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Winter fishing derby fun on Dennis’ Pond

Contestants vying for prizes during the Sou’Wes Delta Waterfowl Winter Fishing Derby on Dennis’ Pond on Sunday, Feb. 27. – © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

By Ryan King

Community News Reporter


From left: Derby winners Harley Osmond, Macy Dominie, Noelle Fudge, and Greg Baker – Courtesy of Sou’West NL Delta Waterfowl

PORT AUX BASQUES — Sou’Wes Newfoundland Delta Waterfowl held a fishing derby on Dennis’ Pond on the morning of Feb. 27. It was a blustery day for the participants according to organizer Mark Lomond.

“The wind was blowing strong around 60 kilometres per hour with a wind chill of -14 and sometimes snowing,” said Lomond.

Despite the cold, this year’s fishing derby had 94 people registered and out on the ice. It’s the best turnout to date. The group held its first fishing derby a few years ago when the Winter Carnival Committee got in touch.

“They were trying increase the number of events in the winter carnival and asked if we would mind putting off something. They let us choose what type of event, and we thought a fishing derby would fill the hole in the winter carnival schedule perfectly. It went so well and so many people got out and had fun, that we held it again the next winter carnival. Unfortunately the pandemic prevented us from having one last year with the winter carnival being canceled. This year we decided that if there wasn’t going to be a winter carnival, we would put one off anyway.”

Lomond said that the event is not held to raise money, but rather to give back to the community.

“We raise money by selling hats, cooler bags, having raffles, auctions, and holding fundraising dinners. Our next dinner will be April 29,” said Lomond. “We use the money we raise to hold fishing derbies, but also to build nest structures for ducks (with over 100 currently installed locally).”


John Ross Brenton and his son, Jax, tried their luck. – © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

“They were trying increase the number of events in the winter carnival and asked if we would mind putting off something. They let us choose what type of event, and we thought a fishing derby would fill the hole in the winter carnival schedule perfectly. It went so well and so many people got out and had fun, that we held it again the next winter carnival. Unfortunately the pandemic prevented us from having one last year with the winter carnival being canceled. This year we decided that if there wasn’t going to be a winter carnival, we would put one off anyway.”

Lomond said that the event is not held to raise money, but rather to give back to the community.

“We raise money by selling hats, cooler bags, having raffles, auctions, and holding fundraising dinners. Our next dinner will be April 29,” said Lomond. “We use the money we raise to hold fishing derbies, but also to build nest structures for ducks (with over 100 currently installed locally).”


Cory LeRiche and Mark Lomond of Sou’West Newfoundland Delta Waterfowl. – © René J. Roy

The organization has given back to the community through a variety of initiatives, such as organizing habitat cleanup projects and installing baskets on local beaches for clean-up. Just recently they have been approved for funding for a two month long cleanup initiative in the area.

Additionally, the group has paid the fees for about 40 local youth to complete hunter safety education, donated $300 in body socks to kids with sensory issues, sponsored a team in the swim for hope, donated $200 to the hospital radiothon, paid for a new door for the Codroy Wetland Centre, provided scholarships to local students since 2018, purchased 200 pound of turkeys for the Salvation Army Christmas turkey drive, bought $700 in Christmas toys for 35 children, and bought signs for walking trails.

The group has also done work to give back to hunters in the area by protesting and stopping harmful development in wetland areas.

“We worked hard and got the merganser season dates changed and helped in the fight that got the hunting age lowered. We advocate for hunters’ rights and land access. We take youth out on ‘mentored hunts’ and provide everything needed. And there’s probably more that I’m forgetting. We have used Delta Waterfowl as a way for hunters to give back to nature and the community.”

Four winners emerged from this year’s derby. The first place fish at 38 cm was caught by Greg Baker, second place was awarded to Noelle Fudge with a fish at 32.5 cm, and the third place winners were Harley Osmond and Macy Dominie with fish at 31 cm.

Lomond wanted to give a special shout out to a near miss.

“Also Jordan Elms, who came out on his 82nd birthday, just missed out on the prizes by 2 cm.”

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