This summer Castlegar will host the Invasive Species Fishout Derby on the Columbia River. The intent is to catch as many walleye (Regional Guidelines) and northern pike as possible because both species were introduced to the waters here and are detrimental to the native species of trout, Kokanee, and others. Hosted in conjunction with Fishing BC and the Okanagan Nation Alliance, the derby will be held July 22-31 and there are $3,000 worth in prizes, including $600 for the longest walleye caught.

The event will be administrated via the “MyCatch mobile app,” which was developed as a citizen science tool to help fisheries researchers better understand the state of our fisheries. To learn more info about the Invasive Species Fishout Derby and for registration instruction, visit its website here.

Fishing guide Matt Guiguet of Columbia River Fly Fishing with an invasive walleye. Photo by Josh McFaddin.

Fishing derbies have a long and storied history around the world that trace back well over 170 years. Here are a few random facts about angling tournaments and the history of sport fishing in general:

    1. Although prehistoric peoples used lines and bone hooks to catch fish in deeper waters, the use of fishing rods as we know them today can be traced back about 4,000 years ago to ancient Egypt and China. They were made from six-foot long bamboo, hazel shoots, or sections of a thin tapered flexible wood with a horsehair line and a  simple hook tied to its end.
    2. One of the first recorded fishing derbies that was officiated took place on April 13, 1846 and it was match between the Hulme Anglers Society and the Warrington Anglers Society on the River Weaver in England. Six scrutineers and an umpire were appointed to watch over the proceedings. The stake in the match was for £5 a side.
    3. The International Game Fish Association was established in 1939 and is the world’s official association for record keeping.
    4. The first angling club in the Americas was the Schuylkill Fishing Company founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1732. To date, the Schuylkill Fishing Company remains the oldest continuously operating social club in the English-speaking world.
    5. The very first televised fishing competition was the Bassmaster Classic in 1967.


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