Attendance was down at the 3rd annual Wilgress Lake Ice Fishing Derby with only about half the number of fishers turned out. The bitterly cold weather on the first two days may have had something to do with it; there were also free Family Day activities this year in Grand Forks and Phoenix Ski Hill.
The Boundary All Nations Aboriginal Council (BANAC) and the Boundary Metis Community Association (BMCA) sponsored the fishing derby.
The first year the event was organized as a fun way to raise funds for the Grand Forks Fall Fair Committee. Last year $1,200 went to the Sunshine Valley Child Care Society to help enhance quality care for children with special needs.
Proceeds from this year’s derby will go to support archery, canoeing and camping youth programs sponsored by BANAC and BMCA.
Co-o rganizer Danny Williamson said the two groups have a family focus and a family tradition. “If families need help we want to be there for them.”
Because the fishing derby happened so close to Valentine’s Day they also made up some special Valentine’s baskets to be drawn. “For the Love of Fishing,” they called them.
The tournament ran from Saturday morning until Monday afternoon. Williamson and co-organizer Greg Sterling work hard to help the derby evolve.
This year they added an ice sculpture contest. “We are trying to make the weekend kid-friendly,” Sterling said, adding, “And all you need is a license (if over 16), pail and a fishing rod.”
This year the youngest fisherman to weigh in a fish was seven years old; the oldest was 64.
Sponsors this year included Canadian Tire, the Winnipeg Liquor Store, Emcon for keeping the road open, Alpine Taxidermy, Success By 6, and many downtown businesses in Grand Forks.
Willliamson and Sterling extended special thanks to brothers Ted and Al Kabatoff, who helped round up all the prizes.
Results of the 2014 derby are:
1st place – Daryl McNevin, 2nd place – Kyle
Duguay and 3rd place – Mike Parodowski.
Boys Under 16:
1st place – Trystan Jamieson, 2nd place –
Devon Anderson and 3rd place – Stephen
Girls under 16:
1st place – Courtney Best, 2nd place – Caitlyn
Best and 3rd place – Sandra Poznikoff.
Entry Ticket Winner –
A $250 hockey bag sponsored by Winnipeg
Liquor Store was won by Daryl McNevin.
Snow Sculpturing Contest:
1st place – Anderson Family (The One That
Got Away Wilgress Snow Fish), 2nd place –
Atkinson and Wiebe Family (Wilgress Snow
Mermaid), 3rd place – Caitlyn Best (Wilgress
Snow Dog) and 4th place – Lucas Wodyga and
Ben Podmoroff(Wilgress Snow Snake).