Salmon Spectacular returns to feed fishing needs

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The Sydenham Sportsmen’s Spectacular Owen Sound Salmon Fishing Derby returns with pandemic modifications from August 27 to September 5.

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After stay-at-home orders, business closures, masking demands and social isolation, people are ready to fish, derby co-chair Chris Geberdt said on Sunday.

Last year’s derby was canceled due to COVID-19. In 2019 4,500 fished in the derby and Geberdt believes more will fish it this year. “I think people need it. I really do. “

Exactly how the derby will be experienced depends on the fight against COVID-19, but Geberdt said he expects the situation to be better at the time of the derby than it is now.

Gray-Bruce has seen the number of cases increase dramatically since early June, particularly among the homeless and transient and more recently in Saugeen First Nation.

But the increases are being seen across Gray-Bruce, in part fueled by business re-openings as well, under Stage 2 of the provincial Road to Reopen rules, the local medical officer of health said at the weekend. The delta variant is involved in this spread, said Dr Ian Arra. Many more vaccines are on the way and more clinics are opening to administer it.

Currently, plans call for a smaller derby tent, curbside pickup instead of the huge fish fry buffets under the marquee in recent years. There will be a small bar, a reduced food stand and no morning breakfasts available.

Geberdt hopes that 300 people will be allowed in the tent at a time. Security will apply any public health protocols that may be required in the tent, such as sign-up sheets, mask wearing, and physical distancing. The health unit will be consulted, he said.

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“At the moment, there is no entertainment,” but the sponsors will be handing out freebies to people arriving at the weigh station, such as packages of fish paste, coupons for fries and more.

Plans are for the tent to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. When there was entertainment, the derby tent remained open until 11:30 p.m. in previous years.

There will also be no prize-giving. Winners will be invited to return the following week and collect their prizes at Stow-It Self Storage, 1960 20th St. E. in Owen Sound.

A new prize is added to grant a boat and equipment for the best rainbow trout catch. This award is called the Fred Geberdt Memorial Package. Geberdt, a derby founder and eternal co-chair, died in December at age 79. He is Chris’s father.

This award was added to recognize the best rainbow catch, which is typically hit by a heavier lake trout, Geberdt said. The awarded boat will be called the Fred J. Geberdt Rainbow 1 and will bear his photograph.

There are four boat packages offered, for the best salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout and lake trout, with prizes totaling $ 150,000.

The committee overseeing the derby looked at what other derby organizers were doing and found that a few derbies had been called off. “It was really difficult because how do you plan something that you don’t know what’s going to happen?” “

“It’s been a long road and I know for myself that I received my second injection (of the COVID-19 vaccine). And my whole family has their second chance. As we progress towards the end of August, I think it will improve.

Derby tickets are available now: $ 30 for one and $ 70 for a family. Boat raffle tickets are also available now for $ 18.50 for a 10 book. Look at https://www.sydenhamsportsmen.com as more details are released.


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