Fish Derby on Cowan Lake a success

Submitted photo. Arlene Gilbert presents a $10,000 cheque to Craig Campbell.

Maisie Krienke, Submitted

Saturday, March 23 the Big River and District Recreation Improvement Association hosted its annual ice fishing derby on Cowan Lake.

Advertising the event began in January giving fishermen the opportunity to get in on the ‘Early Bird’ prizes. We are grateful to The Fishin’ Hole in Saskatoon, Timberlost in Big River, and Kathy, our telephone service, for promoting the event by selling holes.

The day began with registration and a pancake breakfast at the Community Centre. Natalie and her crew issued the tickets while Doug and Mandy prepared breakfast. By 11 they had everyone prepped to head down off the end of Main Street then a kilometer north to choose their favourite hole where Justin and his gang had drilled about 800 holes for them to choose from.

Fishing proved to be a challenge as none appeared to be hungry. Fishing rods were bouncing steadily. The fish may not have been hungry, however the fisherman were. There was a continuous line at Doug and Amanda’s concession. Once getting their hunger satisfied, they quickly returned to holes determined to hook the big one … or any sized one for that matter. However, after three hours of jigging and trying multiple hooks, the weigh scale went unsused.

So then it was back to the Community Centre for a visit to Paige’s bar, the Panter family Pizza canteen, and the opportunity to check out more than 100 prizes. Lines quickly formed at May and Diana’s 50/50 table and Leanne and Natalie’s ‘Alibi’ offer. This very unique Jackfish raffle was a real Alibi which was donated by Backroads Spirits.

Meanwhile, Arlene and Maisie were on fire displaying over 100 prizes which would all be awarded by random draw … including a cheque for $10,000. This array of prizes is made possible by 40+ donors.

Stars were displayed on the walls to recognize our Gold Sponsors. These generous folks contributed $500+ in cash or product. Thanks to: Len’s Trucking, BRAB, KPP, Os-Arc, CKBI, MNP, Panter Agencies, CJWW, Timberland Motel, BR Hotel, CJVR, Diamond North CU, Prescription Works Pharmacy, BR Lake Country Co-op, Rally Motorsports, Lakeshore RV Properties, Poplar Point Resort, Scrimshaw Galleries, Carrier Lumber, and The Fishin’ Hole.

Prize presentation got underway with the presentation of the $10,000 cheque. A great community supporter, even though perhaps not a die-heart fisherman, was thrilled to know his name was in for a chance to WIN and then it happened. Craig Campbell, a new resident of our community, was called to the stage to receive his $10,000 cheque!

Following that excitement, the random draws for another 118 prizes were made.

Winner of the $2,082.50 from the 50/50 was Aarik Glasrud and Richard Turriff went home with ‘An Alibi’!

Once again, the Recreation Improvement Association is proud to report the success of this annual project which will have a profit of nearly $20,000. President Arlene Gilbert took the opportunity to thank her board members for their hard work in convening the various areas; to the others who stepped up to assist these board members, and to all those generous folks who donated prizes to make this event rock!

See you in 2025 for our next derby.