Sunny skies were accompanied by sunny smiles as more than 200 youngsters enjoyed Saturday in Shannon Lake Regional Park in West Kelowna catching fish during the 15th annual Family Fishing Weekend.
More than 75 trout caught during the family fishing derby were registered as everyone competed for prizes gathered by the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association and organizer Al Springer and his team.
“Many more fish were released to fight another day,” he commented.
Winner of the donated Pirate Island Charter fishing trip for salmon on the Fraser River was Brandon Gaucher of West Kelowna.
Largest fish of the day was caught by Beata Kro, who reeled in a 15 7/16-inch rainbow trout.
Beau Drover won in the largest bass category.
“It was a great day with fish being caught all day for everyone who was able to come out and enjoy the outdoors,” Springer added.
He noted that the opportunity for youngsters to learn to fish at Shannon Lake for the past six weeks or so is thanks not only to the PSA members, but also to the Freshwater Fisheries Society who supply the fish and the net to create a small area in a bay of Shannon Lake where youngsters have a good chance of catching a fish—perhaps their first.
As well, regional district staff have come out on Sundays to help provide some guidance for youngsters who haven’t fished before, while PSA volunteers attended Saturdays to provide gear and instructions.
At Saturday’s derby Save On Foods also supplied food for the lunch provided for all those families who attended.
A similar number of anglers entered the first Kelowna Fishing Derby on Okanagan Lake the same day, where Danny Coyne took home first prize of $5,000 for his 27 1/4-inch rainbow trout.
Second prize went to Steve Wallick for his 26 5/8-inch rainbow, while Leanna Hudecz won $1,000 for her 24 1/2-inch rainbow.
Door prizes included a fishing trip and an inflatable kayak, the latter of which was won by T.J. Tuddenham.
Lyman Lure packages were won by: Kelly Norman, Dale Johnson, Al Baranow, Ken Unser, Matt Dunn and Randy Romanchuk.
Plans are to hold a second derby June 14, 2014.
It was organized by Rodney’s Reel Outdoors and Suncruiser Media.