More than 55 participants set out for Prince Rupert’s tidal waters to try to catch the largest spring salmon during the Lions Club’s 30th Blue Knuckle Derby on Dec. 27.
Kristin Marraty won first place after reeling in a 6.99 kilogram fish, which got her the top cash prize of $1,200.
Marraty is the first female winner to get her name on the Lions Club’s plaque, which lists champions of the tournament since 2009, Jamie Scott, president of the Prince Rupert Lions Club said. Therefore she is the first female to win in 12 years or possibly more.
In second place was Raymond Dudoward, who caught a 6.76 kilogram salmon and Gary Mossini placed third for netting a 6.23 kilogram chinook.
While 59 people actually fished, more than 700 bought a ticket for the derby to support the Lions Club, Scott said. Each ticket cost $25, which means the Lions raised more than $17,500 during the annual event.
Most of the participants are from the city and the prizes are all donated by Prince Rupert businesses, Scott said. The funds raised then go back into the community to support different programs and activities.
In addition to cash prizes for the top three placers, there were 140 door prizes. Some of the larger businesses donated cash and Scott said they used it to purchase prizes from local shops.
“So everything stays in the community,” he said.
The Lions Club support a variety of initiatives in the region including the Salvation Army’s Food Bank, the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter, the Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and youth sports teams and music groups.
In addition to the derby tickets, the Lions sold raffle tickets for three prizes, which were drawn Dec. 28.
Derby winners were announced on Facebook Live following the event. The event was dedicated to the memory of Marc Desautels and Jeff Carlson.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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