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Annual fishing derby planned in Johnson Township

The annual derby is a fundraiser for the Township of Johnson Recreation Committee and Fire Department
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The Township of Johnson Recreation Committee and Fire Department are hosting the 5th Annual Reg McHale Memorial Big Pike Family Fishing Derby as a fundraiser for both departments on Saturday, June 22, 2019, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration begins at 6 a.m. at Johnson Township Fire Hall in Desbarats and at 7 a.m. at the Johnson Township Public Dock, Hwy 17 and Lake Huron Dr., Desbarats, and all entries must be in by 3 p.m. The entry fee is $20 for adults, $5 for kids 14 and under, or $30 per family. A family in this case consists of two related adults (for example, husband/wife, grandparent/parent, parent or uncle/youth over 14) with children 14 and under who are siblings. There is no advance registration.

Cheryl’s Café, located in the Johnson Township Community Centre Arena canteen, is offering a fisherman’s breakfast starting at 6 a.m., two eggs scrambled with bacon and cheese on a bun and coffee for $6.

All measurements will occur at the Johnson Township Public Dock and boats can launch there or at the Public Ramp at Kensington Point or at a launch of their choosing. All fishing should take place in Lake Huron.

The Johnson Township Fire Department will also be holding a hot dog and hamburger BBQ from Noon to 4 p.m. at the registration site to help raise funds for equipment and programming.

The Martin (Reg) McHale Memorial Plaque and grand prize of $500 will be awarded for the longest pike; a tie goes to first fish registered. Reg McHale, who passed away on May 20, 2015, was a huge supporter of Johnson Township Big Buck contest, a past member of the Fire Department that ran a similar derby in the 80’s and 90’s, and an avid outdoorsman.

As well there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd runner-up trophies and cash prizes for adults, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd runner-up trophies and cash prizes for youth. There will also be draw prize opportunities for all registrants at the end of the day. The Recreation Committee and Fire Department are committed to ensuring that every child registered receives a prize.

Johnson Township Recreation and Fire Department would like to remind anyone who wishes to enter that all Ontario Fishing and Boating regulations must be followed.

The Township of Johnson would like to thank all the major sponsors for the tournament: United Steelworkers Local 9548, Tunnel Lake Trading Post, Blue Fox Camp, Pinchin Engineering, McDougall Energy, Ontario Trap Rock, Total Precision Surveying, Ableson Veterinary Services, Stobie Mechanical & Welding, Pioneer Construction, Busting Water Tackle,  Central Algoma Pharmacy, Loony Toons Pontoons and Power Sports, Kern’s Maple Products, Clarida Construction, and North Shore Firewood and Logging

For more information, go to

Johnson Township Big Pike Family Fishing Derby

  • Where: Government Docks, on Hwy 17 at Desbarats
  • When: Saturday, June 22. Registration 7 a.m. Early registration at Johnson Township Firehall, 6 a.m.; measurement until 3 p.m., followed by awards
  • Admission: $20/Adult, $5/child, $30/Family (two related adults plus children who are siblings)