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42nd annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby set for Aug. 18-26

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Mon, Aug 6th 2018 07:00 am
Dave Salvalzo of Derby caught this 28-pound, 10-ounce salmon fishing out of Wilson to win the LOC Summer Derby on Lake Ontario. He won $11,000.
Dave Salvalzo of Derby caught this 28-pound, 10-ounce salmon fishing out of Wilson to win the LOC Summer Derby on Lake Ontario. He won $11,000.
The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby - the derby formally known as the "Fall Classic" - will hold its 42nd annual contest Aug. 18-26.
In what started out as the Niagara County Fishing Derby, this competition is now opened to three counties (Niagara, Erie and Orleans) in an attempt to encourage more involvement in this family-oriented event. With a big focus on the junior division, this move will give children more opportunity to wet a line because they are out of school.
With the huge Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Fall Derby kicking off on Aug. 17, this will give contest-hungry anglers an appetizer for the big bucks. While most everything else is the same, there are a few new twists that could land one a few extra dollars - including a larger prize structure. The grand prize is now $3,000; and the divisional prizes are $500, $250 and $125 for first, second and third in the adult division. Grand prize is determined through a drawing of first-place winners. Also, a daily $100 prize for the biggest salmon caught each day - taking a page out of the LOC event - is being offered Aug. 18-25.
The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is back again with a special $500 cash prize for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member while competing in the derby. In addition to that, the witness (which also has to be a LOTSA member) will also receive a check for $200. When one registers for the Fish Odyssey, toss in another $10 for a LOTSA membership and be considered registered in that organization. One can also register online at www.lotsa1.org.
New in 2017 was a special $500 prize for the largest walleye caught by a Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY. Visit www.southtownswalleye.org. Final details are still being worked out, including an Erie County weigh-in site.
Species categories for the adults include salmon, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp, lake trout and brown/rainbow trout. For the kids 15 years and under, categories will be salmon, trout, bass, walleye, carp and panfish. Entry fee will stay the same at $20 for the adults; free for the kids. A one-day pass will also be available for $10. Kids can register online at www.fishodyssey.net. The adults can, too.
Changes to the Odyssey website should be in place very soon thanks to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Check out www.fishodyssey.net regularly. Registrations should be out now wherever LOC registrations are available in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.
Every year, the derby remembers someone lost in the angling fraternity. This year it's the late Steve Harrington of Gasport who started the highly successful Erie Canal Fishing Derby.
Once again, The Primate Sanctuary (thanks to Carmen and Christie Presti) will donate a new bike that will be drawn at the awards ceremony in Newfane on Aug. 26 for every kid that's registered in the contest.

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