RED ROCK — The Red Rock Fish and Game Club is once again putting on their annual trout derby after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s event is the 24th annual trout derby which is set to take place from June 2-4. As in previous years, the Township of Red Rock donates spots for anglers to camp and boat launch at the marina.
Katrina Radassao-Olson, the Secretary of the Red Rock Fish and Game Club, said this year there will be a significant change to the derby. Anglers will be able to fish for more species of trout than in previous years including rainbow trout, brook trout, or salmon, along with lake trout.
“In the past, it’s only been lake trout, but some feedback that we’ve gotten from anglers is that it would be nice to open it up to some of the other species to give people more of a chance to get out on the water and fish for other aggregate species that can be entered as well,” said Radassao-Olson.
She said traditionally, anglers from around the region come to participate in the annual derby including Greenstone, Terrace Bay, and Lake Helen.
“We are hoping for this year to have numbers similar to 2018, which is really the last time the derby ran, where we saw over 50 boats and 150 anglers were registered,” said Radassao-Olson.
Anglers will engage in heavy competition that weekend as their catch of the day will go head-to-head for the heaviest fish prize.
According to Radassao-Olson, the heaviest fish prize will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
Radassao-Olson also encouraged anglers to enter the fishing trip draw.
“There are three great trips to win,” said Radassao-Olson.
Each draw prize has been donated by one of the club's sponsors, such as North Superior Charters, Moss Island, One-on-One Fishing with Marcel, and Whitton Outdoors Guide Service.
Each prize is a guided tour of some of Northwestern Ontario’s amazing fishing locations.
The draw will be held on the final day of the event.
Radassao-Olson said that all funds will be put towards supporting improvements to the fish and game club's clubhouse, community initiatives, and educational programming.
“After the clubhouse sat vacant for several years during COVID, the clubhouse is now in need of several repairs. Currently, we have a maintenance and improvement committee that is working on installing new furnaces, so we can have year-round use of the clubhouse again,” Radassao-Olson clarifies.
Future improvements to the clubhouse will include electrical updates, roofing, and other projects required to keep the clubhouse in good working order for its educational programming.
The club has hosted hunter’s safety and PAL courses, as well as, workshops like sausage-making courses, knot-tying, and water safety.
“But once necessary improvements have been made to the building because first, we have to have a building to run these things out of. So, the build is functioning, but it’s hard when we are just getting the furnace put in now. When we are able to use it year-round, it opens a lot more time to do these types of things once again,” said Radassao-Olson.
The club’s goal is to engage with other community partners like local First Nations communities and MNR to bring inclusive and useful wildlife education for all ages in the community.
As a non-profit group, the club's community initiatives mean they are active in making donations to organizations such as the Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Toy Drive, Red Rock Legion Branch 226, the Red Rock Beautification Committee, the Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival, and the Red Rock Folk Festival.
Radassao-Olson said the event would not be possible without their sponsors, which include the Township of Red Rock, Pelletier's Gas & Native Art Gallery, Red Rock Indian Band, D&R Sporting Goods, Smiths RV, Saunders Foodland, North Superior Charters Inc and Red Rock Inn, Red Rock Legion Branch 226, Half Way Motors Power Sports, Nipigon Husky, Harbourview Dental, One on One Fishing with Marcel, Whitton Outdoors Guide Service, Beaver Motel, Canadian Tire Nipigon and Newmont Musselwhite Mine.
Radassao-Olson said tickets are $20 each and can be purchased from club members, Northern Credit Union Red Rock, or by e-transfer to the club's email.