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15 & Under Sqawfish Derby
On the first Saturday in September, the Balfour ferry landing is buzzing with anxious young fishermen. It’s the annual 15 & Under Squawfish Derby, and the excitement is building. The kids are registered in age categories at the Gill & Gift, where they receive free maggots, hooks, weights, etc., and there are even a few rods and reels lent out for the day. Off they go fishing off the docks, the shore and some in boats.
Squawfish are considered a coarse fish; they are not eaten or much fished. Their numbers are increasing and they feed on smaller rainbows, kokanee and other sport fish. In some areas (not Kootenay Lake) there is a bounty on them. The perfect fish for an under 15 derby!
Throughout the day, derby entrants are running up with their catch to have it weighed and added to the tally board. The volunteers are kept busy counting and weighing. While this is happening, participants and spectators are treated to hotdogs, pop and sweets.
There have been entrants from California, Alberta and Cranbrook, as well as the local Kootenay Lake areas. This derby enhances the memory of the thrill of catching that first fish. It will stay with the kids for the rest of their lives!
Make Saturday, September 4 your day to be at the Balfour ferry landing. Join the 15 & Under crowd and enjoy a day of fishing and fun! For more information go to www.gillandgift.com.