Published on Monday, June 28th, 2010
Today we dragged ourselves out of bed for one of our favorite events because it is only ten minutes drive from our house. It was the annual Steveston Bullhead Derby at Garry Point Park. This grassroot event is organized by the Richmond Golden Rods and Reels Society, a group of seniors who enjoy the outdoors. Beside sharing their passion in outdoors with each other, they have passed it along to the new generations through this event for many years.
For some reason, the weather has never worked out at this derby. The chilly easterly wind kept everyone bundling under the tents. It began drizzling just during registration. Who can believe that Goretex jackets are still needed in the end of June? This certainly was not going to stop anxious contestants from fishing, 109 kids signed up by ten o’clock.
Once the derby start horn sounded, it did not take long for catches to show up at the measuring table. Each fish was measured, recorded and the largest bullhead would win the trophy.
Bullhead, or pacific staghorn sculpin, are not the only fish that were brought in. Peamouth chub, northern pikeminnow and starry flounder were also recoreded in the “non-bullhead” category. The Fraser River estuary has the best of two worlds. Because its water is a mixture of salt and fresh water, one can find a large variety of fish species simply by bottom fishing with some bait.
By Noon, it was all over. The winning bullhead in 2010 was 12.5 inches long. Its head was almost as wide as its body length. Prize and trophies were then given out to the lucky few. Although the entire event only lasted three hours, these special moments have surely hooked some kids for life. We have one more event to take care of before more summer fishing actions. Although the most labour intensive, Fish for the Future is the most rewarding to us. Be sure to join us on July 10th!
More photographs from today’s derby can be seen on this page.