Fishing derby draws crowd to Alameda

June 29 was a great day to be out on the lake and to raise money for a great cause in the Alameda area.

The annual Alameda Fishing Derby was held on Grant Devine Lake (formerly Alameda Dam), with 202 adult entrants and 34 youth entrants looking to land a big northern pike. Darin McNabb, who is the treasurer for the fishing derby committee, said it was a great day that yielded some impressive-looking fish to be weighed in. 

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Participants entered as individuals, and could weigh in up to three fish each in the catch and release tournament. Prizes were handed out for the heaviest and the longest fish.

Many of the anglers spent the day out on the water, but some of them opted to fish from the shore. 

Jared Valentine took top spot with a fish that weighed 22.4 pounds. Second place went to Devon Carriere with a fish that weighed just under 20 pounds. He also won the award for the longest fish with a catch that was 44 inches in length.

In the kids division, Easton Dietze was first with a fish that weighed 7.6 pounds.

“The youth winner was fishing from shore,” said McNabb. 

The weather was great, McNabb said. A small thunderstorm rolled through in the afternoon, but it didn’t deter the anglers, and only kept them off the water for a few minutes. 

Once the fishing was complete, the entrants ventured to the Alameda Rink for a supper that was prepared by the Oxbow Lions Club, and supplied by Alameda Agencies, Davis Meats and Murray Haygarth. 

Many of the 350 people at the supper did not participate in the derby. They purchased supper tickets to support the community. 

A silent auction and a raffle were part of the event as well. A total of 165 door prizes were handed out, and all of the youth participants in the derby went home with a prize. 

McNabb estimates that about $15,000 was raised. That money will go directly back to the recreation board, which will be used for improvements, capital projects, renovations and operating expenses for the rink and the community’s ball diamonds.

“We completed a $600,000 renovation (to the rink) two years ago, so the money raised will go towards some of that, and then any of the operating costs that go from there,” said McNabb.

The fishing derby is the major annual fundraiser for the recreation board. It takes many volunteers and the support of the entire community for it to happen.

“We have people from the community working on it for months to get the preparations ready and to make the day a successful day,” said McNabb.

Other prize winners were Mandy Hogg won an iPad sponsored by Magnascope, Hannah Dietze and Gleeson Hildebrand won children’s bikes sponsored by the Moose Creek Wildlife Federation, and Luke Jahn won the Harvey Wood Memorial Award, which is a large prize awarded through a random draw. The award is named after Wood in honour of his contributions to the event. 

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