The Ucluelet Salmon Ladder Derby held year-end Fish Off competition over the long weekend. After days of blowing wind and driving rain the weather cleared up and participants of the derby experienced the best of Ucluelet’s weather under warm sunny skies and calm flat seas. The event ran on August 31st and September 1st and there were 27 boats and 67 registered participants.
“There was great fun energy on the water!” shared Lisa Brisco, Derby Coordinator. “Unfortunately, the air horn was a dud so I had to whistle the early morning start in the harbour!”
It was quite a sight to see 27 boats make their way out of the Ucluelet Harbour while dawn was breaking over our sleepy little town. It was definitely not sleepy out at the fishing grounds! Big Bank was going off big time. Participants in bigger boats were pulling fish out of the shallower ends of Big Bank while the smaller boats tried their luck at South Bank.
Brett Thomas from Nanaimo won first place in the competition. He hauled in a 33lbs-07 Tyee salmon. In addition to $6000 cash, his first place prize included a full fishing charter, return air fare from Vancouver to the Long Beach airport with Orca Air, and a 5 night accommodation package, as well as a limited edition steelhead stamp print from the Mark Penney Gallery here in Ucluelet.
Second place went to Christian Huser from Salt Spring Island. He caught a 22lbs-15oz salmon. The third place winner was Stewart Graham from Courtenay. He landed a 22lbs-06oz Chinook. The Hidden Weight anglers were contending for a $250,000 Grand Prize. Unfortunately, the hidden weight was not caught!
The Canadian Princess Resort has been a supporter of the Ucluelet Salmon Ladder Derby since it started in 2010. All net proceeds of the derby are donated to local salmon enhancement projects like the Thornton Creek Hatchery. This hatchery is open for visits and is located across the Ucluelet Harbour from the Canadian Princess Resort. Learn more about local salmon enhancement efforts and the Thornton Creek Hatchery here.