Sixth annual youth derby a success despite rainy weather
SPRINGHILL-Rain is nothing new when it comes to the youth fishing derby.
“It rained last year during the youth fish derby as well,” stated derby organizer Kenny John Jackson, community relations officer with Springhill Police Services.
“It (the rain) doesn’t stop people from fishing altogether,” claimed Jackson.
“When I was away with the military for 20 years, one of the goals I wanted to implement if I ever got back here was to start a youth fishing derby,” said Jackson. “I wanted to re-create that feeling I got fishing as a child for others,” he added.
The fish used to stock Pit Pond, an overflow of the former Springhill mine, were provided to the Springhill Police Services by Fraser Mills Hatchery in Antigonish. “I would estimate that another foot of water has accumulated in the pond from the heavy rain since yesterday when we put the 900 fish into the pond,” said Jackson.
“There are probably 20-30 one to one-and-a-half pound fish in the pond,” he added. “There are still some fish from the first youth fishing derby five years ago.”
The youth fishing derby provides opportunities that some children living in Springhill and area might not otherwise experience, explains Jackson. “It’s nice to see young children walking down Main Street with their fishing poles,” he added.
For the second year in a row, Billy Symes won the annual youth fishing derby, catching a fish that measured 16 inches in length. Another youth fisher in attendance was Alaina Porter, who caught a fish measuring 13.5 inches long.
In addition to the youth fishing derby, the Springhill chapter of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), a peer group made up of some eight students, held a barbecue this past Saturday at Pit Pond. SADD members Tori Harrison, Jessica Harroun and Allie LeBlanc, three grade ten students at Springhill Junior-Senior High, cooked up such traditional barbecue items as hotdogs, while Erin O’Flaherty and Josh Best, two representatives from the “Gettin’ Springhill Healthy Committee,” barbecued some healthier food options such as fruit shish kabobs.
All proceeds from the barbecue benefitted SADD. “Aside from the barbecue, the entire event is free,” claimed Jackson. “It did not cost Springhill taxpayers a dime.”
As for liability insurance for the day, it was covered under the Town of Springhill’s insurance policy. “I think that the youth fishing derby is super,” stated Springhill mayor Max Snow. “It’s nice to see the excitement in kids’ eyes,” he added. “Thank you to the Springhill Police Services for sponsoring this event.”