The tournament organizing committee would like to explain why we have decided to go with a format where only the top twelve largest salmon win premium prizes and then additional premium prizes are awarded by draw to those register a salmon over 5 lbs. It is apparent to anyone who fishes in our local waters that the size of Chinook salmon is on the decline. Winners of derbies around South Vancouver Island used to exceed 40 pounds and in recent years it has been fish in the low 30’s. In 2016 our tournament participants didn’t weigh in a fish over 30 pounds and this is becoming a trend up and down the coast.
So how does one justify an event that awards prizes solely based on the taking of the largest fish – especially when the largest fish are on the decline?
Our tournament committee has opted to give prizes for the top twelve fish to fulfill the competitive nature of fishing events for those who enjoy it. However, there are more prizes being awarded for simply registering any size salmon over 5 lbs., which allows us to defend this tournament to those who would oppose it, now, or in the future.
We also realize that there are more anglers out there who are casual weekend fishing enthusiasts who simply want to participate to support the cause and also enjoy a weekend on the water. To have a realistic chance at a decent prize without having to beat out the top rods to do it is also appealing to them. We feel this will bring more anglers into the event, especially younger ones.
For these reasons, we have created our tournament balanced between competition for the serious top anglers and a fun family event for everyone else. We know that those who weigh in a catch just off the top twelve board may be disappointed as their hopes at a prize will depend on the luck of a draw. However, we hope you will understand and agree that this is how events of this size have to be structured to survive. In addition, there are a great selection of prizes that will be awarded randomly to tournament participants, therefore you do not have to weigh in a fish to win.
This format has made it much easier for us to secure prizes from many sponsors, since they are more willing to support this balanced approach.
Rollie Rose – Derby Organizer