Fishing derby a success

The Grand Forks Wildlife Association Fishing Derby on Father's Day had its best turnout yet.

Grand Forks Wildlife Association past president Craig Kiselbach congratulates Westbank resident Wanda Mayert

The Grand Forks Wildlife Association Fishing Derby once again had a successful catch, with more fishermen than ever.

The derby took place on the weekend of June 17 to 19 at Jewel Lake and had 186 participants, increasing from last year’s 156.

“We host the fishing derby every year – this is the eighth year – and it’s open to the public,” said Craig Kiselbach, the association’s past president and main organizer of the event. “We’re there to raise money for wildlife.”

Kiselbach said that they picked Father’s Day weekend because it’s a free fishing weekend all over British Columbia.

“We picked that weekend to try and get people involved in outdoors, camping and just being out there,” he said. “We get families coming out, having some fun and winning prizes, and that’s what it’s kind of about.”

Kiselbach said that the derby has really picked up since it started eight years ago.

“Our first year, I think we had 46 people and probably 10 or 12 of them were kids.

Now we’re at 186, and probably 70 of those are kids. So it’s been great.”

He said they get people coming from all over the area, as well as people from south of the border and Vancouver Island.

Kiselbach said there’s great community support.

“A lot of different businesses in town and out of town are getting involved with it,” he said.

He added that the new owners at Jewel Lake have been supportive as well.

Conservation Officer Dave Webster was at the lake as well. The Conservation Officers Association ran a charity raffle and a pancake breakfast to raise money for the B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“That was really well attended as well,” Webster said. “A lot of community support went into making that happen.”

Webster said they raised over $500 for the Children’s Hospital from the breakfast alone.

He said that there were a few events going on at the same.

At the derby, Webster attended as conservation officer, answering questions about wildlife and handing out promotional items.

Webster said these items help promote conservation services and their call centre. They also want to promote fishing in general he said.