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Changes to rules, prize structure in store for Kitimat Fishing Derby

Annual coho competition merges men’s and women’s divisions

Some big changes to the Kitimat Fishing Derby promise to make the experience more competitive, and more rewarding, for competitors this year.

Organizers have eliminated separate divisions for men and women, which means every person 13 and older will compete side by side for the top prizes.

“We just don’t need to segregate anymore,” Laurel D’Andrea, executive director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce said. “If you look around, there are some pretty awesome women out there who know how to fish… we haven’t had any complaints about this. It just makes sense.”

Changes have also been announced for the youth category, lowering the minimum age from 15 down to 13.

Like the adult category, D’Andrea said when looking at the competitive ability of the older children, the change just made sense.

“Some of the 15-year olds fish as well as the adults. This will give them a chance to win the big prize, while it also creates more chances for the younger kids to win the youth prizes.”

Meanwhile, the odds of hooking a $250 hidden weight prize have increased considerably from just two chances in previous years, to 10 chances this year. In addition, the prizes will no longer be divided between river and ocean catches.

“It doesn’t matter where the fish is caught,” D’Andrea said. “Everyone who weighs in will have a chance to win.” She hopes the added prizes will discourage participants from giving away their smaller catches, and weigh in more frequently for a chance to win an easy $250.

Participants are encouraged to check the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce website regularly for updates and frequently asked questions.

The 36th annual coho competition, scheduled for the Labour Day long weekend, Sept. 2-3.

Tickets cost $20 each for adults (13 and older), and $10 each for youth (12 and under), and are available at Bradley’s Bait and Tackle, MK Bay Marina, Ron’s Mobile Tackle and Bait Shop, and The Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Centre.

Prizes include

Adult: 1st $1,750 plus rod and reel

Adult: 2nd $1,000

Adult: 3rd $500

Youth: 1st $250 plus rod and reel

Youth: 2nd $100 plus prize

Youth: 3rd $50 plus prize

Hidden weight prize: $250 x 10