Young fishers take top prizes at Dollars for Scholars Derby

A young angler gets a bite in the free kids pond during the Dollars for Scholars sturgeon fishing derby.<I><BR>RON NANNEY photo</I>

SKAMOKAWA - One of the youngest anglers entered in the sixth annual Scholarship Barbecue and Sturgeon Derby Dollars for Scholars held Saturday, June 3, won the top trophy for the fish with the greatest weight.

The winner of the top trophy was 9-year-old Wyatt Ball of Vancouver. He caught a 36.35 pound, 53-1/2 inch sturgeon to claim the top trophy. Finishing a close second was Keller Battson with Team Rain Shadow of Sequim with a 35.60 pound, 56-3/4 inch fish.

Wyatt Ball's two siblings, Jessica with a 30.95 pound, 51-inch sturgeon and Conor with a 19.45 pound, 46-1/4-inch fish also caught a nice sturgeon but not large enough to be in the trophy race. The Ball kids' father Shawn Ball, who skippered the boat where the fish were caught, was kept plenty busy netting the three sturgeons caught by his kids.

There were 33 legal sturgeon entered in the derby and each fish posted on the derby board netted the angler a prize determined by a random drawing. Many of the prizes were fishing rods donated by Bud Mickelsen of Bud's Rods and Reels, Wahkiakum High School students enrolled in a rod building class, Lamiglas, and Ordella Rods.

The derby was a clear success, especially on the financial end. While the final figures are not yet compiled, a profit of around $20,000 is highly likely. The addition of a car show, which attracted 162 entries, increased the attendance and resulted in more barbecue dinners being sold as well more people buying raffle tickets and taking part in the auction presented by auctioneer Dewey Adair.

The derby, sponsored by the Wahkiakum Dollars for Scholars and the Naselle-Grays River Valley Education Foundation, raises funds for scholarships for the students of Wahkiakum and Naselle-Grays River high schools.

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