From 10 a.m. until noon, 73 trout were landed despite the high water levels slowing down their activity. The fish derby provided a chance for 64 local youths from the age of 5 to 15 years old to catch fish in a fun environment. The longest trout caught was 15-1/2 inches by Sophia Sears. The second longest at 14-1/2 inches was caught by Darcy Bogdanova and third place, at 14 inches, went to Elijah Fournier as well as nine others. The longest string of five fish was caught by Cody Amos, whose fish length equalled 66 inches, followed by Gabrielle Stevens at 64 inches and Connor Wells at 61-1/2 inches. There was also a special draw for the youngest participants, with five-year-old winners Ethan Estabrooks and Callie Mahoney taking top prize.
There were major prizes as well as prizes for every youth, which were donated by Cabela’s. The fishing was followed by a barbeque prepared by the NB Conservation Officers Association, who volunteered to assist with the derby. The primary role of these officers is to protect the wildlife and environment of New Brunswick, which often means working in remote locations in all sorts of conditions where their efforts are not seen by the general public. The remaining food and non-perishables, which was collected in lieu of a registration fee, were donated to the Sackville food bank. The club also raffled off a 55-inch HDTV, with the proceeds going towards club initiatives.
Funding was made available by the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, which helped in obtaining 200 trout that would be caught at the event. A portion of the cost of hunting, fishing and trapping licences in the province are placed in the trust to help fund events such as this. The derby is a place where many children get their first experience with fishing, which helps encourage them to take an interest in the outdoors, something that often continues for life.
The Sackville Rod & Gun Club offers special thanks to Matt and Kaylee for the use of their pond, Rose’s Independent Grocery and Cabela’s for their continuing support of the event, as well as the New Brunswick Conservation Officers Association and club for their assistance.