Juan de Fuca Salmon Derby June 15 and 16, 2013
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Derby History Collage of Photos

Twenty-four years ago, three avid fishermen decided to put on a derby. They wanted it to be unique; it should have a load of prizes and it would include a get-together to pay tribute to the winner. They canvassed the local area and with the help of the business community they came up with enough sponsorship to get the event off the ground. That year saw over one hundred anglers pay $25.00 a rod to compete for over $3,900.00 in prizes. The derby sold out quickly and was a huge success. As people left the awards banquet they were already asking what date it would be held on the following year!

The popularity of the event grew in leaps and bounds. Canadian Sport Fishing took part and filmed the derby in year two. First place prize jumped from an 8 HP outboard to a brand new boat, motor and trailer package. The derby changed to a two day format and was held on Fathers Day weekend, it has stayed in that time slot since. The Juan de Fuca Invitational Salmon Championship Society was formed and tickets were made available to previous entrants before any sales to the general public. New wrinkles were added; one being that each entrant receive a derby shirt and hat with their ticket purchase and was urged to wear them to the awards banquet to be eligible to win cash or a trip abroad. Regulations were stiffened on the amount and size of fish eligible for weigh in and salmon enhancement became a focal point. The derby began to work with local salmon restoration groups and all proceeds from the event went to fund such.

Over the years the popularity of the tournament continued to soar. The awards banquet was moved and is still held at the JDF Recreational Centre. Lorne Brand won the derby in year five with a 50 lb. Chinook which remains the derby record. Through local media and word of mouth the popularity of the event grew to the point where ticket requests were phenomenal. The small group that formed the core of the executive was over whelmed by the response of the fishing community. By year ten the entrant list had reached nearly five hundred and the executive decided that tickets would be available by sponsorship only. With the new format the number of entrants could be kept down and income for prizes and salmon enhancement would continue to grow. It was in year ten that Linda Harrison weighed in a 47lb. 8oz. trophy to become the first lady angler to win the event and take home a boat, motor and trailer package valued at over twenty thousand dollars.

When Alpine Disposal stepped forward to become the major sponsor in 1998, first place on the fish ladder reached a cool twenty thousand dollars in cash. The prize board had swollen to include over one hundred fish and draw prizes, the result being a prize pool valued at over seventy thousand dollars.

With the airing of the 2000 derby by the “Fishing With Shelley and Courtney” show, requests for tickets via sponsorship have come in from all over BC and Washington State. 2008 will see the Twenty-second Anniversary of this event, the prizes are once again better than ever and the donation to salmon enhancement will again be the largest of any tournament held in the province.

The Executive thanks all of our Sponsors and especially the Entrants for the success of this event.

JDF Salmon Derby Photos

Juan de Fuca Salmon Derby is pleased to announce the success of the photo contest introduced last year.  Most of the photos taken have made this year's web site so much more lively.  Thanks you to all participants.