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Chum COVID-19 non-Derby at Brown’s Bay is a success

By Don Daniels
Brown’s Bay Marina raised $10,710 for Greenways Landtrust through a raffle of donated prizes held after the annual Chum Derby was cancelled due to COVID-19. Photo contributed

By Don Daniels

For the past number of years, the fishing social of the year around Campbell River has been the chum salmon fishing derby held in mid-October at Brown’s Bay.

Director of Operations Esther Hollink-Recourt, along with husband Brent and the staff, spend endless hours organizing the prizes donated by community merchants and staff members work hard to pull the event off each year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this fundraiser took on a new look because of social distancing and restricted travel. The prize draws were live-streamed on the Internet and the event would not be a fishing derby competition but be a fundraiser for Greenways Land Trust in Campbell River.

This year 300 tickets were sold at a cost of $40 each and you received a collector’s item COVID T-shirt, and raffle draws were made on Saturday, Oct. 16.

–1st prize: 2x Scotty downriggers with line puller, Bill Howich Chrysler RV and Marine

–2nd prize: Scotty Fishing Products line puller

–3rd prize: Halibut rod, Browns Bay Packing

–4th prize: Lure package Lighthouse Lures

–5th prize: Flashlight and Xm radio North Island Communications

A cheque was presented to Sandra Milligan, Greenways Land Trust for $10,710 that will go towards salmon enhancement. Anglers who fished on their own and this year the chums are around, in some cases hooked into 20 salmon. In a normal year, there are many people that arrive to socialize at Brown’s Bay, enjoy the entertainment and go fishing, but this non-fishing derby event was a successful fundraiser and the efforts of Brown’s Bay staff are appreciated each and every year.

For many people, the salmon fishing season will slowly come to an end but will not come to a grinding halt. Some will put away their boats for the winter and many will start hunting around the Island. Discovery Passage area 13 will have winter springs with lots of undersized fish around and you can add to the mix coho and chum.

The rains are coming and more is needed to get the salmon moving into the upper pools. Rivers like the Salmon were high and muddy last week but if the weather clears, the river clears in a matter of a few days. The Quinsam River will see anglers shoulder to shoulder fishing especially on the weekend and on good weather days. There is something to be said for river fishing in the rain. Local rivers can be good for fly anglers who want to get out and throw some fly patterns in the coloured water.

As of Oct. 20, a firm lake stocking date for trout in Echo and other lakes around Campbell River has not been confirmed but I will pass on the information when the trout hatchery let’s me know.

The fall can be very good for catching trout as the fish will move around before the water temperatures get cold and the fish really slow down. Find a cloudy, windy day when the water has a bit of a ripple and get out and try your luck using worms, spoons and flies. Stay on the bottom and look for scuds and snails.

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