The first, of what will hopefully become an annual, family holiday tradition is coming up in the new year at Dugan Lake.
The 150 Mile Elementary Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is laying the groundwork for the first annual 150 Mile Elementary Family Ice Fishing Derby on Family Day, Feb. 17, 2020.
“We want it to be a family-focused event,’ said 150 Mile Elementary School PAC president Michelle Iverson. “It is a fishing derby and there will be prizes for the biggest fish, but also fun prizes for smallest fish, random weight, things like that, so we’re hoping it will be a really good fundraiser for the school, as well as a way to give back to the community by hosting a community event”
The ice fishing derby is open to all ages and is not limited to school families.
“We are reaching out across the Cariboo for participants, and welcome all skill levels,” Iverson said.
Fishing will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with registration getting underway at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded at 2 p.m.
The cost will be $20 per hole, and kids 12 and under are free. Participants 16 and older are required to have a fishing license. The cost of a one-day license is $10 and can be purchased locally, or online.
There will be a concession on site, run by the PAC, with chili, hot dogs, coffee, hot chocolate and baking.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, through its Learn To Fish Program, is loaning free ice fishing equipment, including tents, rods and augers to be used by participants who may not have their own on the day of the event.
“Their Learn To Fish Program is also hoping to attend in person to help kids, and adults, new to the sport to learn some tricks and tips about ice fishing,” Iverson said.
She added the reason they decided to host an ice fishing event was because they wanted to pick something that would represent the community of 150 Mile House.
“Dugan is a community lake, people spend a lot of time there, anyway, and we wanted to do something that represented our community,” she said.
“Also, it’s a stocked lake, so we’re not hurting our native fish populations and we do have the support of the local Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Fish and Wildlife Branch, and they have been key to connecting us with important resources.”
Tickets will go on sale early in the new year, and Iverson said funds raised will go toward building a new, timber frame outdoor classroom for 150 Mile Elementary School.
“We want to bring learning to life, to create an outdoor gathering place for teachers and students to increase students’ physical, mental and social well-being,” she said.
If anyone is interested in helping sponsor the event, or to provide prizes, they can contact Iverson at 250-267-2085.
A Facebook page has been created for the event titled “150 Mile Ice Fishing Derby,” where up-to-date information is being shared regularly.