More than 450 fishermen from Prince Rupert and the surrounding area crammed into Moose Hall to find out who had hooked the day’s biggest salmon in the popular annual fishing competition held on Dec. 27.
It was another successful year for the 25th Marc (Dezi) Desautels Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby.
“It’s gone really well,” said Jeff Carlson, chairman of the derby. “There was lots of fish caught, lots of fish weighed in, lots of fisherman filled the moose hall, and it’s all going to charity and a great cause.”
Seventy-one fish were submitted for the top prize of biggest salmon in the derby. Stephan Kristmanson won the $1,200 top prize after bringing in a 7.828 kg salmon. Norm Shenton took home the $800 second place prize with a 6.31 kg fish while Bill Kristmanson and Tina Ryan each won $500 after bringing in 6.25 kg and 6.19 kg fish for third and fourth place respectively.
There was an initial mix-up with the announcing of the winners as presenter Rodney Proskiw was given the incorrect information for the top three finishers, leaving out Kristmanson’s winning catch. The situation was quickly resolved, however, as Shenton and Bill Kristmanson donated back their winnings, and the Lions Club covered the cost of an extra $500 prize for fourth place.
Carlson said that this year’s derby raised approximately $15,000 in ticket sales, raffles and donations, with an additional $15,000 contributed in donations from local business for the door prizes and draws. The Lions Club of Prince Rupert has organized the derby since 2009 with proceeds going to local charities.