As everyone in this area is well aware, the FFCBC bass derby is just around the corner. This will be an exciting time for many spectators and anglers alike. Countless hours of volunteer work and many donations have helped to make this annual event something we are all proud of.
Throughout the tournament, spectators will be buying raffle tickets and visiting food booths. During the weigh-ins, many of the anglers will be making donations back into the community. Last year, the official charity of the derby was “Care Close to Home.”
We will be hearing many words of praise during and after the weigh-ins directed towards the many hard-working, dedicated people without whom the derby would never have been possible.
The reason I am writing this letter is to share my observations and bring attention to an oversight that needs more consideration. The derby takes place on Rainy Lake, considered by many to have been “The Dead Sea” as recently as 10 years ago. We have since seen a dramatic change in the lake to the point now that professional anglers such as Al Lindner refer to Rainy as the “best in North America.”
But it has been my observation that we have started to take more than we are putting back as far as the lake is concerned. The angling pressure soon will start to take its toil on the lake again. The boat launches will need more repairs, enforcement will need to be increased, and more funding will be needed for monitoring.
Many things have influenced the lake and contributed to its change. These changes came about because dedicated people have made them happen. I am talking about people such as Darryl McLeod and the staff at the MNR, including the C.O.s, who have put in a lot of hard work and extra effort to make the lake what it is today. World class!
Let’s not forget the Fort Frances Sportsmen’s Club for its ongoing works. These people are often forgotten, and deserve much praise and credit, but are sometimes forced to take the back seats.
I would like to see more support for Rainy Lake and for the Fort Frances Sportsmen’s Club at this year’s derby and throughout the year. It’s time to put back into the resources so we can continue to enjoy them in the future.
It would be a shame to waste the efforts of the dedicated people who have worked hard on our behalf.