members of the club, and major supports of efforts towards the conservation of our fish and wildlife.