The Alberni valley Tyee Club’s season kicked off last weekend.
The Tyee Club is the oldest active club in the Valley, says spokesperson Carolyn Jasken.
“Its beginnings were in 1931 when a small group of enthusiastic businessmen met at the Good Eats Café. They were were ardent sportsmen, interested in sportfishing and the development of the salmon fishery waters in the Alberni Canal,” she related.
Their goal was to promote sportfishing in Port Alberni as a tourist industry and guard against encroachment of commercial fishing in those areas of the Alberni district.
The establishment of this club at the time filled a desire to prove to the world at large that the best tyee fishing in Canada is right here, Jasken said.
“The club brought people from all over the northwest and beyond to Port Alberni to fish our waters and continues to do so to this day, 81 years later,” Jasken said.
The club adapted to change after the Great Depression, going from hand lines to rod and reels, from wooden rowboats to fiberglass boats with motors and larger areas of boundaries overseen by Department of Fisheries and Oceans fishing regulations.
The club is still going strong as a family friendly, competitive, fun fishing club. “We are looking at growing the club over the next few years and have increased the cash prizes,” Jasken said.
The club’s ultimate goal is to grow even bigger so it can continue to donate to fish enhancement projects in the valley, ensuring future generations of fishing.
The Tyee Club season will run until Sept. 3. Weigh-in and registration of fish is at Clutesi Haven Marina.
Membership tickets and free brochures with information of club rules and regulations can be purchased at Gone Fishin’ on lower Johnston Road. Membership costs $15 for seniors (age 17 and over) and $10 for juniors (age four to 16 years). There are plenty of weekly cash and hidden weight prizes throughout the season.
The club will celebrate Tyee Week from Aug. 20–25: six big days of fishing and prizes for the whole family. On Aug. 26, the club holds its main senior and junior derbies.
For adult members the top 50 fishermen catching chinook more than 18 pounds shall qualify for the main derby. Prizes are $500, $300 and $200.
Juniors automatically qualify and prizes are $150, $100 and $75 for first, second and third place, respectively.
Salmon festival boundaries apply throughout the season.
The Tyee Club is able to operate thanks to the generosity of sponsors and the support of the community, Jasken said.