The derby has been around for over 20 years, according to Astrid Rose, a Kiwanis Club member who is helping with the event.
“It’s a really great event because kids come with their families and learn how to fish,” Rose said.
It’s open to children under 15 and there’s a $1 entry fee. That covers a free lure and the kids also get safety glasses and a lunch.
There’s usually a great turnout, Rose said. Normally, around 200 children participate, although last year there were almost 300 registered.
This year, there’s rain in the forecast, but that won’t stop the derby.
“The event is rain or shine, and it’s always been that way,” Rose said. “We see a drop in numbers, but there’s still always kids that come out and have fun.”
In addition, at 2 1/2 hours, the derby is about two hours shorter than previous years.
“We’re comfortable with the amount of time that we set,” Rose said. “Even if they get wet, they’re not out for the whole day.”
Kids can enter up to five pinks, either alive or dead. Alaska Department of Fish and Game personnel take the official weights.
Although the Kiwanis Club keeps a donation box for the fish, they encourage people to take them home and use them.
“I think that’s a big part of it because this is a family event and we’re trying to show kids how to be good stewards of the fishery and of the resources,” Rose said. “We don’t want them to think it’s ok to catch all these fish and then throw them away.”
Last year’s big winner was 6.83 pounds and 2012’s winner was 6.43 pounds.
The catcher of the heaviest fish overall wins the grand prize, either an Xbox or a Nintendo DS although Rose wasn’t sure which it was. The heaviest fish in each age group also wins a prize, a bike. Participants must be present to win.
There are four age groups: 2-6, 7-9, 10-12 and 13-15.
It runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the fish must be caught with a rod and reel in that time period. Snagging is not allowed. Catch-and-release entries are allowed.
Participants must register prior to catching fish. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
“This year, it is a little bit shorter, so parents should want to get there close to 11,” Rose said. “No matter what the weather, the event it always fun.”
Contact Julie Herrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.