Pikeminnow still need to be caught despite cancellation of Cultus Lake fishing derby

Pikeminnow still need to be caught despite cancellation of Cultus Lake fishing derby

Organizers of annual pikeminnow derby asking folks to continue to help get rid of the predatory fish

This year’s Lions Club Pikeminnow Fishing Derby may be cancelled, but the organizers are still asking for the public’s help in removing the predatory fish from Cultus Lake.

In turn, folks will be giving an endangered species of salmon a chance to survive.

The event, which is held on Father’s Day weekend every year, typically attracts 400 to 500 people but this year it has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are encouraging people to get out there and kill the [pikeminnow],” said Robert Prinse, chairperson of the fishing derby.

Northern pikeminnow are a resident species, but they are the main predator of the juvenile Cultus Lake sockeye – a unique population of salmon that spawn exclusively in the lake.

Each year, hundreds of pikeminnow are caught and killed at the fishing derby. With this year’s event cancelled, those fish will continue to feed on the young Cultus Lake sockeye.

A bin of Northern pikeminnow on May 28, 2009. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

Since B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend means folks can fish licence-free for three days, the organizers of the Lions Club Pikeminnow Fishing Derby are asking people to get out there and reel in some pikeminnow at Cultus Lake from June 19 to 21.

“If people do go fishing for pikeminnow or smallmouth bass [an invasive species], we are suggesting to remove them and recycle them correctly,” Prinse said.

That means don’t toss the dead fish back into the water.

Al Stobbart, director with Fraser Valley Regional District Area G, suggests placing the pikeminnow in your green bin.

The fish caught during the derby are killed and then transported to a large property where they are made available to wildlife to feed upon, Stobbart added.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a recovery program in place for the Cultus Lake salmon which includes removal of the pikeminnow and removal of an invasive plant known as Eurasian water milfoil.

READ MORE: Workshop takes on invasive aquatics in Chilliwack

For the past four years, the fishing derby has been organized by six Lions Clubs: Chilliwack, Mt. Cheam, Dogwood Monarch, Steller’s Jay, Sasquatch and Hope.

As a result of the event cancellation, this year the clubs are helping out their communities by donating a total of $10,000 to local food banks, including the Chilliwack Salvation Army, St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Mission and the Our Lady of Fatima Church food bank in Sts’ailes.

And although there won’t be any physical prizes for catching pikeminnow this year, knowing you’re helping the Cultus Lake sockeye survive will be your “thanks” for 2020.

READ MORE: Pikeminnow derby kicks off at dawn Saturday (June 12, 2019)


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cultus Lakefishing

Just Posted

A black sedan, white SUV, red pickup truck and black hatchback were all involved in a four-vehicle collision at Hodgins Avenue and Yale Road on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack’s top 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2020

Overall collisions down by huge numbers with fewer drivers in pandemic year

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Vanessa Dueck.
Snapshots of a Chilliwack father from his loving daughter

Father’s Day memories of special moments shared together

Rachel is a six month old Labrador retriever cross who was found at large. She is seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Rachel at the Chilliwack SPCA

6-month-old puppy found at large, now at Chilliwack SPCA, needs special home

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read