By Bethany Froehlich
What’s better than a great day on the water with your best buds in the world? Nothing, except a good excuse to get out there. And that’s exactly what this weekend's Kelowna Fishing Derby is all about. Not only do contestants have a chance to win some once in a lifetime trips and awesome cash prizes, but the proceeds go right back into the sport of fishing.
This Father's Day weekend is the first annual Kelowna Fishing Derby, sponsored by Sun Cruiser Media and Rodney’s Reel Outdoors. The derby is open to people of all ages, and the prize will be given to the angler who catches the longest rainbow trout. Prizes range from $5,000 cash prizes to a once in a lifetime fly-fishing trip on Vancouver Island. But wait, it gets better.
Partial proceeds from the Kelowna Fishing Derby will go back to the B.C. Wildlife Federation’s (BCWF) youth program in the Okanagan. These funds from the Kelowna Fishing Derby will help raise awareness of the outdoors programs the BCWF runs in the Okanagan and will allow more youth to get involved in the outdoors, creating more opportunities for youth to fish. This is not just a chance to fish: It’s a chance to build our future.
For those of you not familiar with the B.C. Wildlife Federation, it is the largest conservation organization in B.C. with over 40,000 members. The B.C. Wildlife Federation has contributed more time and money to conservation in B.C. than the Suzuki foundation, the Sierra club and the World Wildlife Fund combined.
The BCWF’s Okanagan youth program has one goal and that is to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for young people. The objective is to get young people involved in fishing, hunting and conservation by holding outdoor events for youth around the Okanagan. The goal is to equip, educate and inspire: To equip youth with the knowledge to fish, educate youth on conservation, and inspire them to continue the B.C. Wildlife Federations’ longstanding tradition of conservation and love for the outdoors. Young people are the future and the Kelowna Fishing Derby provides the change to invest in the next generation.
The BCWF holds events in partnership with local fish and game associations around the Okanagan to get youth involved in the great outdoors. Events include archery, trap shoots, firearm safety and conservation projects. Some of the highlights of the past year have been the fishing events. Last weekend was the second annual Fly Fishing Day at Shannon Lake in West Kelowna. Over 120 people came out – many who had never fished before. Members of the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. taught kids the art of fly-casting and the intricacy of tying flies to catch the fish with.
Sun Cruiser Media and Rodney’s Reel Outdoors (the sponsors of the Kelowna Fishing Derby) are dedicated to giving back to local conservation. Proceeds go right back to local conservation. Funds from the derby will help raise awareness of the BCWF’s Okanagan youth program.
The B.C. Wildlife Federation believes that the best way to understand the environment is to experience it, to get out and hike that mountain or fish that stream. Get familiar with local ecosystems and learn how they tick. Being in the outdoors is the best way to make environmental decisions down the road. We encourage all young people to experience this opportunity.