SALMON FEST 2019: Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni’s Salmon Fest

Event saw 68 registered participants

Liam Horbatch, seven years old, kisses a bullhead caught at the Salmon Festival’s Bullhead Derby this year. PHOTO COURTESY HEATHER FITZPATRICK-HORBATCH



After a two-year absence, Port Alberni’s Bullhead Derby returned to Labour Day weekend for the annual Salmon Festival.

The Uptown Merchants Association sponsored the Bullhead Derby at Salmon Festival this year. There were 68 participants registered with bullheads.

RELATED: China Creek bullhead derby a hit

If you saw the young anglers back at Clutesi Haven Marina, they were part of the Bullhead Derby. Anglers were also at the marina off of Tyee Landing at the breakwater. As a matter of fact, the winner—Aysiah Sam, nine years old—caught her 22-centimeter and 20.5-centimeter bullheads from the breakwater using her secret bait, bacon. She scooped the gold medal and a bag of Alma Ann’s Super Hero cookies for her winning fish.

In second place was Jameson Proteau, age four, with his 20.9-cm fish, netting him a silver medal and a bag of cookies. Third place went to Cole Clayton, age seven, for his 19.7-cm bullhead, giving him a bronze medal and a bag of cookies. The prize for smallest fish went to Quannah Charles, age nine, for her 7.5-cm bullhead.

One young lady, Brynn Nass (age three) caught an unusual looking spiny fish. The guess was a sea bass.

Organizer Chris Washington thanked volunteers and sponsors for their assistance with the derby, including Kim Blake and Christine Pyfinch of Double “R” Meats, Carol Anne Phillips and John Zanette of Forever New/KJ Riggins and Women in Business, Darran Chaisson Photography and all of the Uptown Merchants. Meagan Hughes of Campbell River helps every year with Salmon Festival, and this year also assisted in the Bullhead Derby.

“We are in learning mode this year,” explained Washington. “Watch for bigger and better next year.”


The winners of the Bullhead Derby, flanked by Chris Washington (left) and Meagan Hughes (right): Jameson Proteau (silver), Aysiah Sam (gold) and Cole Clayton (bronze). SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Aysiah Sam, nine years old, with her prize-winning bullhead caught off of the breakwater at Tyee Landing. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Brynn Nass, age three, was puzzled by her catch; it wasn’t a bullhead, and it was spiny. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Leo Tremblay, age 11, shows off his catch of the day at Tyee Landing. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

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