Brendan Morrison’s popular philanthropic fishing derby is coming back to Tofino.
The Tofino Saltwater Classic was robbed of its 11th annual appearance by the coronavirus pandemic last summer, but the massive fundraising event that’s raised over $575,000 for local initiatives since its inception in 2009 will have anglers competing for prizes again from July 10-11 this year.
Morrison, the former NHL star who founded the Saltwater Classic, announced on June 1 that 2021’s event will not include the traditional meet-and-greets or dinner events, but will welcome regional anglers to compete for cash prizes.
“After relying on the Tofino Saltwater Classic for more than a decade, our beneficiaries were negatively affected by the absence of the derby last year,” he said. “As things begin to return to normal, we are making some changes so that we can come together again as a fishing community to raise funds for local Tofino initiatives with the focus on youth programs and salmon enhancement.”
He added that the derby will continue the catch-and-release format for Chinook prizes that it began in 2019.
“A catch-and-release derby format takes concerns about diminishing local salmon stocks in the Clayoquot Sound watershed into consideration while still allowing anglers to engage in a fun and competitive fundraiser,” he said. “As we did in 2019, we will be implementing specific fishing zones, and this year we are partnering with Angler’s Atlas to implement their “My Catch” catch-photo-release app which revolutionizes the process of measuring and entering fish in the derby.”
The event will include a silent and live auction, with both being conducted online.
Morrison launched the Saltwater Classic as a way to promote Tofino’s renowned fishing opportunities while also raising funds for the town’s local organizations and initiatives. Its benefactors have included Wickaninnish Community School, Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, Tofino Hospital Foundation and the Tofino Volunteer Fire Department.
More information can be found at www.tofinosaltwaterclassic.com.