Friday, January 21, 2011

Sun, Fun And Plenty Of Fish At The Ice Fishing Derby

(Originally published in the Merritt News)

© By Othmar Vohringer

This past Sunday over a hundred fisherman and their families came out to Mammette Lake for a fun-filled day of ice fishing. This was the 11th Annual Ice Fishing Derby organized by the Nicola Valley Fish & Game Club (NVFGC). Although there were not as many people attending the derby as in previous years it still was a resounding success despite the icy roads and snow on the Coquihalla highway which kept many Lower Mainlanders and people from Kamloops at home.

Right up to the last day I was worried about the weather and even more about the fishing conditions. The reports I received in regard to fishing success at Mammette Lake did not look promising as very few fish were caught. However, the day greeted us with warm sunshine and the warm weather front coaxed the fish into feeding activity. The fishing was exceptionally good with lots of big trout and coarse fish being caught.

The local media was on hand to report about the ice fishing derby which has become a much anticipated traditional winter event in Merritt. Her Worship Susan Roline, Mayor of Merritt, was on hand to give away the prize monies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd trout as well as overall heaviest coarse fish. There were lots of other prizes to be had, such as hidden weight and many door prizes and kids raffle prizes.

The winners of the event were:
Adults Trout Category:
1 place: Ernie Schepanowsky 3 lbs 5oz.
2 and 3 place (tie) Andy Luxton and Brian Gardner 2 lbs 15oz.

Children Trout:
Girls: Camryn Adams l lbs 12oz.
Boys: Cameron Couture 2 lbs 9oz.

Coarse Fish:
1, 2 and 3 place (tie) Tyrell Weisse, Travis Spahan and John Adolph 3 lbs 15oz.

Everyone had a good time- from the die-hard solo fishers to the parents and their children. A big part of this event is getting folks into the outdoors and doing things together as a family. During the event the NVF&GC provided free coffee, hot chocolate and donuts, and for the modest price of $2 hot dogs were available too. The ice fishing derby is an important annual fundraiser to help finance the various wildlife and habitat conservation programs we participate in.

As the ice fishing derby committee chairman and on behalf of the Nicola Valley Fish & Game Club I would like to say a big thank you to all the hard working volunteers and the generous donations from the good people, businesses and merchants of Merritt. Without these wonderful folks it would not be possible to pull off such an event. We would like to thank Mayor Susan Roline for her presence and participation and also give a big thank you to the CO detachment of Merritt for their assistance, and to the Highway department for their part in keeping the roads as safe as can be this time of year.

The sun was out at Mammette Lake and many anglers and their families came out for a day of fun and fishing at the Merritt Ice Fishing Derby. 
(Image courtesy of Heidi Koehler Photography)
The Mayor of Merritt attended the ice fishing derby to hand out the main prizes. From left to right. NVF&GC President Paul Komonoski, Mayor of Merritt Susan Roline and Ice Fishing Derby Committee Chair Othmar Vohringer.

 This is just one of many lucky anglers that caught a big rainbow trout at the annual Merritt Ice Fishing Derby.

This blog post has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors

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