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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Organizers Hope To See Larger Fish At This Year's Derby

Owen Sound | by Cody Misner  

Organizers are looking at results of the Chantry Chinook Classic as a good indicator of what to expect this year.

The Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular is now in its 32nd year. In that time the health and quantity of the fish in local waters has ranged from good and plentiful to bad and pitiful.

John Ford of the Sydenham Sportsman's Association and co-chair of the Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular says there was a time that fish came in larger sizes.

"In the late 80s we had more salmon then there are now and during the mid 90s we started noticing that fish were smaller than before," Ford says "We had a year were we entered 5000 salmon, those days are gone."

Ford reflects on how things have been improving over the years since the decline in size and numbers of local fish.

He credits the gradual increase of fish population at least partially to fish hatcheries like those run by the Sportsmen around the Owen Sound Area.

"We have two hatcheries below the Creamery Hill where we raise Chinook salmon and rainbow trout under a permit from the Ministry. So our stocking efforts continue."

Ford points towards the recently held Chantry Chinook Classic Derby in Bruce County as proof that larger fish are making a resurgence.

Both the salmon winner and the trout winner for the Chantry Chinook Classic weighed over 28lbs.

"We hope to see sizes like that carry over to our derby as well," Ford says.

The Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular saw a 23lb salmon win the 2018 derby.

This year's event runs from August 23rd to September 1st.

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