Photos by Tom Rivers
CARLTON – Julie Schaeffer and her husband Mike hold Julie’s 29-pound, 6-ounce Chinook salmon which won the $4,000 grand prize in 2019 Rotary Fishing Derby.
The Schaeffers are from Sligo, Pa., and have been fishing in the derby since the 1980s. Mrs. Schaeffer also won the grand prize in 2017 with a salmon weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces.
The couple are both retired from a glass plant near their home. They bring a camper and their own boat to fish in Orleans County, timing their trip with the annual Rotary Fishing Derby, which lasts 16 days.
Mrs. Schaeffer said she caught the big fish on Friday with a 2-faced spinner, with one side having green spots and the other black spots, with a fly behind it.
Her husband has never won the grand prize, but did have a first place in the salmon division in a past derby, which was good for $500.
Larry Duckworth of Corfu won the salmon division and $500 for a 27-pound, 8-ounce salmon. His wife, Mary Duckworth, holds the third place rainbow trout at 13 pounds, 3 ounces.
There were about 325 participants in the derby, with fish eligible from the Niagara River to the Genesee River.
There was $8,800 in total cash prizes in four divisions – salmon, rainbow trout/steelhead, brown trout, and lake trout.
Besides $4,000 for the biggest fish, the four division leaders each get $500, followed by $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth.
There is also a $200 prize to the Orleans County resident who catches the biggest fish. (Jeff Newman of Lyndonville won with a salmon weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces.)
Laurie Janikowski of Sloan won the rainbow trout division with 17-pound, 15-ounce steelhead.
Keith Tessier of Hilton holds the first place lake trout at 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Tessier also had third place in rainbow trout.
Brian Gambell of Hilton holds a 15-pound, 7-ounce lake trout which was good for second place. He also has the second place brown trout at 13 pounds, 1 ounce – behind a 13-pound, 3-ounce brown trout caught by Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa.
Brayden Gambell, 9, of Hilton (left) holds the third place lake trout at 15 pounds, 3 ounces, while Mason Tessier, 8, of Hilton holds the fifth place lake trout at 14 pounds, 6 ounces.
Click here to see the full leaderboard.
Marlee Diehl addresses about 100 fishermen at the awards celebration at the Carlton Rec Hall. Diehl served as chairwoman of the committee that ran the derby, an event by the Albion Rotary Club. Richard Remley, club president, is at right. Mike Waterhouse, retired Orleans County sportsfishing coordinator, is in back left with Ed Fancher, treasurer of the derby.
Becky Karls sells raffle tickets at the event, which a fundraiser for the Rotary Club to do community projects, while also serving to help promote the fishery in Orleans County.
Cindy Perry and Bonnie Malackie, both Rotary Club members, sell 50/50 raffle tickets at the Carlton Rec Hall, which hosted the awards celebration.
Many local businesses also donated prizes for the event, including this fishing reel.