THUNDER BAY - Thunder Bay’s Salmon Derby returned to the waters of Lake Superior this weekend.
The annual event was held from July 14-16, and gave fishers the opportunity to come home with up to $12,500 in cash prizes.
The grand prize for the biggest catch cheked out at $3,500.
The event is brought to life by Thunder Bay’s Salmon Association, an organization that strives to keep a healthy salmon population in the the surrounding lakes.
According to Randy Neufeld, the Salmon Association’s weightmaster, the sizable group didn’t have as much success on the rod compared to prior years.
“The turnout has been great, we’ve got over 290 people out there fishing,” Neufeld said. “The number of fish being brought in is down significantly, though.”
Neufeld chalked it up to the conditions, which were “windy, choppy,” and resulted in a lack of bites.
Despite it, some fishers managed to fight the odds and bring in some big ones.
“The first day we had a 16-and-a-half pound salmon brought in, and yesterday we had a lake trout over 20 pounds.”
Sara Patterson from the EcoSuperior beat was on hand to set up a booth and educate boaters about the unwelcome species in the water.
“We want people to know what they see invasive species, what to do when they do see them,” Patterson said. “Don’t put them back in the water, and report it.”
“If you’re out on the water and you see something you’re not familiar with, we want fishers to know what to do.”