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Giant fish will be restored and will return to parade routes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo courtesy of Ashley Ward – This photo, taken approximately in 1983 during the Lyndonville Fourth of July Parade, shows Ashley Ward’s grandson Alan with a 13-foot-long fiberglass salmon.

MEDINA – Orleans County’s biggest fish is making a comeback.

A 13-foot-long fiberglass salmon used to be in parades in the 1980s, promoting the Orleans County Fishing Derby. Al Capurso acquired the giant fish on a trailer and parked it by the Bait Barn on Route 279 in Gaines.

The fish was there for about 25 years. Capurso has given the fish back to promote the fishery in the community.

File photo by Tom Rivers – Here’s how the fish looked in 2013 when it was by the Bait Barn.

Medina students led by teacher Todd Eick are working to restore the fish to its original luster. The fish had been painted reddish brown with the words “Go Fish.”

Students will paint the fish a shiny silver, refurbish the fiberglass and put in on a new mount. The county’s sportsfishing promotion department is buying a new trailer so the fish can be taken in parades and moved around the county, said Mike Waterhouse, the county’s sportsfishing promotion coordinator.

Money from the World Fishing Network, which named Point Breeze the “Ultimate Fishing Town” in 2013, will be used towards the project.

“We’ll get it done and get it up to snuff,” Waterhouse said.

However, the fish might not be ready until 2017, or it may make its new debut this year.

The fish was originally used to promote the Orleans County Fishing Derby. It was created by Chuck Wind of the Medina Rotary Club, said Ashley Ward, a long-time coordinator and volunteer for the derby.

The Medina, Holley and Albion Rotary clubs used to work together running the fishing derby. The Albion Rotary Club has been running the derby each August since 1984.

This year’s derby will be from Aug. 6-21. There are usually about 700 entrants with grand prize $4,000 for the biggest fish. For more on the derby, click here.