Darren Geddert fishes at Main Beach in Cultus Lake as four-year-old Nixon tosses rocks into the water. The two were taking part in the 15th annual Cultus Lake Pikeminnow and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Darren Geddert fishes at Main Beach in Cultus Lake as four-year-old Nixon tosses rocks into the water. The two were taking part in the 15th annual Cultus Lake Pikeminnow and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Hundreds of pounds of fish removed from lake aids in recovery of endangered Cultus Lake sockeye

Pikeminnow and smallmouth bass fishing derby held at Main Beach on Father’s Day weekend

Nearly 500 pounds of pikeminnow and small mouth bass were removed from Cultus Lake during an annual fishing derby on Father’s Day weekend, aiding in the recovery of the endangered Cultus Lake sockeye.

Anglers of all ages were out at Main Beach in Cultus Lake on Saturday, June 18 for the 15th annual Cultus Lake Pikeminnow and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Derby, presented by the Eastern Fraser Valley Lions Clubs.

Pikeminnow prey on juvenile Cultus Lake sockeye, and smallmouth bass are an illegally introduced invasive species. A total of 273 pounds of pikeminnow were hauled out of the lake and 218 pounds of small mouth bass were caught. The derby helps the recovery of the Cultus Lake sockeye population.

“With no derby for two years, the fish turned in this year were much larger,” said Lions Club member Bob Jones.

This year, 482 pikeminnow were caught and 210 small mouth bass. The largest pike minnow in the adult angler category was 901 grams (2.02 lbs.), and 652 grams (1.4 lbs.) in the 16 and under youth category. Largest small mouth bass for adults was 825 grams (1.8 lbs.) and 1,332 grams (2.9 lbs.) for youth.

People take part in the 15th annual Cultus Lake Pikeminnow and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Derby at Main Beach on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

People take part in the 15th annual Cultus Lake Pikeminnow and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Derby at Main Beach on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

As the docks at Main Beach have been removed due to damage following November’s flooding, folks fished from the shores, paddle boards, kayaks and other boats.

The fish were removed from the lake area and taken to a very rural 87-acre property outside the Chilliwack River Valley with a known, healthy bear and coyote population.

There was $4,800 in cash prizes for first, second and third place in heaviest single fish, total weight of all fish and total number of fish. There were 30 donated fishing rods and $4,000 in other prizes donated by the Hope Lions Club.

This year, 200 adults and 159 youth entered the derby.

“There were happy smiling faces all around as every youth got a prize,” Jones said.

This was a Lions Zone 6 environmental project and the following Chilliwack clubs participated: Chilliwack Lions, Mount Cheam Lions, Dogwood Monarch Lions, and Steller’s Jay Lions, plus Sasquatch Lions (Dwedney) and Hope Lions Club.

For more photos from this year’s fishing derby, click here.

READ MORE: People line shores of Cultus Lake for annual Father’s Day weekend fishing derby


 

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