MOUNT UNIACKE FISHING DERBY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

There have been several questions from residents concerning the Annual Fishing Derby which was held every year in our community and sponsored by the Uniacke Heritage Committee. Ken Isles has graciously accepted to explain the origins of the Fishing Derby and how the work was completed and other information to help answer some of the questions.
ANNUAL FISHING DERBIES
@ MOUNT UNIACKE
The Annual Fishing Derby for Mentally and Physically Challenged Groups AND the Weekend Family Fishing Derby were held at Murphy Lake located directly behind the Uniacke Fire Hall in Mount Uniacke, from 1996 through 2014.
A special fishing license and pan-sized speckled trout were provided by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for these Annual Angling Derbies held during the first week of June. Murphy Lake was stocked with approximately 4,000 trout immediately prior to the derbies and later during the week.
A 240 foot long barrier-free boardwalk was installed along the shoreline of Murphy Lake, adjacent to the Uniacke Fire Department property, by the Uniacke Heritage Society and community volunteers, to accommodate novice and ardent anglers of all ages and physical conditions. Provincial and Municipal officials, residents and representatives from mental and physically challenged groups attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the barrier-free boardwalk., The boardwalk was maintained annually by the Uniacke Heritage Society members and diligent community volunteers to ensure personnel safety for all users.
Community volunteers spent weekends removing debris from Murphy Lake prior to the Fishing Derbies every year. May 1998 – two truck loads of debris including 15 motor vehicle tires, used building material, and other forms of household and industrial waste were recovered from the lake in preparation for the 1998 Fishing Derbies.
Groups of mentally-challenged and physically- challenged persons and their caregivers, totaling nearly 400 persons, from as far away as Bridgewater and Annapolis County, attended the special weekday event. Attendance for these special-needs group was
co-ordinated by Anchor Industries Society, Lower Sackville. These groups of novice anglers were provided with fishing tackle, bait, personal assistance and regulatory information by Uniacke Heritage Society members and highly competent community volunteers. All attendees were also provided with free hot and cold refreshments from the canteen staffed by community volunteers. The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Senior government officials and representatives, Natural Resources, Environment and the RCMP were frequently visible at these derbies.
Murphy Lake was re-stocked with speckled trout, after the weekday derbies for special-needs groups, especially for the weekend Family Fishing Derby. The weekend Family Fishing Derby, with the slogan, “Take a child fishing”, was held from 8;00AM to 4:00PM during the first weekend in June and attracted some 600 adults and youth annually from Metro and rural areas. Many youth and adults experienced their first opportunity to land a pan-size speckled trout and also to boast about the large one that got away. Twice daily draws were held for the numerous adults and youth prizes available to all registered participants. Over fifty commercial businesses and private citizens from local and adjoining communities contributed towards the Annual Fishing Derbies.
The weekend Family Fishing Derby daily registration fee was $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for youth under 16 years of age. The bag limit of 5 speckled trout per person. was rigidly enforced. The numerous prizes for registered adults and youth were donated by various businesses throughout Central Nova Scotia
The presence of speckled trout remaining in Murphy Lake and adjoining waters following the derbies, provided recreational attraction for all local anglers during the entire angling season. Surveillance of the stocked lake, to prevent poaching and littering, was carried out by diligent UHS members, community volunteers, RCMP members and Provincial Conservation officers during the entire week of the derbies, and periodically throughout the angling season.
Between twenty and twenty-four community volunteers continuously participated in various aspects of the planning, preparations, daily operation and post-fishing derby activities. The unyielding contributions, co-operation, performance and diligence of community volunteers and their sincere collaboration with The Uniacke Heritage Society administration can be attributed to the many years of superb Fshing Derbies at Mount Uniacke and the many escalades and awards from Federal, Provincial and Municipal officials.
Prepared by Ken Isles
THANK YOU TO KEN ISLES, PAST PRESIDENT OF UNIACKE HERITAGE SOCIETY AND ALL PEOPLE WHO GAVE OF THEIR TIME SO FREELY TO HOLD THIS ANNUAL FISHING DERBY IN YEARS GONE BY.
There is also a plaque that used to hang at the end of the boardwalk behind the Fire Hall in years gone by to explain to visitors and residents alike when the lakeside boardwalk was built and its purpose. The plaque is posted onto our web site for all to see. Hopefully this plaque will be hung on display in the Fire Hall for years to come. The plaque reads: “This lakeside boardwalk facility was constructed in October 1998 by the Uniacke and District Heritage Appreciation society, in cooperation with the Uniacke District Volunteer Fire Department, to provide enhanced accessibility for aquatic recreation and to create greater awareness and preservation of our natural environment.
Funding and other contributions for this project were provided by: *Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement for Economic Diversification *Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture * Municipality of East Hants District Recreation Funds Program *Hants Regional Development Authority * Halifax Correctional Centre (Correctoinal Services LVWP) * Uniacke and District Volunteer Fire Department * Uniacke and District Heritage Appreciation Society”

plaque
ribbon cutting0001
2 young boys
2 adults holding fish
bus
garbage
lady in wheelchair