Fishing derby nets $10G for conservation efforts

Anglers also support defibrillators purchase for marinas

Bite Me Fishing Derby committee president

This year’s annual Bite-Me fishing derby netted $10,000 to support salmon conservation, with derby committee president Richard Jones presenting a cheque to Robert Gamache, president of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society this week.

The derby celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and has raised more than $143,000 over the last two decades for salmon conservation, to ensure the continued future of sport fishing.

The Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society at the Jack Brooks Hatchery raise coho and chinook fry for the Sooke River.

More than just saving fish, the derby is also helping to save lives. This year, with the contributions of several generous Victorians, the derby was able to provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to five local marinas, including Pedder Bay.

The initiative was the brainchild of Bite-Me derby committee member Ted Litster, who actually experienced being shocked back to life in January of last year. He realized that had his attack happened on his boat in Pedder Bay, he likely wouldn’t have survived.

And continuing from last year, in an effort to support their local community, the derby began processing the top three winning fish and donating them to the West Shore food bank to help fill up Christmas hampers.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com