Brendan Morrison’s Tofino Saltwater Classic netted over $75,000 for community initiatives over the weekend.
The fishing derby celebrated a triumphant return after being cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and lured 67 competitors to West Coast waters where they angled for prizes during the event’s 11th appearance from July 10-11
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this year’s derby,” said Classic founder and former NHL star Brendan Morrison. “It felt great to be back fishing with friends and neighbors to raise funds for the beneficiaries who have depended on us for more than a decade.”
The derby has now raised over $650,000 since its inception in 2009 with all proceeds going towards community programs and initiatives. While the bulk of the funds have gone towards supporting Wickaninnish School’s Healthy Food and Literacy Programs, other beneficiaries include: the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, Tofino Hospital Foundatio, Tofino Recreation Commission and the Community Children’s Centre.
“The Saltwater Classic continues to be a wonderful paradigm for community collaboration and fundraising,” said Tofino municipal councillor and Saltwater Classic volunteer coordinator Britt Chalmers. “Even though the event was smaller this year, the results are impressive. A heartfelt thank-you goes out to Brendan and Erin Morrison, and the entire Saltwater Classic team, for their dedication, energy and ongoing support for local programs, many of which would not be possible without this important fundraiser.”
Along with registration fees, the Classic raised funds through an online and live auction managed by Tuff City Radio as well as private donations.
This year’s derby followed a catch and release format for Chinook prizes, made possible thanks to Angler’s Atlas’ MyCatch app which uses photos and video to record, verify and track entries, while retained and weighed halibut could be entered.
Ryan Chamberland took home the $4,000 top prize for snagging the largest Chinook at 104 centimetres. David Ward scored the second largest cash prize of $2,500 for catching a 99cm Chinook and Bianca Noe’s 94.6cm Chinook earned her the $1,500 third place prize.
Kelly Aspinall caught the largest Halibut at 67.5 lbs and took home $1,500.
Dates for next year’s Tofino Saltwater Classic will be announced later this year and more information can be found at www.tofinosaltwaterclassic.com.