Stay-at-home order sinks Sarnia Salmon Derby

Robert Brunet (right) next to a 19.01 lb. salmon caught in the 2019 Salmon Derby. May 4 2019. (Photo by Bluewater Anglers)

The Sarnia Salmon Derby has been cancelled for the second straight year.

Bluewater Anglers Board of Directors member Paul Heckley said the 2021 event had been scheduled to run April 30 to May 9th.

“The biggest factor was the Ontario government implementing a stay-at-home emergency order and trying to keep everybody home and not out in the public,” said Heckley. “We’ve been putting off the decision on delaying the derby for a couple weeks now, we felt we could run our weigh stations in the derby within the guidelines of COVID in the grey zone, but once we got to the stay-at-home order, the board of directors decided it was just the last straw.”

He said the decision was made during the regular monthly board of directors meeting Wednesday night.

“As an organization, we really didn’t want to be out promoting people to come from all over Ontario to fish in the derby here and gather and get together when the government is trying really hard to keep people apart.”

Heckley said the 28-day lockdown would still be in effect until almost the final weekend of the derby.

He said they’re looking forward to the Southwestern Ontario’s Blue Coast Walleye Challenge to be held in Sarnia June 4 to 13.

Registration for the COVID-safe event opens April 12 at