Derby winner catches more than he bargained for

Doug Williston of 108 Mile Ranch was the clear winner at the 26th Annual Watch Lake-Green Lake Fishing Derby

Doug Williston of 108 Mile Ranch won the 26th Annual Watch Lake-Green Lake Fishing Derby Fishing Derby with an 8 lb. 7 1/4 oz. rainbow trout from Watch Lake.

Doug Williston of 108 Mile Ranch won the 26th Annual Watch Lake-Green Lake Fishing Derby Fishing Derby with an 8 lb. 7 1/4 oz. rainbow trout from Watch Lake.

Doug Williston of 108 Mile Ranch was the clear winner at the 26th Annual Watch Lake-Green Lake Fishing Derby, June 1-2.

The lucky angler reeled in an 8 lb. 7 1/4 oz. rainbow trout from Watch Lake on Saturday to win the $500 cash first prize. Last year’s winner was 2 lb. 14 oz. rainbow trout.

However, Williston had a rough start to the derby weekend. He launched his boat and tied it up, but when towing the boat trailer out of the water, it caught the rope and dragged the boat back onto the shore.

Then, when finally afloat, he made his first cast, but the wind caught his fishhook and blew it into his head. Williston says he tore out a chunk of scalp, but it wasn’t a bad day all around.

“It was a bad start to a good finish.”

He was thrilled to win a new rod and reel as one of his prizes and says the $500 cash prize takes care of half his property tax for the year.

In total, 100 fish were weighed in during the derby, with three of them caught in Green Lake. Ray Johnson hooked two of the three, including the heaviest fish in Green, which tipped the scale at 5 lb. 3/4 oz. and won second prize overall – $200 cash.

Saturday proved to be the busiest of the two days, with 76 fish reeled in. Sunday’s total was 24.

Pat Dunne weighed in the first fish on Saturday at 5:07 a.m. Dan Grant brought in the first one Sunday at 5:30 a.m.

The last fish caught Saturday was recorded by Mark Robichaud at 8:59 p.m. Carol Jones hauled in the last one on Sunday at 1:47 p.m.

There were seven fish caught in the youth division, with Grace Smith hooking the heaviest at 2 lb. 14 1/2 oz. Ryder Marirekrt brought in the first one on Saturday at 9:27 a.m. and the last was weighed in Saturday at 5:30 p.m. by Ayla Johnson.

The oldest fisherwoman registered for the derby was Shirly Hill, and the oldest fisherman was Norm Rastad. The youngest fisher was three-year-old Elise Johnson.

The farthest travelled was Rejeanne Doiron of New Brunswick.

Derby chairperson Krista Vieira says the fish were relatively big this year and prizes were plentiful, with many random prize draws made. The number of entries was about normal at 186, which included 17 youth.

The derby was hosted by the Watch Lake/Green Lake Community Association, and Watch Lake Lodge and Guest Ranch.