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High school principal wins fishing derby with 35-pounder

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Foster Miller holds the grand prize winning Chinook salmon – a 34-pound, 13-ounce fish – that netted the $4,000 top prize in the Orleans County Fishing Derby. Miller’s son Tyler, 11, finished third in the lake trout division with a 14-pound, 6-ounce fish.

CARLTON – Foster Miller looks forward to fishing season every summer. The 40-year-old Holley resident is often out in a boat with his son Tyler or Foster’s father Ron.

The family watches for fishing derbies and will join, hopeful of hooking a big prize. The Millers struck twice in the Orleans County Fishing Derby. Foster won the grand prize, $4,000, for catching the biggest fish among the 690 anglers who joined in the derby.

Foster caught a 34-pound, 13-ounce Chinook salmon in Lake Ontario near Hamlin Beach State Park. His father, Ron, of Ontario, Wayne County was in the boat with Foster. Ron started taking Foster fishing when he was a little kid. Foster landed his first salmon when he was 5.

He has passed down a love of fishing to his son Tyler, 11. Tyler caught the third biggest lake trout in the fishing derby, a 14-pound, 6-ounce fish that was also hooked just off Hamlin Beach. Tyler’s third place finish won him $200.

His father also won another $200, given to the Orleans County resident who catches the biggest fish during the derby.

Mr. Miller works as a principal in Mount Morris for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

The derby runs for about two weeks, and is sponsored by the Albion Rotary Club. Besides the $4,000 grand prize, the Rotary Club gives out $500 for first place, $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth place in four divisions: Chinook, rainbow trout, brown trout and lake trout. That adds up to $8,800 in total prize money.

Hunter Westcott, 10, of Hamlin won the lake trout division and $500 for catching this 18-pound, 4-ounce fish. He was all smiles holding the fish during an awards ceremony today at the Carlton Fire Company Recreation Hall.

The club expects to make about $4,500 in profit from the derby, which is used for various community projects.

The following won first prize in the different divisions: Jim Mazur, with a Chinook at 32 pounds, 13 ounces; Charles Davis with a brown trout at 15 pounds, 9 ounces; Gary Dubach with a rainbow trout/steelhead at 13 pounds, 13 ounces; and Hunter Westcott with a lake trout at 18 pounds, 4 ounces.

Derby officials and the 100 people who attended a awards ceremony at the Carlton Fire Company Recreation Hall observed a moment of silence for Judy Christopher, who was active in helping to run the derby for many years.

Christopher died on Aug. 3 after battling cancer for more than two decades. She was co-owner of Four C’s Marina and an active member of the Albion Rotary Club, which has been running the annual derby for about 30 years.

“She was an elegant woman who did a lot for the fishing industry and for this community,” said Ashley Ward, the derby chairman.

Ashley Ward, back left, gets ready to read the winning number during a raffle at today’s awards ceremony for the Orleans County Fishing Derby. Brad Shelp, lower right, helped pass out the prizes. About 100 fishermen attended the awards celebration in Carlton.